Geraldine Sam recall, La Marque, Texas (2011)
On May 19, 2011 Geraldine Sam stepped down from her position as mayor. Sam oversaw her final council meeting and read from the resolution which formally removed her from office: "It is therefore hereby declared that Geraldine Sam, the mayor of the city of La Marque, is hereby removed from office." Bobby Hocking was elected as the new mayor in a June 2011 special election.
According to the rule set forth in the city's charter, a special election must be held to fill the mayor's position within 120 days of the vacancy.
La Marque pastor and real estate broker Bobby Hocking was elected to replace Sam in a special election held on June 25, 2011.
A recall election was scheduled for May 14th, 2011. Early voting for the recall election began on Monday May 2nd and ended on Tuesday May 10th.
|Geraldine Sam, Mayor|
The recall effort was launched in December 2010, barely two months after two city council (Larry Mann and Deanie Barrett) members were recalled from the La Marque City Council. On January 11, 2011, recall organizers submitted 1,019 signatures to force a recall of Mayor Sam.
La Marque's city clerk confirmed on January 22, 2011 that enough signatures had been verified for the recall. Only 490 verified signatures were required, and the clerk stated she quit counting at 602 of the 1000 submitted signatures.
After obtaining the required signatures to force a recall, La Marque's city council did not meet to schedule the election as required by the city's charter. Recall organizers filed a lawsuit on February 7, 2011 to force the council to meet and schedule the election.
On February 15, 2011 District 56 Judge Lonnie Cox ordered the La Marque city council to meet and schedule the recall election. Cox ordered "“The city council of La Marque (shall) meet no later than (Thursday) for the sole duty to schedule a recall election on May 14. No other issues may be on the agenda for that meeting, except the possible scheduling of a general election."
Following Judge Cox's ruling, the La Marque city council met on February 17, 2011 and ordered a special election on May 14th to fill two council seats and put the mayor up for recall.
Geraldine Sam claims that racism is at the heart of the recall effort, and that she is being recalled because she is African American. Sam says she has received racially motivated death threats since taking office. Sam also claims that the recall was initiated after she began looking into the city's finances. Recall leaders say the effort is not about Sam's race, but her incompetence.
- [http://galvestondailynews.com/story/232462 Galveston Daily News, " La Marque mayor quietly steps down after recall" May 20, 2011]
- Galveston Daily News, "Hocking is elected La Marque mayor," June 26, 2011
- Galveston Daily News, "La Marque afoul of law," May 11, 2011
- [http://galvestondailynews.com/story/240722 The Galveston Daily News," " Hocking is elected La Marque mayor" June 26, 2011]
- CBS News, Dallas, "Early Voting Begins For May 14 Texas Elections," May 2, 2011
- Galveston Daily News, "Recall of Sam requires a special election," May 15, 2011
- Galveston Daily, "Sam changes mind on election-only meeting pledge," December 15, 2011
- The Galveston County Daily News, "Mayor Sam will face recall," January 22, 2011
- http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7418172.html The Houston Chronicle, "Lawsuit targets La Marque City Council," February 8, 2011
- The Galveston County Daily News, "Judge orders council to meet," February 15, 2011
- The Houston Chronicle, "La Marque Council sets recall election," February 17, 2011
- My Fox Houston, "Officials: Recalls Fueled by Racism," March 15, 2011
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