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A local group's recall campaign against Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer officially ended on Thursday after gaining roughly 400 signatures. Courtesy photo/The Coast News Graphic.
A local group's recall campaign against Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer officially ended on Thursday after gaining roughly 400 signatures. Courtesy photo/The Coast News Graphic.
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Recall effort against Lawson-Remer falls short of needed signatures

REGION — An attempt to force a recall election for Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer officially met its end Thursday, after local political action committee Undivided San Diego failed to gather the 40,000 signatures needed to place it on the ballot.

A group of around 20 residents, mostly from Escondido, announced its intent to begin gathering signatures for the recall of the county’s District 3 official in September 2021, as reported by the Escondido Times-Advocate. On a website dedicated to the recall, Undivided San Diego listed the supervisor’s “partisan and divisive” attitude, alleged disregard for her constituents, and conduct at meetings as reasons for the recall.

Despite efforts to rally residents in the district, the group fell far short of the required signatures by the Thursday deadline with less than 400 signatures submitted to the county Registrar of Voters, according to Undivided San Diego president Mike Johnson.

The outcome was not surprising to Lawson-Remer, who was elected by a wide margin in the 2020 election over opponent Kristin Gaspar to represent the 3rd District. The new district lines encompass the county’s coastal cities from Point Loma to Carlsbad and communities including Mira Mesa and Harmony Grove to the east, but no longer include the more conservative area of Escondido.

“I am proud to have the overwhelming support of District 3 residents as I continue fighting to protect our environment, our health and the safety of our communities,” Lawson-Remer said.

Johnson said while there was a lot of support for the recall in late 2021, few people ended up following through with action to make it happen, and many of the supporters did not actually live in her district. However, Johnson said he doesn’t regret giving people a means to make their voices heard.

“I think what we were really trying to accomplish is, a lot of people felt like they weren’t being heard, and we were giving them that option,” he said. “There is a system in place, and it’s actually a very good system. There’s a reason we’re allowed to do recalls — if there’s an issue, we’re allowed to bring that up.”

Johnson added that it often takes two or three tries to execute a successful recall, and encouraged residents to try again in the future if they still aren’t satisfied with Lawson-Remer’s representation.

“There are still almost two and a half years left in her term, so if you’re still really not pleased with her, you can try again,” he said.

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