Defeated Election-Denier Candidate Laura Hobbs Files Lawsuit Against Winner Allen Long, Requests Recount

If you can’t beat him, sue him.

Here in Shasta County’s District 2 Supervisor election, that appeared to be defeated candidate Laura Hobbs‘ last-gasp campaign strategy against Allen Long, who’d overwhelmingly won the District 2 supervisor seat with the most votes.

Hobbs, a Shasta County citizen since 2021, filed a lawsuit against Long on April 2, the same day that the Shasta County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to officially declare the certified results of the March 5 Presidential Primary Election.

District 4 Supervisor Patrick Jones was the single dissenting vote against the election certification.

And although supervisors Chris Kelstrom and Kevin Crye both cast doubt and aspersions upon the elections system, they ultimately approved the election results, which happened to include the race in which Crye dodged being recalled by a mere 50 votes.

On March 28 the Elections Department released the final election results that broke down the District 2 race outcome between candidates Long, Hobbs, Susanne Baremore and Dan Sloan.

Long, a retired Redding Police Department Lieutenant, won his District 2 seat with 50.13 percent of the votes, high enough for him to avoid a November runoff in the General Election.

Hobbs, who garnered 19.12 percent of the votes, earned the next highest percentage of votes, followed by Sloan with 18.49 percent and Baremore with 12.27 percent.

With a slogan of “Make Shasta Great Again” Hobbs’ website stated that prior to 2016 she was a stay-at-home mom and political outsider, but “was fully onboard the Trump train” and voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020.

“I support Trump for the 2024 Republican primary and general election in November,” Hobbs said.

Endorsed by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, and a recipient of money from outsider son-of-a-billionaire Reverge Anselmo, Hobbs described herself during her campaign as the only 100% MAGA and America First candidate.

In an A News Cafe interview, Hobbs characterized Lindell as “the number one citizen patriot who put it all on the line and backed Trump with everything he had.”

Additional Hobbs’ endorsements included the Shasta County Republican Assembly (SCRA), the California Rifle and Pistol Association, former Redding City Councilman Gary Cadd, “Poke the Hornet’s Nest” radio hosts Nick Gardner and Doug Juenke, Richard Gallardo, Terry Rapoza, defeated District 4 candidate Win Carpenter and widely discredited and debunked national election-denier Dr. Douglas Frank.

An unabashed election-denier, Hobbs shuns electronic voting machines, and is an enthusiastic supporter of hand-counted paper ballots and one-day elections.

In January of 2025 Long will be sworn into office and will replace District 2 Supervisor Tim Garman, who filled a vacancy caused by a baseless recall of former District 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty.

However, since the time when Garman assumed his District 2 supervisor position, redistricting changed the district in which Garman resides, placing Garman now in District 5, currently presided over by Chris Kelstrom, whose term expires in December of 2026.

Garman has stated publicly his plan to return to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors, but next time, serving District 5, not District 2.

Small print, data dumps, blurry evidence

Among the content of Hobbs’ 48-page civil summons submitted to the Shasta County Superior Court, there were several graphs of sample observation data, early votes demographics as well as historical data, cast vote record (CVR) review, comparison of CVR data to observed tabulation data, vote by mail (VBM) saved ballot batches and email correspondence between Hobbs and Joanna Francescut, Assistant County Clerk/Registrar of Voters.

Hobbs, who says she holds a doctorate in microbiology, filed the suit “pro se” — a Latin term that means “advocating on one’s own behalf” — meaning she lacked an attorney.

In addition to lengthy passages of Hobbs’ detailed complaints against the Shasta County Elections Department, there were also multiple pages of accusations of election-department errors provided by James Burnett and Richard Gallardo, two frequent speakers who routinely express distrust of the Registrar of Voters office.

Hobbs, Gallardo and Burnett’s damning allegations pertaining to ballot handling listed everything from chain of custody issues, ballot security errors, and inaccurate dates, to double counting and duplicate ballot batches.

Of the three, Gallardo is perhaps the most renowned for dramatic outbursts during supervisors meetings, such as the time when Gallardo attempted and failed to perform a citizen’s arrest of the entire board of supervisors and high-ranking county staff members.

Richard Gallardo is led from the board chambers by deputies after his failed attempt of a group citizens arrest.

Most recently, Gallardo pepper sprayed community activist Nathan Pinkney shortly after Pinkney served Gallardo inside the elections office with temporary restraining order papers on behalf of a complainant in another case after Gallardo had evaded service for more than a month.

Before Pinkney served Gallardo inside the elections department, a photograph taken by Pinkney suggested Gallardo may have been carrying a concealed weapon.

A records request later submitted by Pinkney to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Gallardo is not licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

Thus far, no charges have been brought by law enforcement against Gallardo for pepper spraying Pinkney.

Who’s the real defendant?

Although Long was identified as the defendant in Hobbs’ lawsuit, throughout the civil packet, the Shasta County Elections Department was the consistent object of Hobbs’ numerous detailed complaints.

The collection of information contained within Hobbs’ lawsuit is a motley mix of crooked photocopied pages, crammed columns of numbers too small to decipher, spelling errors, and sometimes illegible handwriting.

Long’s view

Reached for comment Wednesday evening regarding the lawsuit, Long described Hobbs’ documents as “very confusing, convoluted and legally insufficient.”

Long added that Hobbs’ lawsuit appeared to be “more unsubstantiated attacks” against Shasta County’s Elections Department.

“Unfortunately, this is a desperate final attempt to usurp the will of the Shasta County voters,” replied Long via text message to A News Cafe’s inquiry.

Regarding Hobbs’ desire for a recount, Long acknowledged that Hobbs had every right to make such request, though he questioned her reasoning to do so.

“I am surprised she chose to pursue this, given she is 30 percent behind me in votes,” wrote Long.

“Regardless, I am confident in our elections department and do not anticipate any change in the results.”

Response from Assistant County Clerk/Registrar of Voters

Joanna Francescut, Assistant County Clerk/Registrar of Voters, addresses media during an elections press conference last month.

Although Francescut, who’s been the acting ROV since Cathy Darling Allen announced her intention to retire next month, declined to comment about Hobbs’ lawsuit, she provided an overview of how a recount might work.

Francescut explained that a voter-requested recount requires advanced payment, and that the costs are determined based upon the actual costs to complete the work. She said potential expenses include staff salaries and benefits, supplies, and volunteer stipends for the recount board.

“The local election official is responsible to supervise this process and work,” Francescut added in a reply text message.

Asked by A News Cafe whether the Secretary of State would be involved in a recount, Francescut said that typically, that wouldn’t be the case.

While Francescut did not state a recount-price guesstimate, one Redding campaign strategist speculated that a District 2 recount could cost many tens of thousands of dollars to undertake over several days.

Hobbs did not respond to A News Cafe’s Wednesday-evening request for comment. Among the questions A News Cafe submitted to Hobbs were: Why did Hobbs file the lawsuit against Long? Where/how would Hobbs secure required funds to pay for the recount? What else did she wish to say?

Stay tuned.


Editor’s note: This story was updated at 8:20 a.m. to include additional information about defeated District 2 candidate Laura Hobbs.


If you appreciate journalist Doni Chamberlain’s reporting, and especially if you’re among those who read A News Cafe but do not support it, please consider a donation.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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