State senator closer to recall as two other petitions near deadlines

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From left are state Sens. Joyce Woodhouse, Nicole Cannizzaro and Patricia Farley.

Tue, Nov 7, 2017 (2 a.m.)

One of three recall efforts targeting Nevada state senators is moving forward.

The Secretary of State’s Office confirmed Saturday that the recall petition for Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, had enough signatures to qualify for a special election.

Two other petition drives are in their final days to submit signatures to recall Sens. Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, and Patricia Farley, I-Las Vegas, a former Republican who caucused with Democrats this year.

The Woodhouse recall committee’s paperwork lists former Assemblyman Stephen Silberkraus as the president of the effort and suggests Carrie Buck as Woodhouse’s replacement, with her nomination filing due at least 20 days before the special election.

In a tight race in 2016, Woodhouse defeated Buck for a four-year term.

A county spokesman said that to his knowledge, no nominating petition paperwork has been filed for Buck. She needs signatures from 25 percent of the district’s residents who voted in Woodhouse’s election.

Woodhouse and Silberkraus did not respond to requests for comment Monday. Buck said in a text message Monday that she was unavailable to talk. She did not answer whether her nominating petition has been filed.

The recall would be put on hold if the sufficiency of the petition is challenged in District Court on or before Monday. A lawsuit has also been filed against the recalls in federal court, saying these elections would violate the Voting Rights Act. A motion filed in that case on Monday seeks to pause the recall process before Nov. 30.

“Nevada’s recall laws are being used to upend the results of legitimate democratic elections in pursuit of partisan political advantage — allowing Republicans to regain control of the state Senate through a special recall election that is certain to involve a smaller, whiter, and wealthier electorate,” the motion says.

“This fight is just getting started, and the process to determine whether there will be a costly and unnecessary special election in Senate District 5 is far from over,” said a Nov. 3 statement from the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus. “From Day One, our caucus has said clearly that we will push back on this baseless recall effort with every legal argument and political tool at our disposal.”

The Secretary of State’s Office notified the county on Friday that the Woodhouse recall petition qualified. Monday marks the first of at least 10 days and no more than 20 for the county to call for an election that would have to take place within 30 days of the announcement.

A recall election in Woodhouse’s district has an estimated cost of more than $50,000.

The committee to recall Farley, who is not running for re-election for family reasons, has until Thursday to submit signatures. The Cannizzaro recall committee’s deadline is Nov. 14. Estimates say both of those recall elections would cost more than $51,000 apiece.

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