Recall Campaign For Crawford Mayor Reaches Signature Verification Process


      The signature verification process has begun on recall petitions for Crawford Mayor Tom Phillips. Chief Circulator Lori Palomares turned in the petitions to County Clerk Cheryl Feist last week with 162 signatures.

       Palomares needs valid signatures from 137 registered voters in Crawford, 35% of the 389 votes cast when Phillips beat incumbent Connie Shell in 2022.

      Feist doesn’t know how long it will take to verify if there are at least 137 valid signatures since her staff is squeezing in the effort around their regular duties, but she’s confident it will be no later than the end of the week.

     If there are enough valid signatures, Phillips will have to choose between resigning or facing a recall election.

       If he doesn’t resign, the Crawford City Council would have 21 days to set an election on the first available date at least 50 days in the future that complies with state rules for election dates.

     This is Palomares’ second recall effort against Phillips since November, both alleging the mayor doesn’t live in Crawford and that he has a conflict of interest because his wife does the books for the city-owned Legend Buttes Golf Course.

      For the first, Feist told her only 75 signatures were needed – 35% of Phillips’ total in the election instead of 35% of the total votes. She turned in 71 signatures when Feist told her of the error. Palomares then filed the paperwork for the current recall petition.