OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — The voters of Oregon City have spoken as they overwhelmingly voted to recall Mayor Dan Holladay in the middle of his second term.
The unofficial results posted on the Clackamas County Elections page showed 68% of the people who voted in this special election decided to remove Holladay. A total of nearly 52% of the eligible voters took part in this election.
Commission President Rachel Lyles Smith will serve as the temporary chair to lead meetings until the election for a replacement mayor takes place.
“The community responded in a way because they didn’t like the way the mayor was representing our city,” Smith told KOIN 6 News earlier Tuesday. “Our city was hurt in the process over the course of these few months.”
Holladay, whose second term as mayor was slated to continue through 2022, was recalled after the citizens of Clackamas County validated far more signatures than necessary to force a recall.
Adam Marl, the campaign manager for the recall effort, told KOIN 6 News why he got involved.
“After his response to COVID-19 and a lot of the conversations about racism in America, people began to pay attention to their local government for the first time ever,” he said, “which also includes me.”
Five School Board members and all the sitting commissioners voted to censure him in June.
In June, Holladay was censured for “injuring the good name of Oregon City, disturbing its well-being, and hampering its worth,” the committee said and added, “Holladay was the only mayor out of all 26 in the metro area to refuse to sign a statement condemning systemic racism and committing to address it at the local level.”
In an official “statement of justification” submitted on the October 6 deadline, Holladay claims he “built strong relationships” with local leaders, despite all four city commissioners backing his removal from office.
“Help me help you keep Oregon City a great place,” Holladay wrote in all-capital letters, in an official anti-recall statement that echoed wording of President Trump’s reelection campaign. “We all have right to believe and say what we believe and not be ridiculed, canceled or recalled for fighting for our citizens first.”
After news broke that the recall effort was successful, Marl released a statement saying in part:
“Tonight, after months of socially-distanced hard work, the people of Oregon City have affirmed what we knew all along: Oregon City is better than Dan Holladay. With the recall officially behind us, it’s critical that the citizens remain engaged with local government as we look ahead to electing a mayor who represents our values in the coming months. Until then, I’m hopeful that our community will now be able to heal after the mayor’s divisive and destructive tenure.”
The Portland Tribune contributed to this report.