Recall launched against Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey over stay-at-home order

A recall petition was filed against Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on May 1 over his stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus pandemic. Supporters of the recall have up to 120 days—or no later than August 29, 2020—to collect the 594,111 signatures needed to force a recall election.

The recall effort is being organized by a group called Arizonans for Liberty. Marko Trickovic, Steve Daniels, and 2020 congressional candidate Josh Barnett filed the petition on May 1. According to the recall petition, Ducey has “committed a violation of his oath of office A.R.S. 38-231 by issuing an unconstitutional executive order, by unequally enforcing the law on Arizona citizens and businesses, and by failure to address citizens grievances.”

On April 29, Ducey announced that he was extending the state’s stay-at-home order through May 15. The order allows some retail establishments to reopen but other businesses such as bars, hair salons, and barbers are still prohibited. Ducey said that businesses that ignore his executive order and open early will face a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail.

In response to Ducey’s order, Trickovic said, “He literally declared war on the citizens of Arizona. The fact that he came out and said he would jail people for trying to earn a living and feed people, that’s a tyrant.” As of May 4, 2020, Ducey had not made a statement regarding the recall effort.

Arizona became a Republican trifecta in 2009. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the Arizona state House by a 31-29 margin and the state Senate by a 17-13 margin. Ducey was elected as Arizona’s governor in 2014 with 53.4% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2018 with 56.0% of the vote.

Four gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2020. From 2003 to 2019, Ballotpedia tracked 21 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 ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921.

Additional reading: