Prescott mayoral recall effort eyes November election; if recall petitions are successful, others can go through process to be on ballot

With months of state-mandated requirements still ahead of it, a recall election of Prescott Mayor Phil Goode — if petitions are successful — appears likely to land on the general election in November 2024.

Since Nov. 27, 2023, when a group of four local residents filed the required paperwork at Prescott City Hall to begin a recall effort in an attempt to oust Goode as Prescott’s mayor, a schedule that is set by state statute has been underway.

And, based on the steps that still need to be taken, Prescott City Clerk Sarah Siep said an election is unlikely by the next state-designated date for an election, which would be the primary on July 30.

Rather, Siep said the more likely date for a recall election would be Nov. 5, 2024, when the general election takes place.

Siep explained that the next step for the recall effort would be the filing of recall petitions. “They have 120 days, beginning when they filed the application for a serial number,” she said, noting that the deadline for filing is March 26, 2024.

Stan Goligoski, one of the four recall organizers, reported on Thursday, Feb. 29, that the recall group is still collecting signatures and has about 3,000 signatures to date. The group must collect at least 3,248 signatures (based on 25% of all votes cast in the last election for mayor) from registered Prescott voters in order to get the recall on the ballot.

Goligoski said the group plans to file its petitions near the March 26 deadline.

Once the recall petitions are filed, Siep said her office has 10 days to complete a signature review of the petitions, after which the Yavapai County Recorder’s Office has 60 days to verify the signatures.

“If there are adequate signatures,” Siep said, her office would have five days to determine if the total signature requirement has been met, and then notify the filer. Then, the city clerk would have two days to notify the official (Goode) of the recall, and he would have another five days to decide whether to resign.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s website states that if the official opts to resign, the “office is appointed according to law.” If the official decides not to resign, the City Clerk would then have 15 days to call an election, which must be at least 90 days in the future.

Meanwhile, state law states that the recalled official would be placed on the recall ballot automatically (unless the officer otherwise requests in writing).

The statute adds, “Other candidates for the office may be nominated to be voted upon at the election and shall be placed upon the official recall ballot after filing a nomination petition that is signed by a number of qualified electors (registered voters) that is equal to at least 2% of the total votes cast for all candidates for that office in the last election for the office.”

That means that other candidates who are interested in running in the mayoral recall can begin collecting signatures once the election is officially called, Siep said.

Goligoski, who said at the start of the recall that he was interested in running against Goode, would be required to begin a new round of signature-gathering, as would other candidates who are interested in running. Goligoski said on Thursday that he intends to take that step.

Although Siep said the schedule for the recall election would “depend upon the timing of everything else,” she said it was unlikely that all of the steps could be completed in time to get the recall on the July 2024 ballot.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or cbarks@prescottaz.com.


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