Armenta Recall Effort Sputters to a Stop
October 7, 2011
An effort to recall County Supervisor Fernando Armenta, whose district includes most of urban Salinas, may have withered away entirely after organizers failed to submit petition signatures to the county Elections Department by their 5pm deadline today. They would have been required to produce 3,741 signatures of registered District 1 voters to get a recall on the ballot. When organizers began canvassing neighborhoods for signatures about three months ago, they were confident they would be able to easily meet that number. Spokesperson Jose Ibarra, an elementary school teacher in East Salians, was not immediately available for comment.
The recall has focused on a number of complaints about Armenta's accessibility and governance, including his support for state control over the low-performing Alisal Union School District.
Alisla Union board president Jose Castañeda had led a first attempt at the Armenta recall petition, but those documents were later pulled when the District Attorney began investigating whether the papers were properly served to Armenta. The DA charged him with four felony counts (two each of perjury and filing a false document), and in August, Castañeda pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Even in his absence, organizers said they believed they could recall Armenta; they've not produced a candidate to run against the incumbent, who's held his set for more than a decade.
Armenta is up for reelection in June 2012. He has already earned an endorsement from the County Democratic Committee, which pushed its usual round of endorsements up by about six months to counter the recall organizers' complaints. So far, his only announced opponent is Salinas City Councilman Tony Barerra.