Mayoral recall effort underway in Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is facing a recall effort after she appeared on CNN to make the case that Las Vegas should be allowed to begin reopening during the coronavirus pandemic. Goodman said the city could be used as a control group for opening up a city after a shutdown.
The notice of intent to recall Goodman was filed by Doug Polk, who accused Goodman of failing to represent her constituency in a statement given after the petitions were filed. He said the recall effort was started over “her clear disregard for public health, but also in her support for the casino owners over the people of Las Vegas. Additionally, she is barely able to speak coherent sentences while discussing the subject matter. She is unfit to serve as the mayor of Las Vegas.”
Goodman responded to the recall effort. She said, “You know, this is America. That’s his choice. Everybody’s entitled to their own political opinions.”
Petitioners seeking to recall a public official in Nevada are required to collect valid signatures of at least 25 percent of the voter turnout in the election when the official most recently won their seat. Circulation of the recall petition must be completed within 90 days after registration. Following this, the Secretary of State determines whether or not the petition is sufficient based upon the county clerk or registrars’ certified results of the signature verification. The filing officer then issues a call for a special election in the jurisdiction represented by the officeholder being recalled between 10 and 20 days after the Secretary of State has given notification that the petition is sufficient, unless a court complaint has been filed. The special election must then be held within 30 days after the filing officer issues this call.
The notice of intent was filed on May 6. Petitioners have until August 4 to submit 6,745 valid signatures for the recall to move forward.
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.

Four of five trustees up for recall in Idaho library district

A recall election seeking to remove four of the five trustees of the Priest Lake Library District board in Idaho is on the ballot on May 19, 2020. Trustees Debbie Sudnikovich, Laurel Smith, Nancy Bushman, and Lori McReynolds were targeted for recall after they voted to fire library director Beverly Richmond in a 4-1 vote in September 2019.

Rosemary Yocum, leader of the recall effort and a former trustee of the library district board, said the trustees violated state law because they fired Richmond without cause. Yocum said Richmond was not an at-will employee and that the board broke statutes governing open meetings and executive sessions. The recall petition also said that the four trustees had treated district citizens in a condescending manner and had failed to fulfill their duties of office.

In her response to the recall, McReynolds said Richmond was an at-will employee. She said their decision was made with the best interest of the community in mind. Sudnikovich said the former library director had been under review since November 2018 prior to her being let go. She said improvements to employee morale and the library’s management and atmosphere reinforced that “the decision to terminate the former director was both reasonable and appropriate.”

The recall effort was initially approved for the March primary ballot, but it was taken off after an order from the district board did not get filed in time for that election. It was instead scheduled for May 19.

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.

Saleh appointed to Jersey City Council, replacing late councilman who died of COVID-19

Members of the Jersey City Council appointed Yousef Saleh to the council’s vacant Ward D seat on April 30 by a 6-2 vote. Saleh, a compliance and regulation officer at J.P. Morgan who ran for Jersey City’s Board of Education in 2017 and 2018, replaces the late councilman Michael Yun. Yun died of complications related to COVID-19 on April 6.

Saleh will serve on the council until a special election for the seat takes place on November 3. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Yun’s term, which expires in December 2021.

Council positions in Jersey City are officially nonpartisan, as is the mayoral position, though city officials are often affiliated with a political party. Ballotpedia covers municipal elections in the top 100 largest U.S. cities by population. In 2020, we’re covering local elections in 33 states and Washington, DC.

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Colorado sheriff recall approved for June ballot

A recall effort seeking to remove Lance FitzGerald from his position as Ouray County Sheriff in Colorado has been approved for the ballot. The recall election is being conducted by mail-in ballot. Voters will receive ballots by June 11, 2020, and must return them by 7 p.m. on June 30, 2020.

FitzGerald was targeted for recall after he was arrested on DUI allegations on November 27, 2019. The Ouray County Republican and Democratic parties created a recall committee together to lead the effort. The recall petition stated that county citizens did not have confidence that the sheriff could “uphold the duties and responsibilities of his elected position.” FitzGerald did not respond to the recall effort.

Recall supporters had 60 days to collect 768 signatures from eligible Ouray County voters. They submitted 1,082 petition signatures in March 2020. The county verified 914 of the signatures in April 2020, allowing the recall to move forward. FitzGerald had 15 days to file a protest against the recall petition. If he had, a hearing over the recall petition would have been held. Because he did not, the recall election was scheduled.

FitzGerald was sworn into office in January 2019. He ran as an unaffiliated candidate and defeated Republican Joel “BB” Burk by 11 votes in the 2018 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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Mayoral recall effort underway in Montana

An effort in Stevensville, Montana, to recall Mayor Brandon Dewey was initiated on March 30. Petitions were approved for circulation on April 7, giving recall organizers until July 6 to submit 251 valid signatures.

The recall effort is organized by resident Leanna Rodabaugh in response to Dewey signing a $79,800 contract with First Call Computer Solutions on behalf of the town. Petitions accuse Dewey of violating his oath of office because contracts of that size would normally require approval from the town council. Rodabaugh said that the way the contract was signed bypassed the competitive bid and contract award process.

Dewey responded to the recall effort and said, “If you strictly took state law and municipal ordinance, I think, yes, a case could be made that there was some impropriety. But that’s only true if you completely ignore the purchasing policy which the council adopted a number of years ago and has reviewed on a regular basis since delegating this authority to department heads and the mayor.”

In a town council meeting after the contract was signed, Stevensville Town Attorney Scott Owens stated that Dewey did nothing illegal because, while an agreement had been signed by the mayor for an amount of money that usually would require council approval, the money had been included in the budget that the council approved and was only being paid out incrementally. Owens said that Dewey’s actions were close to illegality but did not cross the line.

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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Fort Worth Mayor self-quarantines after possible exposure to coronavirus

On April 20, 2020, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price announced her decision to self-quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. She said she getting tested and had not experienced any symptoms.

Ballotpedia tracks politicians and government officials who have been diagnosed or tested for coronavirus, or become quarantined.

Price is one of at least 24 local officials who have quarantined as a result of coronavirus.

As of April 21, we have tracked:
• 6 federal officials diagnosed with coronavirus, and 38 federal officials quarantined.
• 28 state officials diagnosed with coronavirus, and 66 state officials quarantined.
• 11 local officials diagnosed with coronavirus, and 24 local officials quarantined.

Beshear appoints judge to Fayette County District Court

Kentucky Gov Andy Beshear (D) appointed prior Fayette County commonwealth’s attorney Melissa Moore Murphy to serve on the Fayette County District Court on April 16. Murphy was a candidate for the vacant seat on the Fayette County Court created by Judge Julie Goodman’s appointment to the Fayette County Circuit Court.

Murphy has served as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, assistant McCracken County commonwealth’s attorney, and as an attorney with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s law department. In 2018, Murphy ran for a seat on Kentucky’s 22nd District Court. She was defeated by John Tackett.

Murphy will be sworn into office and assume her place on the Fayette County district court bench on April 24, 2020. She will serve the remainder of Goodman’s term set to end at the end of the year. Murphy will need to run for re-election for her seat in Kentucky’s November election. She is currently the only candidate running for the district court’s fourth division seat.

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Filing deadline for St. Louis special elections is April 20

St. Louis, Missouri, is holding special elections for two of the city’s 29 board of aldermen seats on May 19, 2020. The filing deadline is April 20. Winners of the special elections will serve until the next regularly-scheduled general election on April 6, 2021. The two seats are up for special election due to the resignation of one board member and the death of another.

The Ward 4 seat was previously held by Democrat Samuel Moore. He was first elected to the seat in 2007 and held it until his death on February 25, 2020. When Moore was last up for election in 2019, he defeated three challengers in the Democratic primary with 53.5% of the vote. He won the general election unopposed.

The Ward 12 seat was previously held by Democrat Larry Arnowitz. He was first elected to the seat in 2011 and held it until his resignation on March 3, 2020. When Arnowitz was last up for election in 2019, he defeated two challengers in the Democratic primary with 74.3% of the vote. He went on to win the general election unopposed.

St. Louis is the second-largest city in Missouri and the 57th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

Wisconsin local spring election results published April 13

Although Wisconsin held spring elections for municipal, county, and judicial offices on April 7, results from those elections were not released until April 13 due to court orders made regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Ballotpedia covered 86 seats across the nonpartisan general elections in Madison, Milwaukee, Dane County, and Milwaukee County.

Milwaukee held elections for mayor, city attorney, city comptroller, city treasurer, and all 15 common council members. According to unofficial results, Mayor Tom Barrett won re-election with 62.5% of the vote, and City Treasurer Spencer Coggs won re-election with 66.8% of the vote. The city comptroller seat was open and saw Aycha Sawa defeat Jason Fields with 50.4% of the vote. City Attorney Grant Langley was defeated by challenger Tearman Spencer, receiving 38.6% of the vote to Spencer’s 61.1%. Thirteen common council members were on the general election ballot. Eight faced challengers, and none were defeated.

Madison held a special election for the District 8 alderperson after Avra Reddy resigned from the Common Council on September 30, 2019. Max Prestigiacomo was the only candidate to file for the seat and won without opposition.

Dane County held elections for all 37 county board supervisors and a circuit court judgeship. Twenty-six supervisors sought re-election. Two incumbents were opposed on the general ballot, and neither lost their bids for re-election. Dane County Circuit Court Judge William Hanrahan was unopposed for re-election.

Milwaukee County held elections for county executive, county comptroller, all 18 county board supervisors, and eight circuit court judgeships. The county executive seat was open and saw State Rep. David Crowley (D) defeat State Sen. Chris Larson (D) with 51.8% of the vote. County Comptroller Scott Manske won re-election without opposition. Thirteen county board supervisors were on the general election ballot, and all were unopposed in their bids for re-election. All eight circuit court judges sought re-election. Two judges faced challengers and both were defeated. Judge Paul Dedinsky lost with 41.2% of the vote, and Judge Daniel Gabler lost with 29.1% of the vote.

Milwaukee County and Milwaukee Public Schools voters also decided local ballot measures: a nonbinding advisory question concerning statewide redistricting and a revenue limit increase measure.

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Incumbent Spencer Coggs defeats Brandon Methu in Milwaukee City Treasurer race

Spencer Coggs defeated Brandon Methu in the general election for city treasurer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 7. According to unofficial results released April 13, Coggs received 66.8% of the vote to Methu’s 32.9%.

Coggs was first elected city treasurer in 2012. He was a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Senate representing District 6 from 2003 to 2013. He also served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1982 to 2002.

Methu founded OpportunityCrowd, a real estate investment platform, and worked at a commercial real estate firm in Milwaukee. He has also served as a member of Milwaukee’s Board of Review since 2018. The board is appointed by the mayor and is responsible for correcting property assessment errors

The City of Milwaukee describes the city treasurer as the “chief revenue collection and investment officer.” The position includes responsibilities such as making vouchered disbursements, collecting property taxes within the city, and managing certain city funds.