Audrey Kader recall, La Crosse, Wisconsin (2013)
An effort to recall Audrey Kader from her position as president of the La Crosse Common Council in La Crosse, Wisconsin, was launched in September 2012. A recall primary took place on January 29, 2013. Kader won a majority of the vote in the nonpartisan recall primary, therefore retaining her position. Had Kader failed to win a majority of the vote in the recall primary, a general recall election would have taken place on February 26, 2013. A city council member since 1993, Kader previously served on the La Crosse School Board. As a member of the school board, Kader was one of only two incumbent board members to survive a recall election in 1992.
Reasons for recall
A group called the Restore La Crosse Committee organized the recall. Greg Luce, a tea party organizer, was involved with the recall effort. Recall organizers accused Kader of failing "to provide direction to the mayor.” The recall committee said Kader's lack of leadership prevented Mayor Matt Harter from making progress. Recall supporters faulted Kader for new trash rules, a new sign ordinance, and ending the Committee of the Whole. In response to the recall effort against her, Kader said she would not "roll over and play dead...There’s better things we should be doing with our time."
In October 2012, Kader changed her mind and voted to restore the Committee of the Whole. Recall organizer Greg Luce said, "I was sure she would. It’s one of the reasons why we have the recall against her, but it’s not the only one." In January 2013, Luce wrote that Kader's "collectivist agenda has burdened the taxpayers with excessive taxes, and businesses with unfair regulation."
Path to the ballot
Recall organizers had 60 days to gather 158 signatures of 11th District voters in La Crosse. In late September 2012, the recall committee announced that it had gathered the minimum number of signatures, plus almost 100 additional signatures as a buffer. Those signatures needed to be verified by the city in order for a recall election to take place. Recall organizers, who had until November 21 to submit signatures, said they would continue to collect signatures until the deadline to ensure that a recall election would take place.
On November 16, recall organizers submitted 252 signatures to city clerk Teri Lehrke. The city had 31 days to certify the petition, after which Kader had 10 days to challenge the validity of the signatures.
Of the 252 signatures submitted on the petition, Kader challenged the validity of 186 signatures. The city clerk had until December 17 to verify the signatures. Kader dropped the signature challenge, and sufficient signatures were verified to move forward with a recall election.
A recall primary took place on January 29, 2013. The top two vote-getters were slated to face off in the general recall election, scheduled for February 26, 2013. However, since Kader won a majority of the vote in the recall primary, Kader survived the recall attempt and eliminated the need for a general recall election. Kader won 73% of the vote in the recall primary. Two challengers ran against Kader: Gage Maurer, a 20-year old college student, and Jerome Gundersen, Jr., who ran unsuccessfully against Kader for a council seat in 2003.
|Council Member District 11|
|Gage M. Maurer.||26||9.81%|
|Jerome Gundersen, Jr||42||15.85%|
|Election results via: La Crosse County Clerk (Unofficial Summary)|
- La Crosse Tribune, "Kader says she's disgusted by recall attempt," September 24, 2012
- WKBT LaCrosse, "Kader runs away with recall; avoids general election," January 29, 2013
- WXOW, "A Look at Kader Recall Challengers," January 3, 2013
- La Crosse Tribune, "Our view: Kader recall effort is misguided," September 30, 2012
- WEAU, "City Council reconsidering Committee of the Whole," October 10, 2012
- La Crosse Tribune, "Greg Luce: Kader recall is necessary to fix city," January 11, 2012
- La Crosse Tribune, "Group: We have signatures for recall of council president," September 29, 2012
- La Crosse Tribune, "Petitions filed to recall council president Kader," November 16, 2012
- WXOW, "City Clerk reviewing Kader recall," December 5, 2012