Watch CBS News

New push to make El Dorado County its own state, breaking away from California

Republic for El Dorado State? New break-off state movement brews
Republic for El Dorado State? New break-off state movement brews 02:23

EL DORADO COUNTY -- There's a new effort by rural Californians to break away from the state. The movement calls for El Dorado County to become its own state, independent from California.

The initiative comes more than five years after the State of Jefferson movement failed its attempt to break away from California.

The movement is headed by Sharon Durst, an El Dorado resident since 1999. She and her supporters have created a petition for people to vote on whether to move forward.

She argues that people who live in the country rarely have a seat at the table when it comes to California politics and El Dorado County does not have a voice.

Durst is a former supporter of the State of Jefferson, a proposal that would have combined several counties in northern California and southern Oregon to create its own state. But it failed in Congress.

Now, Durst is pointing to cracks in the constitution for a possible opening to creating a new state.

"'Congress shall have the power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property,'" Durst said, quoting Article 4 Section 3 Clause 2 of the US Constitution. "I think we can make an argument that El Dorado County is 'other property.'"

The new state would be called the Republic for El Dorado State. Durst and her supporters are already giving out flyers.

Soon, they'll begin handing out the petition. If they get more than 50 percent "yes" they'll move forward.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.