Supporters of recalling Kingsburg City Councilmember Jewel Hurtado submitted 423 signatures to Fresno County elections officials on Monday. For a recall election to move forward, 354 valid signatures from Hurtado’s council district are needed.
The Fresno County Clerk has 30 business days to verify signatures. While the Kingsburg City Clerk initially told GV Wire that deadline is Oct. 27, Fresno County Clerk James Kus says his office has until Nov. 8 to review signatures.
“We do not anticipate it taking that long but so have other activities competing for departmental resources at this time,” Kus said.
If enough are deemed valid, the Kingsburg City Council will have 14 days to call for an election, likely in November.
The election would then take place between February and March.
(Note: the original story had specific dates based on an estimated timeline from the Kingsburg City Clerk. The county clerk dates varied by a few weeks.)
Grassroots Support for Recall
Hurtado has been very open about her progressive political views. She actively supported Bernie Sanders during the 2020 presidential primary and campaigned against the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom.
In the notice of intent, recall proponents say Hurtado “demonstrated a Marxist/socialist agenda in her activities and actions, which do not represent her constituency.”
“Without the backing of any political machine, the funding of any sort of committee, or the propaganda of a social media campaign, a group of truly grassroots, organic LOCAL American warriors for our freedom came together with a common goal, and hit it out of the (Athwal) Park!!!” recall organizer Lance Jackson told GV Wire via email.
Kingsburg City Clerk Abigail Palsgaard estimated the cost to hold a recall election at between $80,000 and $90,000.
Hurtado made the cost a point in advocating against recall signatures.
“What could our city do with $90,000 (in) taxpayer dollars?” a flyer read.
The flyer listed expenditures the money could fund, including money for police and fire.
Hurtado sent GV Wire this statement:
“If this recall against me qualifies, it will be a waste of $90,000 taxpayers dollars — when I’m up for re-election in less than a year. I truly wish the proponents of this recall would invest their time and energy into just running against me in June (when the filing period opens) rather than waste money that could be invested elsewhere.
“The COVID-19 pandemic hit our local businesses, city departments, and families hard. While Kingsburg is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel with much needed state and federal relief, now more than ever we MUST continue to be fiscally responsible. Their campaign against me is clearly personal, mine is just common sense,” Hurtado said.
Election in November 2022
Hurtado won her 2018 election by just 8 votes. Her seat is up again in November 2022. She is still deciding if she is running again (the original version of this story says she is running again).
The latest registration report shows Hurtado’s District 1 with 47.6% registered Republicans, 26.7% Democrat, 18.2% no party preference.
Hurtado is a Democrat.
Jackson hopes this spurs change in other cities.