Arizona court clerk voted out of office in recall election

A recall election seeking to remove Cindy Woodman (R) from her position as Graham County Clerk of the Superior Court in Arizona was held on May 19, 2020. Heidi Torrio (R) and Marianne Clonts (R) filed to run against Woodman in the election. Torrio received the most votes with 67%, according to unofficial election night results. Clonts received 27%, and Woodman received 5%.

The recall effort started in September 2019. Recall organizers cited high turnover and lack of institutional knowledge as reasons to circulate petitions. They also cited a court ruling that found Woodman was derelict in her duties. Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel signed an order on October 11, 2019, that placed the Graham County Clerk of the Court’s Office under the direct supervision of Judge Michael Peterson. Woodman was prohibited from conducting clerk’s duties but continued to receive her full salary.

Woodman declined to comment on the recall effort, but Graham County Republican Party Chairman John Duane Rhodes spoke in support of her. Rhodes said that Woodman inherited a hostile work environment from her predecessor and that he believed she had done a good job despite the lack of training provided to her from the county.

To get the recall on the ballot, recall organizers had to collect signatures from at least 2,697 registered voters. They submitted 3,147 signatures on November 18, 2019, and enough signatures were deemed valid to schedule a recall election.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.

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Abbey Smith

Abbey Smith is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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