SALEM — Residents of the least populous county in Oregon have voted overwhelmingly to recall their top county administrative official, while in an adjacent county a commissioner is optimistic he’ll emerge victorious from the recall election he is facing.
A total of 406 ballots were for the recall of Wheeler County Judge Patrick Perry, with 208 against, County Clerk Barb Sitton said Tuesday. There was a 65 percent return of ballots from eligible voters. Wheeler County covers 1,715 square miles east of the mountains and has only 1,358 residents, according to the U.S. Census.
The recall had cited conflicts of interest. Perry had said the recall was “based on unfounded and vague allegations.”
Gov. Kate Brown will appoint a replacement for Perry, whose seat would be added to the ballot for the November election, said Molly Woon, communications director for Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins.
To the east in Grant County, Commissioner Boyd Britton said he is “cautiously optimistic” that he’ll survive the recall election there. Among other things, the petition faults him for not calling for an investigation into the 2015 Canyon Creek Fire that destroyed 43 homes and nearly 100 barns. U.S. Forest Service firefighters were unable to get the fire under control in its early stages.