KINGMAN – State representative candidate Jennifer Jones-Esposito hasn’t given up on her recall effort of Mohave County Supervisor Jean Bishop, though she fell short of her signature goal to give her a safe margin on the validation count, she said Friday.
The deadline for submitting the recall petition with the required 2,897 signatures to Mohave County Elections Office was June 22.
Jones-Esposito said she and about a dozen volunteers had collected roughly 3,000 signatures, which didn’t give her the 20 percent cushion that’s generally considered a safe margin for signatures to be validated against the list of registered voters.
Volunteers were provided with a voter list to check signatures, but not all of them had taken the time to verify the signatures they had collected, she said. A couple fell short of the target number.
“I did not want to cost the county money going through thousands of signatures only to have it challenged in court because the margin was so close,” -Jones-Esposito said in a phone interview.
Jones-Esposito told people that if she didn’t attain the margin, she wouldn’t turn in the petition and make their names public. Many of them feared they would be targets of retaliation for signing, she said.
The Republican challenger to state Reps. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman, and Paul Mosley, R-Lake Havasu City, said the recall effort was not about getting her name in the “limelight,” as one of Bishop’s supporters alleged.
“This isn’t about me. I was just the public face of it,” she said. “No way could I collect 3,500 signatures by myself, which was my goal.”
Jones-Esposito said she will spend the next several weeks compiling signatures into a verifiable list of registered voters so that if Bishop continues to vote for higher taxes, fees and fines, she’ll launch the recall effort anew when the weather cools down.
Some 3,000 people were willing to sign this time, and if they’re willing to sign again, Jones-Esposito said she’ll set up tables 75 feet from polling sites in November and make sure volunteers get signatures of registered voters.
Jones-Esposito applied for a recall petition to give Mohave County citizens the opportunity to choose a more fiscally conservative supervisor for District 4, which covers Golden Valley, Chloride, Dolan Springs, Meadview and parts of Kingman.