Oregon GOP chairwoman resigns ahead of recall vote

Oregon GOP chairwoman resigns ahead of recall vote
Suzanne Gallagher appears on KATU's "Your Voice, Your Vote" Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Suzanne Gallagher has resigned as chairwoman of the Oregon Republican Party after only six months on the job.

Gallagher announced her decision late Friday before she faced a recall vote at this weekend's party convention in Bend. Party members had accused her of mishandling finances and making inappropriate hiring decisions.

"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 written statement read to party members, The Oregonian newspaper reported. "The actions of some members have demonstrated the character flaws perceived by the public as uncaring, angry and antagonistic."

Gallagher was elected to a two-year term in February, replacing Allen Alley, who chose not to run again.

With races for governor and U.S. Senate headlining next year's ballot, Gallagher was charged with helping Republicans end their losing skid in statewide elections. The party has not won a statewide race in a decade, controls just one of five congressional seats and is the minority party in the state House and Senate.

To break the losing streak in statewide elections, the party must overcome a significant registration disadvantage. Just under a third of Oregon's 2.2 million registered voters are Republicans, and Democrats outnumber them by 190,000.

In her statement, Gallagher said funding from the national Republican Party could be in jeopardy if the state GOP is perceived as "divided and dysfunctional."

A replacement for Gallagher could be named this weekend. In February's election, she defeated former congressional candidate Art Robinson and John Lee Jr., the chairman of the Clackamas County GOP.

Information from: The Oregonian