John Cook recall, El Paso, Texas (2012)

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An effort to recall John Cook from his position as mayor of El Paso, Texas was launched in April 2012. The recall effort was abandoned in June 2012 after recall supporters failed to submit sufficient signatures.[1] This was the second attempt to recall Cook. The earlier recall effort was thrown out in court.[2]

Reasons for recall

Michael Hayes organized the recall effort. The reason for the latest recall effort was the same as it was in the first attempt at recall, which was initiated after the El Paso city council voted to return health benefits to the unmarried partners of homosexual city employees. A May 2011 voter-approved ordinance had stripped these groups of their benefits, while also inadvertently taking benefits away from a number of unintended groups such as retirees. The mayor and council overturned this voter-approved ordinance.[2]

Haynes said, "no matter how people feel about the referendum that overturned the domestic partner benefits, it was done legally and in accordance with the city charter. It was also upheld by a judge on appeal. If the Mayor and four City Council members can disregard the vote of the citizens of El Paso once, the question has to be asked, 'what will they do next?'"[2]

In response to the recall effort against him, Cook said, "if it comes time for me to have to defend my record since 1999 in order to avoid being kicked out of office, I’m going to put my humility aside and blow my own horn."[3] Cook says, "I stand to lose my job over this, but I had to stand up for what was right." He is asking his supporters to help him pay off the $310,000 in legal fees he has incurred over the recall battle.[4]

Path to the ballot

Recall supporters had 60 days from the date of filing to submit the 6,121 signatures necessary to force a recall election.[2] The signature submission deadline was June 4. The recall effort came to an end when the submission deadline passed without recall organizers turning in any signatures.[1]

See also