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Effort to recall County Commissioner Mark Shull underway posted on 09/01/2021

Organizers of a recall effort for Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull have started the prep work before they file the official petition, which is expected sometime this fall. Cris Waller, who is expected to be the Chief Petitioner, told The Mountain Times that 50 volunteers have been trained and are collecting pledges to sign the petition.

“In that way, what we are hoping to do is ensure that before we pull that trigger, we have enough support, we have enough people lined up to sign,” Waller said. “We want to make sure that once we say ‘go’ we are going to succeed and get this on the ballot.”

Shull, who took office in January, came under fire for offensive and racist comments posted on social media.

“We’re continuing to see that behavior,” Waller said.

Once a petition is filed, the organizers will have 90 days to submit approximately 30,000 valid signatures from voters from the district to recall Shull. A signature verification process will follow; if the petition fails to meet the number of valid signatures the process is stopped, while if the petition does have sufficient signatures, Shull can either resign within five days or face a recall election within approximately one month.

Mike Silvagio, another one of the organizers on the effort to recall Shull, noted that their goal is to have 40,000 signatures, as validity rates in most recall efforts come in around 75-80 percent.

“I’ve done this a number of times, familiar with campaigns that squeak in and others that exceed expectations,” Silvagio said, adding that they have learned from recent recall efforts on how to better prepare to get the necessary signatures, including one on Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Silvagio noted that the passage of Oregon Senate Bill 761 from the 2019 regular session changed how signatures can be obtained. The new law, in effect since 2020, requires that only electors who have a personally printed copy (or requested a print copy from someone) of an electronic signature sheet for a petition or prospective petition may sign a signature sheet.

“A lot of this is breaking new ground,” Silvagio said, adding that electronic signature sheets are important due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. “So far we’re on track. We’ve got a really good head start on that 90-day period.”

Shull told The Mountain Times that he expected the recall effort after he was elected.

“I knew this was coming,” he said, adding that he doesn’t believe that anybody he’s dealt with would accuse him of being a xenophobe, homophobe or racist. Shull also noted that he delivered a statement to Muslim leaders from Portland, calling that a “resolved issue.”

Shull does not plan on campaigning against the recall petition and remains intent on doing his job as a commissioner.

“That, in and of itself, is all I should do to counteract any efforts on the recall,” he said, adding that he has no political advisors working for him. “More and more people have watched my performance and are very comfortable with me as a commissioner. That is what I believe is important.”

Shull said that his approach to being a commissioner is to represent everybody in the county and that he would not resign if enough signatures on the petition are verified, but he would “happily go home and go about (his) business” if the recall vote doesn’t go his way.

“I got elected by the people of Clackamas County, I intend to serve them,” Shull said, adding that he is convinced that in the end he will prevail.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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