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Dan Chin recall, Hanford, California (2011)

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An effort to recall Dan Chin from his position as mayor of Hanford, California, in Kings County was launched in August 2011.[1] In October 2011, Chin stepped down from his position as mayor, although he remained a council member. He cited injuries he sustained in an automobile accident as his reason for stepping down.[2] The recall effort was abandoned in November 2011.[3]

Chin was first elected to the Hanford City Council in 2000. He was re-elected with no opposition in 2004. In 2008, he was re-elected in a hotly-contested electoral battle against Mike Spicer, a retired California Highway Patrol officer. Chin's current term is set to end in 2012. In February 2012, Chin announced that he would not be seeking re-election.[4]

Reasons for recall

Supporters of the recall included Albert Cano. Cano is a police sergeant in Hanford. Cano filed the notice of intention to circulate a recall petition.

Justin Vallin, president of the Hanford police officers association, also supported the recall. He said, "He’s the dictator of the council. He’s not a leader — he’s dictating these decisions. ... We think there is a huge problem with Mr. Chin. He’s the one who has the most tenure, so the expectations are higher."[1]

Recall organizers accused Chin of wasteful spending and "abusing the trust of the public."[5]

In November 2011, the Hanford Sentinel reported that Chin had been the subject of a sexual harassment claim 13 years ago. Chin did not confirm or deny the allegations.[6]


Opponents of the recall included Gene Campbell, who administered a page on Facebook called the "Support Dan Chin City Councilperson."[7]

Campbell said, "I’m not supporting him just as a mayor — I’m supporting his entire public service career. He goes through great pains to do what he does. It’s not for money or fame. He does it to give back to the city of Hanford. Everything he does has been charitable work or public service."[7]

Path to the ballot

In early September, Hanford's city clerk Pam McCarthy rejected the petition text that supporters of the recall had submitted for pre-circulation clearance. She said that the text they submitted did not conform to the laws governing recall in California. McCarthy mentioned typographical errors, missing words and formatting issues in the reasons she gave for rejecting the draft petition.[8]

McCarthy said that rejecting the first draft of a recall petition is common: "In my experience, I’ve never had one be 100 percent correct the first time out, and I’ve had them returned as many as five times. This is a very difficult process. Generally, it’s conducted by citizens who don’t work for government. They don’t know the ins and outs in the world of regulations."[8]

McCarthy also denied the second and third attempts to approve the petition, citing punctuation errors.[5] Recall organizers say they will continue to submit the petition until it is approved.[5]

On November 4, McCarthy certified the recall petition. Recall organizers had a deadline of January 30, 2012 to collect 1,098 signatures from voters in Chin's district. If enough signatures were to have been collected, the recall question would have appeared on the June 5th, 2012 primary election ballot.[9]

On November 19, the recall effort was abandoned. Recall organizers said they wanted to focus their time and energy on supporting Mike Spicer, who recently announced he will run for city council in the regularly scheduled November 2012 election. In the 2008 race, Chin defeated Spicer with 51 percent of the vote to Spicer’s 38 percent. Chin has not yet announced whether he will run again.[3]

See also

External links


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