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Abbey Smith

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

Recall election for metropolitan district board in Colorado to be held June 29

A recall election seeking to remove three members of the Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District No. 2 board in Colorado is being held on June 29. Members John V. Hill, Anna Maria Ray, and David Garton Jr. are on the ballot.

When listing their reasons, recall supporters said that the district was in payment default for bond debt and that the board “contracted with its own developer-management entity which has failed to satisfactorily maintain the non-potable water system for irrigation.” They also said there were numerous conflicts of interest.

In response to the recall effort, Hill said the Great Recession hit the development hard. He said that the district was in default for bond debt because the development was only half-built. Because of that, property tax revenue to pay off the bond was only half of what it was meant to be and could not cover the bond payments. 

Recall supporters had until Feb. 25 to collect 300 signatures in the district to get the recall on the ballot. They collected 378 signatures.

At the time the recall effort started, the board had four members—Hill, Ray, Garton, and Scott Green—and one vacant seat. Green resigned from the board in February 2021. The remaining board members appointed Erin Gallimore and Nicholas Viau—both members of the recall committee—to the vacant seats.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 231 recall efforts against 289 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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Ballotpedia’s Mid-Year Recall Report (2021)

Recall campaigns in Colorado

Political recall efforts, 2021

Special district recalls



Ballotpedia’s mid-year recall report shows school board recalls on the rise

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.

For the first time since 2015, school board members drew more recall petitions than any other group. A total of 48% of officials who faced recall campaigns in the first half of 2021 were school board members. City council members—the officials who drew the most efforts from 2016 to 2020—accounted for 25% of officials. Between June 2016 and June 2020, school board members accounted for 15% to 27% of officials named in recall efforts.

For the fifth time in the past six years, California had the most officials facing recall efforts of any state with 78. However, Alaska had the most recalls per 100,000 residents with 0.55. By that metric, California had the 10th-most recalls with 0.11 per 100,000 residents.

Last year, Ballotpedia began tracking recalls related to the coronavirus and government responses to it. As of this report’s publication, 77 such recall efforts had been tracked throughout 2020 and 2021.

In this report, Ballotpedia also highlighted five noteworthy recalls: the effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), the two efforts against Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem (R), the effort against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, the two efforts against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and the effort against six of the nine school board members in the Loudoun County school district in Virginia.

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Voters reelect mayor and 5 of 7 city council members in Jackson, Miss.

The city of Jackson, Miss., held a general election for mayor and all seven seats on the city council on June 8. A primary was held on April 6, and a primary runoff was held on April 27. The filing deadline for this election was Feb. 6.

Democratic Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba won re-election with 69.3% of the vote in the general election, defeating Republican candidate Jason Wells and independent candidates Les Tannehill, Charlotte Reeves, and Shafeqah Lodree. Antar Lumumba first took office in 2017.

In the city council elections, Ward 1 incumbent Ashby Foote (R) and Ward 2 incumbent Angelique Charbonet Lee (D) won re-election after running unopposed. Ward 3 incumbent Kenneth Stokes (D), Ward 6 incumbent Aaron Banks (D), and Ward 7 incumbent Virgi Lindsay (D) won re-election after defeating one opponent. 

Democratic newcomers Brian Grizzell and Vernon Hartley won election to the Ward 4 and 5 seats, respectively, after running unopposed in the general election. Grizzell and Hartley advanced from both the primary and primary runoff. Hartley defeated incumbent Charles Tillman (D) in the Ward 5 primary runoff, while Grizzell defeated Jacqueline Amos (D) in the Ward 4 primary runoff. Ward 4 was an open seat after incumbent De’Keither Stamps (D) decided not to run for re-election.

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Recall effort against supervisors in Shasta County, California, approved to circulate petitions

An effort to recall three of the five members of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors in California has been approved to circulate petitions. District 1 representative Joe Chimenti, District 2 representative Leonard Moty, and District 3 representative Mary Rickert were named in the notices of intent to recall. Recall supporters have until Sept. 29 to collect more than 4,000 petition signatures per member to get the recall on the ballot.

Recall supporters said the county supervisors betrayed the public trust, did not defend the county from state government overreach in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and irresponsibly handled county finances.

Chimenti defended the board’s actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and stated, “Unlike many other counties around California, this board has never enacted any ordinance and we have never burdened law enforcement with enforcement responsibilities pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Recall supporters submitted notices of intent to recall on April 30. After the notices and petitions were approved, supporters were given 120 days to collect signatures equal to 20% of registered voters in each district the supervisors represent. The petition against Chimenti needs 4,392 signatures, the petition against Moty needs 4,308 signatures, and the petition against Rickert needs 4,432 signatures.

Moty and Rickert were both re-elected to four-year terms on the board in Nov. 2020. Moty received 51% of the vote, defeating two challengers, and Rickert won re-election unopposed. Moty was first elected to the board in 2008, and Rickert was first elected to the board in 2016. Chimenti was first elected to a four-year term on the board in 2018, defeating incumbent David Kehoe with 55% of the vote.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 279 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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Recall election for Sonoma County district attorney scheduled for Sept. 14

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in California voted on May 25 to schedule the recall election against District Attorney Jill Ravitch for Sept. 14. The candidate filing deadline is July 1.

The recall effort began in October 2020. Recall supporters said Ravitch had ignored issues of inequality, injustice, and fire safety; failed to hold corporations accountable for environmental issues; prevented the release of police body camera recordings; disproportionately incarcerated minorities; and abused her powers to pursue personal vendettas.

In response to the recall effort, Ravitch defended her record and said, “I’m so proud of the work the District Attorney’s Office does, and it’s such an honor to lead a dedicated group of professionals who work hard every day to ensure justice. […] These allegations strike not just at me but the work my office does, and that’s unfortunate.” The Sonoma County Democratic Party published a statement on March 9 saying it was opposed to the recall effort.

Ravitch took office as district attorney in 2011. Prior to the filing of the notice of intent to recall, Ravitch had announced that she would not seek re-election when her term ends in 2022.

To get the recall on the ballot, recall supporters had to submit 30,056 signatures in 160 days. The county verified 32,128 signatures, which was sufficient to schedule a recall election.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 279 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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Recall effort against Los Angeles District Attorney approved to circulate petitions

An effort to recall George Gascón from his position as the Los Angeles County District Attorney in California has been approved to circulate petitions. To get the recall on the ballot, supporters must collect 579,062 signatures from registered voters in the county by October 27.

The notice of intent to recall said Gascón had abandoned crime victims and their families, disregarded the rule of law, weakened sentencing requirements for violent crimes, and reduced sentences on hate, gun, and gang crimes.

Gascón was elected to a four-year term on Nov. 3, defeating incumbent Jackie Lacey with 53.5% of the vote. He campaigned on policies of “not seeking the death penalty; not prosecuting juveniles as adults; ending cash bail for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies; and no longer filing enhancements that trigger stiffer sentences for certain elements of crimes, repeat offenses or being a gang member,” according to KTLA 5. Gascón said the opponents of his policies were fearmongers. “They continue to follow the playbook of the ‘80s and ’90s,” Gascón said. “It’s a simple message, right? Scare the heck out of people, and hopefully that will work for you.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced his support of the recall. Fourteen cities in Los Angeles County had passed votes of no confidence in Gascón as of May 20, 2021.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 279 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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Recall elections defeated in 2 Idaho school districts

Two Idaho school districts held recall elections for school board members on May 18. In Idaho Falls School District 91, voters were asked if they wanted to recall Zone 3 representative Lara Hill, and in the Nampa School District, they were asked if they wanted to recall Zone 4 representative Kim Rost. Both recall efforts were defeated.

In order for recalls to be approved in Idaho, a majority of voters must cast ballots in favor. The total number of votes cast in favor of recall must also be higher than the number of votes cast for the official in his or her last election. In Nampa, a majority of voters cast ballots in favor of recalling Hill, but they did not meet the 591-vote threshold to remove her from office. In Idaho Falls, a majority of voters cast ballots against the recall.

The effort to recall Hill began after the Idaho Falls board of trustees voted 3-2 on Sept. 30 to move high schools in the district from in-person instruction to a mixture of in-person and online instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Superintendent George Boland said the goal was to reduce the number of coronavirus cases and related quarantines and absences at the high schools. Hill voted in favor along with Elizabeth Cogliati and Hillary Radcliffe. 

Recall supporters also attempted to remove Cogliati and Radcliffe. The effort against Radcliffe did not collect enough signatures to put the recall on the ballot. The effort against Cogliati was on the ballot on March 9. A majority of voters cast ballots against the recall, defeating the effort.

Supporters of the effort to recall Rost said she was not representing the majority of her constituents in the Nampa School District and had demonstrated a lack of leadership. Rost said her volunteer service for the district had been unwavering for 16 years and that transparency and accountability had been at the forefront of her goals as a trustee. 

A separate recall effort was on the ballot in the Nampa School District on March 9. The recall asked whether voters wanted to remove Zone 2 representative Mike Kipp from office. A majority of voters cast ballots against the recall, defeating the effort.

Hill was first appointed to the five-member Idaho Falls board of trustees in September 2018 and was later elected in November 2019. Rost was elected to a four-year term on the five-member Nampa board of trustees on May 16, 2017.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 279 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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Voters in two Idaho school districts to decide recall elections on May 18

Two Idaho school districts are holding recall elections for two school board members on May 18. In Idaho Falls School District 91, voters will be asked if they want to recall Zone 3 representative Lara Hill, and in the Nampa School District, they will be asked if they want to recall Zone 4 representative Kim Rost.

In order for recalls to be approved in Idaho, a majority of voters must cast ballots in favor. The total number of votes cast in favor of recall must also be higher than the number of votes cast for the official in his or her last election.

The effort to recall Hill began after the Idaho Falls board of trustees voted 3-2 on Sept. 30 to move high schools in the district from in-person instruction to a mixture of in-person and online instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Superintendent George Boland said the goal was to reduce the number of coronavirus cases and related quarantines and absences at the high schools. Hill voted in favor along with Elizabeth Cogliati and Hillary Radcliffe.

Recall supporters also attempted to remove Cogliati and Radcliffe. The effort against Radcliffe did not collect enough signatures to put the recall on the ballot. The effort against Cogliati was on the ballot on March 9. A majority of voters cast ballots against the recall, defeating the effort.

Supporters of the effort to recall Rost said she was not representing the majority of her constituents in the Nampa School District and had demonstrated a lack of leadership. Rost said her volunteer service for the district had been unwavering for 16 years and that transparency and accountability had been at the forefront of her goals as a trustee. 

A separate recall effort was on the ballot in the Nampa School District on March 9. The recall asked whether voters wanted to remove Zone 2 representative Mike Kipp from office. A majority of voters cast ballots against the recall, defeating the effort.

Hill was first appointed to the five-member Idaho Falls board of trustees in September 2018 and was later elected in November 2019. Rost was elected to a four-year term on the five-member Nampa board of trustees on May 16, 2017.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 279 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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Incumbents sweep school board election in Lincoln, Nebraska

Four incumbents were re-elected to the Lincoln Public Schools school board in Nebraska in the nonpartisan general election on May 4. Kathy Danek (District 1), Barbara Beier (District 3), Lanny Boswell (District 5), and Don Mayhew (District 7) each won new four-year terms on the seven-member board.

Baier and Boswell ran unopposed in the general election as well as in the primary that was held on April 6. Danek advanced from the primary alongside opponent Christina Campbell and won the general election with 56% of the vote. Mayhew advanced from the primary alongside opponent Michael Patestas and won the general election with 60% of the vote.

The city of Lincoln, Nebraska, also held nonpartisan general elections on May 4 for three at-large seats on the city council and two at-large seats on the Lincoln Airport Authority. Six candidates, including three incumbents, competed for the city council seats. All six advanced from the April 6 primary after defeating four other candidates. Incumbents Sändra Washington and Bennie Shobe were re-elected to the city council in the general election, and newcomer Tom Beckius won his first term on the board. John Olsson and Nicki Behmer won the airport authority seats.

Lincoln Public Schools served 41,737 students during the 2017-2018 school year. Lincoln is the second-largest city in Nebraska and the 71st-largest city in the U.S. by population.

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Petition signatures submitted for Washington sheriff recall

An effort to recall Jerry Hatcher from his position as Benton County Sheriff in Washington submitted signatures on April 23. If the Benton County Auditor verifies at least 13,937 of the signatures, a recall election will be scheduled.

The recall effort began in July 2020 and was led by the Benton County Sheriff’s Guild. Members of the guild said Hatcher had performed his duties in an improper manner, committed illegal acts, and violated his oath of office. Hatcher said the guild was refusing to hold deputies accountable. He said the guild would not let him take disciplinary action against employees who committed wrongdoing. Hatcher first took office in May 2017.

Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge Scott Wolfram approved the recall petition on Aug. 20. Hatcher filed an appeal against that decision with the Washington Supreme Court. The supreme court ruled against Hatcher on Nov. 6, allowing the recall effort to move forward and begin collecting signatures. Recall supporters had six months to collect signatures equal to 25% of the votes cast in the last sheriff election.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 279 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

Additional reading: