Gov. Polis recall effort does not make ballot

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Monday, September 9 Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Colorado governor recall effort does not make ballot
  2. Join us for a look at the 2020 Almanac of American Politics
  3. Two more state Supreme Court appointments, 11 total this year

Effort to recall Colorado governor does not make ballot

A recall effort targeting Colorado Gov. Jared Polis did not make the ballot after recall supporters announced September 6 that they had not collected the required number of signatures. The group leading the effort—Dismiss Polis—needed to submit 631,266 signatures for the recall election to occur. They collected about 300,000, according to spokesperson Karen Kataline.

According to the petition, Dismiss Polis targeted Polis for recall because he signed legislation related to firearms, oil and gas, the national popular vote, and sex education during the 2019 legislative session.

After the recall effort ended, Polis stated: “After all that fuss, I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t turn in a single signature on the recall. I hope the remaining misguided efforts against others see the same results as Tom Sullivan’s did before. Recalls should not be used for partisan gamesmanship.”

From 2003 to 2018, Ballotpedia tracked 17 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921. Four gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2019.

Three Colorado state senators—Leroy Garcia (D), Brittany Pettersen (D), and Pete Lee (D)—are also facing official recall campaigns in 2019. Two state representatives—Rochelle Galindo (D) and Tom Sullivan (D)—were previously targeted for recall earlier this year. The recall targeting Galindo ended after she resigned in May 2019; while the recall targeting Sullivan ended in June 2019 after recall supporters abandoned the effort.

Colorado became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 after Democrats flipped the state Senate in the 2018 elections. Democrats control the state House 41-24 and the state Senate 19-16. Polis succeeded John Hickenlooper (D) as governor in 2019 after winning the 2018 election with 53.4% of the vote. 

Join us for a look at the 2020 Almanac of American Politics

The 2020 Almanac of American Politics is here with detailed profiles of each governor, state, member of Congress, and congressional district. Join me and Ballotpedia staff writer David Luchs—who was on our Almanac research team—for a briefing on the Almanac at 11 a.m. Central Time September 10.

The Almanac has been described by columnist George Will as “the bible of American politics” and by anchor Judy Woodruff as “the oxygen of the political world.” It contains profiles of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five insular territories, as well as the president and vice president, all 50 state governors, all 100 members of the Senate, all 441 members of the House (including the six non-voting territorial delegates), and each U.S. House district. This version includes up-to-date information reflecting the results of the 2018 midterms.

In our briefing, we’ll be discussing the Almanac’s history, the scope of its profiles, essays, and data tables, and what’s new in the 2020 edition. We’ll also explore the research process and Ballotpedia’s role in assembling the Almanac—which is a great experience for our researchers. This is the third version that Ballotpedia has worked on with Almanac authors.

If you’re interested in ordering your own Almanac, we’ll be offering a discount code for 10% off at the end of the broadcast. A recording of the webinar will be available on our website for any readers unable to view the live broadcast.

Two more state Supreme Court appointments bring this year’s total to 11

Two state Supreme Court vacancies in Arizona and Virginia respectively were filled this week, bringing the total number of state Supreme Court seats filled this year to 11. There are 344 state Supreme Court justices nationwide. Of those judgeships, 165 are elected by voters, 12 are selected by state legislatures, and 167 are appointed.

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) appointed Bill Montgomery (R) to the Supreme Court on September 4. Montgomery replaces former Chief Justice Scott Bales, who retired on July 31. Montgomery was Ducey’s fifth appointment to the seven-member court.

In Virginia, Teresa Chafin joined the state Supreme Court this week to fill the vacancy created by Justice Elizabeth McClanahan’s retirement on September 1. In February 2019, the Virginia General Assembly unanimously approved Chafin to succeed McClanahan. Virginia is one of two states—along with South Carolina—that selects state Supreme Court justices through legislative election. 

In 2019, there have been 18 supreme court vacancies across 12 of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. Of those 18 vacancies, 12 are in states where a Republican governor appoints the replacement. Five vacancies occurred in a state where a Democratic governor appoints the replacement, and one (Virginia) occurred in a state where a Republican-controlled legislature selects the replacement.