Author

Abbey Smith

Abbey Smith is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at abbey.smith@ballotpedia.org

Recall election scheduled for clerk of the Superior Court of Graham County in Arizona

Cindy Woodman, clerk of the Superior Court of Graham County in Arizona, will be on the ballot in a recall election on May 19, 2020. The recall effort against Woodman started in September 2019. Recall organizers cited high turnover, lack of institutional knowledge, and a court ruling that found Woodman was derelict in her duties as reasons for the circulation of petitions.

Woodman declined to comment on the recall effort, but Graham County Republican Party chairman John Duane Rhodes spoke in support of her. Rhodes said Woodman inherited a hostile work environment from her predecessor. He said he believed Woodman 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 for the Graham County Board of Supervisors to schedule a recall election. The deadline for candidates to submit nomination papers to run against Woodman in this election is March 23.

On October 11, 2019, Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel signed an order 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.

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.

Click here to learn more about Cindy Woodman’s recall election

Additional reading:
Graham County, Arizona
Recall campaigns in Arizona
Political recall efforts, 2020 
County official recalls 



San Diego will have new mayor and five new city council members following 2020 election

The city of San Diego, California, is set to welcome a new mayor and five new city council members following the 2020 election. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the District 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 members of the city council did not file to run for re-election in 2020. With nine total council seats, new members will outnumber those with experience on the council.

The mayor and five city council seats will be on San Diego’s general election ballot on November 3, 2020, along with an election for city attorney. A primary is scheduled for March 3. The two candidates who receive the most votes in each race’s primary will advance to the general election. The filing deadline for this election passed on December 6, 2019.

The election to replace Faulconer, who was first elected mayor of San Diego on February 11, 2014, includes six candidates. Two of those candidates—Barbara Bry and Scott Sherman—are current city council members, representing Districts 1 and 7, respectively. District 3 incumbent Christopher Ward is running for election to the California State Assembly to represent District 78. District 5 incumbent Mark Kersey could not file to run for re-election due to term limits, and District 9 incumbent Georgette Gomez is running for election to the U.S. House to represent California’s 53rd Congressional District. Between four and nine candidates are running for each open city council seat in the primary.

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott is the only city incumbent whose term is on the ballot this year who is running for re-election. She faces two challengers—Cory Briggs and Pete Mesich—in the primary.

Click here to read more.

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Indiana filing deadline is February 7

The major-party filing deadline to run for elected office in Indiana is on February 7, 2020. The filing deadline for independent and minor party candidates is June 30. In Indiana, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:

• U.S. House (9 seats)
• Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General
• State Senate (25 seats)
• State House (100 seats)
• Indiana Supreme Court (1 seat)
• Indiana Court of Appeals (6 seats)

• Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:
• Allen County
• Marion County
• Decatur Township Metropolitan School District
• East Allen County Schools
• Fort Wayne Community Schools
• Franklin Township Community School Corporation
• Indianapolis Public Schools
• Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township
• Metropolitan School District of Perry Township
• Metropolitan School District of Pike Township
• Metropolitan School District of Warren Township
• Metropolitan School District of Washington Township
• Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township
• Northwest Allen County Schools
• Southwest Allen County Metropolitan School District

The primary is scheduled for May 5, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Indiana’s statewide filing deadline is the 12th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on February 18 in Pennsylvania.

Indiana has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

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87 candidates file to run for 8 U.S. House seats in Maryland

On January 24, the major-party filing deadline passed to run for elected office in Maryland. A total of 87 candidates filed for Maryland’s eight seats in the U.S. House.

The Congressional District 7 seat is currently vacant due to the death of Elijah Cummings (D) on October 17, 2019. A special election to fill the seat is scheduled for April 28 with a primary on February 4. The seat is also on the regular election ballot with the other congressional districts on November 3 with a primary on April 28. Every incumbent filed to run for re-election in the other seven congressional districts.

Maryland’s statewide filing deadline was the 10th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. It was followed by West Virginia’s deadline on January 25. The next statewide filing deadline is on February 7 in Indiana.

Click here to learn more.

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One of six Wisconsin school districts covered by Ballotpedia to hold primary

The Madison Metropolitan School District is holding a primary for Seat 6 on the school board on February 18, 2020. Three candidates filed to run for the open seat, and the two who receive the most votes will move on to the April 7 general election. That ballot will also include races for Seat 2 and Seat 7, since only one and two candidates, respectively, filed to run for those seats.

Ballotpedia is covering five other school districts—DeForest, McFarland, Middleton-Cross Plains, Sun Prairie, and Verona—in Wisconsin in 2020. None of those school districts will hold February primaries since fewer than three candidates filed to run for each seat up for election this year. Among the five districts, 11 seats will be on the April general election ballot. Eight of those seats are unopposed.

All six school districts also held elections in 2019. That year, the Madison Metropolitan School District held primaries for all three seats. No other school districts held primaries. Among the six districts, a total of 29 candidates filed for the 19 seats on the ballot that year.

These six school districts served a combined total of 55,821 students during the 2014-2015 school year.

Click here to learn more.

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Maryland filing deadline is January 24

The major-party filing deadline to run for elected office in Maryland is on January 24, 2020. In Maryland, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:

U.S. House (8 seats)
Maryland Court of Appeals (2 seats)
Maryland Court of Special Appeals (5 seats)

The primary is scheduled for April 28, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Maryland’s statewide filing deadline is the 10th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on January 25 in West Virginia.

Maryland has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:
United States House of Representatives elections in Maryland, 2020
Maryland Court of Appeals
Maryland Court of Special Appeals
Signature requirements and deadlines for 2020 U.S. Congress elections



Kentucky filing deadline is January 10

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Kentucky is on January 10, 2020. In Kentucky, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:

• U.S. Senate
• U.S. House (six seats)
• State Senate (19 seats)
• State House (100 seats)
• State Supreme Court (1 seat)

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:
• Louisville and Lexington
• Fayette County Public Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools

The primary is scheduled for May 19, and the general election is scheduled for November 3.

Kentucky’s statewide filing deadline is on the same date as Mississippi; these are the eighth and ninth deadlines to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on January 24 in Maryland.

Kentucky has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:
United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2020
United States House of Representatives elections in Kentucky, 2020
Elections calendar
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates



Georgia school board recall effort makes it on to December ballot

A recall election seeking to remove Doris Black from her position on the Jackson-Madison County School System school board in Tennessee is scheduled for December 10, 2019. Black currently serves as the representative for District 4, Position 1. For the recall election to be successful, at least 66% of voters must vote in favor of the recall.
 
Black was targeted for recall along with District 2 representative Kevin Alexander due to allegations that they were too resistant to Superintendent Eric Jones and his plan for the district, according to district resident Robert Curlin. Alexander said that neither he nor Black had done anything unethical. Black said that she felt attacked by the recall effort against her.
 
Recall supporters had to collect approximately 1,151 signatures from residents of the school board’s District 4 to get Black’s recall on the ballot. That signature total was equal to 66% of the votes that Black received in the previous election. The recall effort against Alexander is still underway; petition signatures have not been submitted yet.
 
Residents of the district did not have the ability to recall board members legally until May 10, 2019, when House Bill 0983 was signed into law by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R).
 
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.
 


One of four Des Moines school board races contested this November

Five candidates filed to run in the November 5 general election for four of the seven seats on the Des Moines Public Schools school board in Iowa. The at-large, District 1, and District 3 seats are up for election to regular four-year terms, and the District 2 seat is up for special election to a two-year term due to an upcoming resignation on the board. The candidate filing deadline for this election passed on September 19.
 
The election for the District 1 seat is the only contested race on the ballot. In her bid for a second term on the board, incumbent Heather Anderson is facing challenger Kim Martorano. In the special election for the District 2 race, Kalyn Cody is running unopposed, and newcomer Kelli Soyer is running unopposed for the at-large seat. District 3 incumbent Dwana Bradley, who was appointed to the board in December 2018, is also unopposed in her bid for a full term on the board.
 
In 2017, the school district also had five candidates file to run for four seats on the board. Three of the four incumbents whose terms were up for election ran to retain their seats, and all three won re-election. The fourth seat was won by a newcomer, Kyrstin Delagardelle Shelley.
 
The Des Moines school district served 34,656 students during the 2016-2017 school year.
 


Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council recall election canceled 3 days before scheduled election date

A recall election seeking to remove Cedric Cromwell and Gordon Harris from their positions as chairman and treasurer of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council in Massachusetts, respectively, was scheduled to be held on September 15, 2019, but it was canceled three days prior to the election date. The tribe’s election committee canceled the recall election after the Wampanoag Supreme Court “declined to offer an advisory opinion requested by the tribal council,” according to The Mashpee Enterprise. Though it did not offer an advisory opinion, the court did release a document on August 22, 2019, saying that it found the recall petitions insufficient as presented.
 
The tribal council had asked the court if the recall petitions met the threshold for a recall election, and they also asked who had the authority to direct the election committee in such matters. “Based on language in that decision it was determined that the [recall] hearing would not take place,” Trish Keliinui, a member of the election committee and a communications manager with the tribe, said. Aaron Tobey Jr., a member of the tribal council and leader of the recall efforts, said the council meant “to stop the election even though it was the will of the people.”
 
Cromwell and Harris were targeted for recall along with vice chairwoman Jessie “Little Doe” Baird in April 2019. Recall supporters cited wrongful conduct, a debt of $500 million owed to the tribe’s financial backer, Baird staying in office after she offered her resignation in January 2019, and Harris missing council meetings in February and April as reasons for the recall effort. The petition against Baird was deemed insufficient by the tribe’s election committee, but the petitions against Cromwell and Harris were approved to move forward with a recall election. None of the three targeted tribal members responded to the recall efforts against them, and Cromwell and Harris did not respond about the cancelation of the recall elections.
 
If the recall elections had been held, recall supporters and recall opponents would have both been able to speak at a hearing prior to the recall votes. For results of the vote to stand, at least “40 percent of the total number of registered voters who voted in the preceding annual election,” would have had to vote in the recall election, according to the Cape Cod Times. To remove the officeholders from their positions, 60 percent of voters would have had to vote in favor of the recall.
 
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