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Shasta County recall almost certain to pass

 Recall supporters gathered outside the county building in Redding on Jan. 18th.
Courtesy of anewscafe.com
Recall supporters gathered outside the county building in Redding on Jan. 18th.

A recall election in Shasta County aimed at removing county board of supervisor member Leonard Moty is almost certain to pass.

Election results on Friday afternoon show the recall leading by 1,018 votes. One hundred percent of the district's precincts had reported results, and just 121 ballots remained to be counted, according to the Shasta County clerk’s office.

The heated recall election was an effort to oust Supervisor Moty, a Republican, in favor of a more conservative board member. Moty’s replacement would tip the five member board in a more conservative direction.

Two candidates lead the results to replace Moty: Tim Garman, followed by Dale Ball. While the candidates are separated by just 126 votes, County Clerk Cathy Darling Allen said on Friday it was unlikely Garman would lose his lead.

“We never know, of course, until we count ballots, but it is highly, highly unlikely that all of the ballots we have left would be for one candidate only,” Darling Allen said.

The clerk’s office has performed one vote audit and will complete a second audit in the coming weeks.

Slightly more than 40% of voters in Shasta County’s second district to the west of Redding voted during the recall. Correctly postmarked vote-by-mail ballots can still arrive by Tuesday, Feb. 8 to be counted. Darling Allen said she hopes to certify the election results by Friday, Feb. 18. After certification, the board of supervisors would declare a winner elected.

Over the past year the recall campaign was marked by bitter disputes during supervisor meetings as organizers pushed board members to take a stronger stance against pandemic restrictions including mask and vaccine rules, and against accepting state and federal relief funds in the county that they believed would have too many strings attached.

The recall campaign was largely funded by Reverge Anselmo of Connecticut, who contributed nearly half-a-million dollars, significantly more than other local contributors.

In a statement released this week to the Redding news site anewscafe.com, Supervisor Moty wrote, “I’m proud that I stood against anarchists, extremists, and white supremacists wanting to take over our county. As a lifelong resident of Shasta County, I’m very concerned with this change in leadership and its effect on our community.”

Erik Neumann is JPR's news director. He earned a master's degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and joined JPR as a reporter in 2019 after working at NPR member station KUER in Salt Lake City.