On Election Day, the recall wins

Even in an off-year, Tuesday’s recall contests from across the country flew mostly under the radar. But this Election Day was a good one for the recall with another two state legislators going down to defeat.

The most prominent of Tuesday’s recalls comes from Arizona where Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce—the author of the state’s controversial anti-immigration law—was ousted. The vote was 53 percent to 45 percent in favor of recall.  

In Michigan, a second Republican state legislator lost his seat in a recall—State Rep. Paul Scott. The margin there was much slimmer—Scott lost by just 232 votes, but said late Tuesday that he’s accepted defeat, according to the Associated Press.

Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at the Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform at Wagner College has a full recall roundup on his blog. By Spivak’s count, of the 26 elected officials across the country who faced recall votes Tuesday, 13 were booted from office.

In the September/October issue of C&E, Spivak penned a piece on the emerging recall boom, labeling 2011 “the year the recall broke out.” Tuesday certainly continued the trend. After more than a century in which just 20 state legislators across the country faced recalls, we had already seen more than half that number in 2011 alone prior to Tuesday’s votes.   

Elsewhere, the mayor of Superior, Ariz. lost a recall as did a member of the local school board in Salome, Ariz. In Jasper, Texas voters recalled two members of the city council in a controversial effort with racial overtones.

Among those who survived recall attempts—the mayor of Taylor, Mich. and four local officials in Genesee Township, Mich.


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