PHOENIX -- Four Maricopa County supervisors won’t face recall elections after a campaign to oust them failed to collect enough signatures.
A grassroots conservative group called We the People AZ Alliance took out recall petitions on Dec. 30 against four of the five supervisors: Republicans Bill Gates, Clint Hickman and Jack Sellers, and Democrat Steve Gallardo. Thursday was the deadline to submit the signatures needed to trigger recall elections against the supervisors, and the campaign didn’t file any petitions with county elections officials.
The group is also trying to recall the fifth supervisor, Republican Steve Chucri, though it began that campaign in February, so the deadline isn’t until June 12. Recall campaigns have four months to collect signatures.
We the People AZ Alliance launched its recall campaigns after Gallardo, Gates, Hickman and Sellers voted to go to court and fight subpoenas that the state Senate issued demanding ballots, tabulation machines and other materials from the 2020 general election in Maricopa County for the purposes of conducting an audit of the election. Chucri was the only member of the board who voted against the litigation. The Senate ultimately won the lawsuit and began its audit on April 23.
The audit committee’s website also says it targeted the supervisors because they “failed to represent our rights through unconstitutional lock down orders and mask mandates.” All five supervisors voted in June to impose a face mask mandate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Forcing a recall election is a difficult task. Campaigns must collect enough valid signatures to equal 25% of the votes cast for the last election for that office. For the supervisors, that number ranged from 49,570 in Gallardo’s district to 110,110 in Hickman’s district.
We the People AZ Alliance is also attempting to recall Gov. Doug Ducey, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and state Sen. Paul Boyer. The deadline for it to submit petitions in those campaigns is June 11.
A spokeswoman for We the People AZ Alliance could not be reached for comment.
Jeremy Duda is associate editor of the Arizona Mirror, a non-profit Arizona news organization.