Tigards Suzanne Gallagher steps down before recall vote

Suzanne Gallagher, of Tigard, stepped down last week as the head of the Oregon Republican Party. Gallagher was elected in February.Six months into her role leading Oregon's Republican Party, Tigard resident Suzanne Gallagher has resigned.

Gallagher — who was elected in February as chairwoman of the Oregon GOP — stepped down before a recall vote during the party’s platform convention in Bend on Friday.

Gallagher faced criticism from party leaders who have said for months that she made inappropriate hiring decisions and mishandled the party’s finances.

A recall petition was circulated in July, and a recall vote was expected during the party’s convention this past weekend, but Gallagher resigned before the vote could take place.

Gallagher said the recall effort was damaging Oregon’s chances of receiving funding from the national Republican Party for races next year.

“The events in the last couple of months are a testimony to why Republicans are not seen in a good light,” Gallagher said in a prepared statement to the party before stepping down. “The actions of some members have demonstrated the character flaws perceived by the public as uncaring, angry and antagonistic.”

Gallagher was tasked with getting more Republican’s elected in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 20 percent.

When reached for comment Monday, Gallagher said there was “always more to the story.” She expected to have more to say on the subject within the week.

“The things that I am being accused of are completely unfounded,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher was in office for only a few months when the controversy began with former party staffer Greg Leo and others calling for her resignation.

When she was elected in February, Gallagher had said she wanted to see more diversity in the party and would work to get more women involved.

A longtime Tigard resident, Gallagher has had two unsuccessful runs for the state Legislature. In 2004, she ran for House District 35, which represents Tigard and Metzger. In 2012, she ran against longtime incumbent Ginny Burdick for Senate District 18, which represents Tigard and parts of Portland.

On Saturday, party members elected former congressional candidate Art Robinson to take over the chairmanship.

Robinson also has two unsuccessful races under his belt. He ran against Rep. Peter DeFazio for the 4th Congressional District in 2010 and 2012.

He becomes the sixth chairman of the party in the past decade.

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