New Recall Effort To Remove Mayor Filed

Recall Leader Cites Overturning Of Voter Referendum On Health Coverage As Reason

EL PASO, Texas - The mayor is facing yet another recall effort, only 13 months before John Cook leaves office.

Michael Hayes is the man behind the effort. He launched a blog, posting his first entry Tuesday. Hayes, an Army veteran of 30 years, describes himself as a private citizen who is launching the recall in response to the mayor overturning the voter-approved referendum that stripped domestic partners of city employees of health benefits.

Hayes wrote on his blog post, "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?'"

This latest recall effort comes after an appeals court in February threw out the recall effort by Tom Brown and his group, El Pasoans For Traditional Family Values, after the court found the group violated election code by not designating itself for the recall effort.

Recall rules allow recall petitioners 60 days from the date of filing to gather signatures. This latest recall petition was filed late last week. City code dictates that a recall election cannot be held if the election date falls within the last year of the office holder's term. According to the county elections website, Mayor Cook's term expires in May 2013.

El Paso City Clerk Richarda Momsen told ABC-7 that Hayes' recall effort would fall within the 60-day window to gather signatures and to set a recall election date.

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