A recall effort in Sugar City, Idaho, was defeated on March 12, 2019. Mayor David Ogden and Councilman Brent Barrus were retained with 62.1 and 63.8 percent of the vote, respectively. The effort was initiated in September 2018 and required 167 signatures to get on the ballot.
The recall effort began in response to development plans in Division Three of Old Farm Estates, where some residents were worried that the developers were planning to add apartments. Supporters of the recall effort said this would go against the city’s comprehensive plan to add more single-family homes. Catherine Nielson, who initiated the recall, stated, “The Mayor and Barrus violated the comprehensive plan and pushed through their own agenda at the expense of residents of Sugar City.“
Ogden and Barrus both responded to the recall effort. Ogden said, “I understand why they want to do the recall, but I’m also hoping that the citizens will give me the chance to finish off the year of 2019.” Barrus said, “Our town needs healing and forgiving, instead of more division and contention. They seek to silence many of you by removing Mayor Ogden and me from office.”
Former Phoenix City Council member Kate Gallego defeated Daniel Valenzuela in the nonpartisan mayoral runoff election in Phoenix, Arizona. She led Valenzuela with over 58 percent of the votes according to early returns.
Public safety and sports facility funding were critical issues in the final weeks of the race, with satellite groups Revitalize Arizona and Moving Phoenix Forward releasing negative ads against Valenzuela and Gallego, respectively.
Gallego said her top three priorities in office would be public safety, infrastructure investments, and job growth. She said she had a proven track record on infrastructure issues, pointing to her work on the campaign to pass Proposition 104, an infrastructure measure seeking to bring $31.5 billion of infrastructure investment over the next 35 years through a transportation sales tax increase.
She is the first woman elected to the office in more than three decades.
The election was called after former Mayor Greg Stanton resigned his seat in 2018 to run for Congress. Gallego will serve the remainder of Stanton’s term until 2021.
Fourteen candidates filed to run in the June 4 general election for Riverside City Council in California. The Ward 1, 3, 5, and 7 seats are on the ballot. The filing deadline was March 8.
Ward 1 incumbent Mike Gardner filed to run for another term and faces two challengers. The races for the open Ward 5 and 7 seats each have three candidates, and the open Ward 3 race has five candidates.
When city council elections were last held in 2017, the Ward 2, 4, and 6 seats were on the ballot. All three incumbents who held those seats ran for re-election, and two of them won new terms. In 2015, three of the four incumbents whose seats were on the ballot ran for re-election, and all three won new terms. Two of those incumbents were re-elected without facing opposition.
Riverside is the 12th-largest city in California and the 58th-largest city in the U.S. by population.