Recall Election Date Set for April 14th
POSTED: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 6:20pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 6:45pm
EL PASO - After months of debate, the city's recall election date is still on the calendar for April 14th and it could cost the city up to $1.37 million.
"Let the games begin," Mayor John Cook said.
The opposing sides of the upcoming recall election have one thing in common.
"I'm gratified. That should have been a date established a long time ago," Pastor Tom Brown said.
They're both ready to get the recall election over with, but while city leaders voted to hold the election on April 14th, no one can be sure that will happen because the state hasn't set dates for our primary elections.
As we've reported pastor Tom Brown and his supporters are recalling Mayor Cook and El Paso Representatives Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega for overturning a vote that took away health benefits for domestic partners, they say their vote is priceless.
"Democracy is paid for by the blood of our soldiers and we're going to worry about $1.1 million. Democracy is costly," Brown said.
And Mayor Cook says he stands by what he did.
"It was very unfair that that ordinance stripped health care benefits from 119 people including retired police officers, fire fighters, foster children, grand children, step children, municipal judges. That ordinance was so unfair that I was surprised it ever passed," Cook said.
Besides the pending dates of the state primary elections, there is another factor, Mayor Cook filed a lawsuit against El Pasoans for Traditional Family Values claiming they collected signatures for the recall petition illegally.
A ruling could come down any day from the appeals court and potentially that too, could change the election date.
"If the appeals court decides to rule in favor of their friend John Cook then that provides a problem. Then city council may think well, we better not do April the 14th, but we will win it in the Texas Supreme Court," Brown said.
If the primary elections are moved to any date after April 24th the county elections department would be able to hold the recall election. That price tag would be $300,000 to $350,000.
City council could still decide to change the election date next week to May 12th.