Recall effort against Nebraska school board member submits signatures

An effort to recall Chris Waddle from his position as president of the Giltner Public Schools Board of Education in Nebraska filed petition signatures on Oct. 12. The Hamilton County Clerk’s Office has 15 business days to verify the signatures. If 119 signatures are verified, a recall election will be scheduled.

The recall effort was started by Jamie Bendorf, a resident of Giltner, in August. On the recall petition filing form, Bendorf wrote, “Christopher Waddle doesn’t hold the best interest of the patrons in the Giltner School District.” In a statement about the recall effort, Bendorf said parents felt like the administration had dismissed their concerns. She also said she was concerned about families leaving the district.

In response to the recall, Waddle submitted the following statement: “We have a strong administrative team, the finest teachers and staff, the highest enrollment of students in years and the district is in a good financial position for the future […] These things happen when you have a school board with the right vision for the future. A recall under these conditions is not in the best interest of our school.”

Ballotpedia has tracked 80 school board recall efforts against 207 board members so far in 2021—the highest number of school board recall efforts we have tracked in one year. The next-highest year was in 2010 with 38 recall efforts against 91 school board members.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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