Florida

Officers Subject to Recall:

  • Any member of the governing body of a municipality or charter county.

Key Steps in the Recall Process:

  • No recall may commence until official has served at least one-fourth of his term.
  • Grounds for recall are malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, and conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.
  • Time for gathering signatures is 30 days.
  • Signature requirement varies according to the number of registered voters in the jurisdiction: 50 electors (voters) or 10% of the total electors, whichever is greater, in a district of fewer than 500 electors; 100 electors or 10% of the total electors, whichever is greater, in a district of 500-1,999 electors; 250 electors or 10% of the total electors, whichever is greater, in a district of 2,000-4,999 electors; 500 electors or 10% of the total electors, whichever is greater, in a district of 5,000-9,999 electors; 1,000 electors or 10% of total electors, whichever is greater, in a district of 10,000-24,999 electors; 1,000 electors or 5% of the total electors, whichever is greater, in a district of 25,000 or more electors.

Read the code at Fla. Stat. Ann §100.361.

Court Activity

Judge Allows Bradenton Beach Recall to Go Forward

News & Commentary

Florida Mayor Alleges Fraud in Recall Effort | 03/08/17

An effort to recall the mayor of Sweetwater is raising allegations of fraud, conspiracy and voter intimidation, and once again threatening upheaval in a town perpetually locked in a political tempest.

Last month, a political committee linked to a city commissioner turned in nearly 2,000 signed petitions calling for the ouster of Orlando Lopez, a strong mayor who serves as the small city's manager. The committee, Providing Effective Government for All Residents, says Lopez is an absentee administrator who skipped at least five commission meetings and workshops last year amid a financial crisis.

"He's neglected his duty," said J.C. Planas, an attorney who represents the committee. "It's not just that he missed the meetings, it's that he didn't send staff either. Some of these meetings had to be canceled."

The Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections certified 1,779 petition signatures on Feb. 23, enough to allow the recall effort to move forward under a process laid out in state law. A second petition drive circulated along with a rebuttal by Lopez in the west Dade 'burb just north of Florida International University's Modesto Maidique campus will likely begin this week.

The political committee now has 60 days to obtain valid signatures from 15 percent of the town's roughly 10,000 registered voters, triggering a recall election barring Lopez's resignation. If the vote is held and goes against the mayor, Lopez would become the first elected official in Miami-Dade to be recalled since county mayor Carlos Alvarez in 2011.

But the mayor doesn't intend to let that happen.

Lopez filed a complaint Friday in circuit court against the county supervisor of elections, Sweetwater clerk, and Gonzalo Sanchez, the chairman of the political committee behind the recall. He is challenging the verification of signatures and pushing to invalidate the petition drive.

His case is based on two arguments: that he's not actually required to attend meetings under the city charter, which says he "may" attend, and that signatures were obtained through fraud.

Read more.

Florida City Mayor Loses Recall Election | 05/20/15

BRADENTON BEACH -- Former Vice Mayor Jack Clarke is the city's mayor-elect after winning a tight race Tuesday with just 13 more votes than ousted Mayor William Shearon.

"I'm very pleased," Clarke said Tuesday evening. "I'm most pleased that we finally got to the point where the people made the choice, so we didn't have to horse around with the forfeiture."

According to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections website, 182 residents -- or 50.84 percent of Bradenton Beach voters -- wanted a recall. A total of 174 residents -- or 48.6 percent -- voted against a recall.

Read more.


Judge Allows Bradenton Beach Recall to Go Forward | 05/07/15

MANATEE -- A judge on Tuesday denied a citizen's request for a temporary injunction concerning a case connected with the recall election between Bradenton Beach Mayor William Shearon and Vice Mayor Jack Clarke.

At a court hearing that lasted more than an hour, Manatee Circuit Judge Gilbert Smith Jr. said he would allow the recall election to move forward.

Bradenton Beach resident John Metz, a regular at city meetings with his wife, Lee Anne Metz, had requested the temporary injunction before the May 19 election. He wanted Clarke booted from the recall ballot and a temporary injunction prohibiting Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Michael Bennett from printing additional recall ballots with the vice mayor's name on them.

Metz claimed Clarke's written resignation was not submitted at least 10 days prior to the first day of qualifying for the office. Clarke had to resign from his commission seat before submitting an application to qualify as a candidate in the recall election.

Read more.


Recall Election Slated for Florida Mayor | 04/15/15

BRADENTON BEACH -- A date has been set for a mayoral recall election.

Residents will decide whether to remove Bill Shearon from his position as Bradenton Beach mayor, on May 19th.

A committee in favor of removing Mayor Shearon recently submitted a petition to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office. The petition had enough signatures for a judge to authorize a recall.

Shearon is accused of misusing city funds, causing poor morale and violating state public records law.

He denies those claims.

Read more.

Recall Elections Surge in Local and State Governments | 06/22/11

"The new president of Arizona's state Senate, Russell Pearce, had only 21 days to enjoy that position before opponents began circulating petitions in January to recall the freshly reelected conservative. That's more time than Jim Suttle had. The night the Democrat was elected mayor of Omaha in 2009, backers of his rivals began to talk online about trying to remove him from office. Suttle barely survived a recall election in January."

Click here for the full story from Los Angeles Times online.

Robaina, Gimenez in Runoff for Mayor | 05/24/11

"Former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and former County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez will compete in a June runoff to be Miami-Dade's next mayor after neither emerged as the majority winner in Tuesday's special election. 'We are extremely privileged to be able to go to the next round and to be in first place and to have the advantage we have with the votes,' Robaina said. 'That is a demonstration that our message, our campaign and our hard work...paid off this night'"

Click here for the full story from NBC Miami.

Message from Miami | 03/21/11

"Democrats and labor leaders chortling over their supposed popularity in the Wisconsin rift between GOP Gov. Scott Walker and public unions might want to consider a Florida recall vote last week. Miami-Dade voters turned out in huge numbers to oust Mayor Carlos Alvarez in a vote that saw a staggering 88 percent of ballots cast against him. The issues: soaring property taxes and increased public-sector union benefits. Alvarez is a Republican -- but didn't govern like one: He raised property taxes for two-thirds of county homeowners by a whopping 13 percent. He rewarded his political base -- public-employee unions, who pushed for tax hikes rather than spending cuts -- by raising their members' pay and unfreezing some benefits."

Click here for the full story from The New York Post.

Will Voter Revolt Bring Real Change at Miami-Dade County Hall? | 03/20/11

"Even the most fervent supporters of tossing out Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and longtime Commissioner Natacha Seijas say last Tuesday's historic recall won't mean much unless there is widespread reform at County Hall. Yet changing the county charter -- the rulebook that politicians and bureaucrats play by -- may prove even harder than the ouster of two of the county's most powerful leaders. The reason: There are two ways to change the county charter, and neither is easy. Citizen petition drives to change the charter have even higher hurdles than recall efforts, and commissioners have often refused to bring proposals to change the charter before the public for a vote."

Click here for the full story from The Miami Herald.

After the Recall, Race Begins for Miami-Dade Mayor | 03/19/11

"Candidates are already campaigning to succeed Miami-Dade County's ousted mayor, just days after voters booted Carlos Alvarez by a nearly 9-to-1 margin in a recall election on Tuesday. The candidates -- ranging from a mayor to a former hip-hop star -- are catering to the anti-tax, anti-establishment movement that led the recall effort. Tuesday's election results were certified Friday, formally removing Mr. Alvarez from office. A special vote to replace Mr. Alvarez isn't likely for at least two months, and it won't be known how many candidates will join the race until an election date is set and candidate registration is held."

Click here for the full story from The Wall Street Journal Online.

Each state has its own requirements as to the manner in which petitions must be collected, signed and filed. It is imperative that official recall committees are legally formed in each state according to the state laws and regulations. The handling of the petitions must comply with the laws and regulations of each state.