Colorado school board recall scheduled for November 5 as court challenges wrap up

A recall election seeking to remove board President Timothy Braun from his position on the Cripple Creek-Victor School District RE-1 school board in Colorado will be held on November 5, 2019. Board Treasurer Dennis Jones and Secretary Tonya Martin were also targeted in the initial recall effort, but they resigned from office in June 2019.
The three members were targeted for recall due to “multiple violations of Colorado state statutes, school board policies and resolutions, Sunshine laws and the Colorado Open Records Act,” according to Patty Waddle, a leader of the recall effort. Braun, Jones, and Martin disputed all of the claims listed on the recall petitions. Braun said Waddle was a disgruntled former employee.
The recall election was first scheduled to be held on July 16, 2019, but the election was put on hold after the three targeted board members filed an appeal with the Fourth Judicial District, seeking a stay on the recall election. They said the county clerk had shown favoritism to the recall supporters and should have required the group to start over when their first petitions did not have enough valid signatures rather than giving them a window of time to add additional signatures. Judge Scott Sells disagreed with the board members’ claims and ruled in favor of the county clerk, allowing the recall election to be placed on the ballot. Jones and Martin resigned from the board, but Braun appealed the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. The supreme court dismissed his appeal on August 9, 2019, allowing the recall election to be scheduled. Because no special election could be held within 90 days of the regularly-scheduled general election on November 5, 2019, the recall election was added to that ballot.
In 2018, Ballotpedia covered a total of 206 recall efforts against 299 elected officials. Of the 123 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 77 were recalled for a rate of 62.6 percent. That was higher than the 56.9 percent rate and 56.3 percent rate for 2017 and 2016 recalls, respectively.
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