Mayoral recall petitions in Houston, Alaska miss a beat

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May 16, 2010

HOUSTON, Alaska: A clerical error in the petitions that were circulated to force a recall election of Roger Purcell means that even if voters turn Purcell out of the mayor's seat, he will still be seated on the Houston City Council.

Houston City Clerk Steve Cunningham says he is responsible for the clerical error.[1]

Mayors in Houston are first elected to the city council and then chosen by their fellow city council members to be mayor. Thus, it is possible to remove a person from the position of "mayor" and not simultaneously recall that person from his or her position on the city council. In order to recall Purcell from both the mayoral seat and his position on the city council, the petitions would have had to mention both positions, according to the current understanding of the situation from area election officials.

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