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Recall targets a third Nevada senator

Updated August 16, 2017 - 2:00 pm

A petition seeking to recall a third Nevada state senator in a competitive district was filed Wednesday.

The notice of intent for the recall targets Democrat Nicole Cannizzaro, who represents Senate District 6 in the northwest Las Vegas Valley. The effort seeks to replace Cannizzaro with April Becker, a Republican.

It was filed by Neil Roth, CEO of Xtreme Green Electric Vehicles; his wife, Claire Roth; and a Kathryn McKenzie. None of the signers of the notice immediately returned phone calls seeking comment.

Cannizzaro did not return phone calls Wednesday, but issued a statement in which she lambasted the effort to remove her, and added that she is “confident the voters of District 6 will have my back.”

“Nevada Republicans have stooped to a new low by filing this baseless petition, but I’m not surprised by their secretive political games,” Cannizzaro said. “The shady special interests and cowardly legislators behind this subversion of the recall process don’t intimidate me one bit.”

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, piled on the criticism of Republicans.

“Nevadans are sick and tired of the dirty political games and the dangerous path that Republicans are trying to lead us down,” he said in a statement.

Ford’s counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, — who had been silent on the recalls until Wednesday — said in a statement the recalls come in response to a Democratic-controlled Legislative session that he accused of being “pro-felon and anti-business.”

“I am hopeful that the necessary number of signatures will be gathered in each district at the end of 90 days so that voters can have their voice heard. I fully support these efforts,” Roberson said.

Roberson did not return requests seeking further comment.

For the petition to force a recall election, it would need to gather signatures from 25 percent of the people who voted in District 6 in 2016, which equates to 14,975 signatures according to the letter sent by the Clark County Elections office to the Nevada secretary of state. Those signatures must be turned into the county by Nov. 14.

Other recalls

The recall follows similar recall petitions filed last week against state Sens. Joyce Woodhouse, a Democrat, and Patricia Farley, a nonpartisan, with the intent to replace all three with Republicans.

If the recalls succeed, Republicans regaining the state Senate majority they lost in 2016.

Cannizzarro, a first-term senator, narrowly defeated Republican Victoria Seaman to win the seat in 2016, winning by a 51-49 percent margin.

The seat was previously held by now-Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, who won the seat in 2012. When he won the race for lieutenant governor in 2014, Republican Mark Lipparelli was appointed to the Senate seat. Lipparelli did not-seek re-election.

Woodhouse’s race in 2016 was even closer. She defeated Republican Carrie Buck in District 5 by 469 votes, a margin of less than a 1 percent. Buck is seeking to replace Woodhouse in that recall effort.

The Farley recall effort is less straightforward.

Farley was elected as a Republican in District 8 in 2014, winning by 18 points. But she switched to Nonpartisan after the 2016 election, and caucused with Democrats during this year’s session of the Nevada Legislature.

Farley said last week that she doesn’t plan to seek re-election in 2018, and instead will focus on her family.

Hutchison’s law firm, Hutchison & Steffen, has been retained as the legal counsel for all three recall committees, according to Daniel Stewart, an attorney at the firm. Stewart worked as the general counsel for Gov. Brian Sandoval up until July 28.

“The whole firm is representing the recall committees in the recall efforts,” Stewart said Wednesday.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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