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Party Chair Traci Hensley, a Canby resident, tries to frame recall debate over Oregon City mayor's comments, rather than his actions

PMG PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay was targeted by recall supported asking him to 'take a permanent holiday out of OC' on June 9 on the Arch Bridge.Clackamas County Republican Party leaders voted this month to support Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay in his fight against a Nov. 10 recall election.

Dan HolladayParty Chair Traci Hensley, a Canby city councilor, announced Monday, Oct. 19, that the Clackamas County Republican Executive Committee decided on Oct. 14, "after a lengthy discussion," to back Holladay's attempt to remain in office, despite prominent Oregon City Republicans who support Holladay's removal from office.

Recall campaign sponsors — many who are Republican Party members and residents of the city like recall campaign manager Adam Marl, City Commissioner Rachel Lyles Smith and School Board Member Evon Tekorius — say that Clackamas County Republicans are missing the point of the recall in concluding that Holladay did not violate city or state policies or laws with his comments. Holladay's unilateral actions, not his comments, are under investigation by an attorney contracted by Oregon City. City commissioners on June 17 ordered the investigation into the mayor's continued defiance of COVID-19 orders and his attempts to raise money for a city celebration that would have been in violation of the ban on large public gatherings.

Hensley, a Canby resident, tried to frame the recall debate over the Oregon City mayor's comments rather than his actions. She said that the county's Republican leaders concluded that Holladay's comments "hurt the feelings" of certain people, which does not meet the criteria for the recall.

"Although we all do not always see eye-to-eye with Mayor Holladay, we will stand behind him in this unsubstantiated recall effort," Hensley wrote in the press release.

Tekorius ran as a Republican for the Oregon House district representing Oregon City before being elected to a nonpartisan seat on the School Board. She is among the recall supporters who see an array of reasons to vote for his removal.

"Mayor Holladay's disrespect for his colleagues and the process of civil government and his inability to engage respectfully with all members of our community are just a few of the reasons why he should resign," Tekorius said.

Marl, a lifelong Oregon City resident, said Republicans should focus on the Democratic control of the Oregon Legislature, not a special recall election, or else Republicans will continue to lose general elections.

"I'm disappointed that some in the county Republican leadership have attached themselves to a corrupt and unethical politician like Dan Holladay," Marl said. "This is especially true given that most of them don't even live in Oregon City and clearly don't understand the damage that Holladay has done."

Hensley has found herself on the losing side of past recalls. She spearheaded the Clackamas County Republican Party's unsuccessful efforts to stop the recall of two Gladstone city councilors in 2017. In February of this year, she was the lone vote on Canby City Council against firing a city administrator.

Although he didn't respond to city commissioners' reasons for launching an investigation, Holladay's 200-word "statement of justification" recently put a recall initiative on the ballot.

Other reasons for the Holladay recall are outside of the scope of the investigation ordered by the City Commission. While he participated in the June 9 meeting and joined the unanimous vote to support the resolution against racism, he did not make any additional comment, unlike the other commission members who spoke at length pledging to fight for a public environment that is respectful and free of hate.

PMG PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay was targeted by protesters on June 9 on the Arch Bridge as the City Commission adopted a stance against racism.Holladay's alleged request for campaign funding is part of an impending lawsuit over a stalled construction project. He also directed a city-contracted employee to end the meeting recording directly after he adjourned a June 3 meeting, which prevented other commissioners from responding to his comments about racism on tape.

This version of the online story has been updated with additional comments from recall supporters. Hensley did not respond for requests for additional comments from recall opponents.

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