North Valley Senator Recall
3/19/2008 Fresno (KFSN) -- Voters in Madera and Merced will help decide if a North Valley lawmaker keeps his seat.
State officials announced a recall election will be held for Republican Senator Jeff Denham on Tuesday.
"Dump Denham" signs started appearing in Merced last summer after senator Jeff Denham voted against what he called an unbalanced budget. Tuesday, those trying to recall him got the election they wanted.
The Democratic backed recall effort says Denham didn't follow through with campaign promises to support schools, help with flood protection and improve Highway 99. Tuesday, the Secretary of State announced the "Dump Denham" campaign had 35,000 valid signatures, which is 4,000 more than the minimum needed for a recall.
"It's disappointing, but it's expected. This partisan game has gone on for quite some time now, and I'm ready to fight, so we'll fight this. I'm confident we'll win," said State Senator Jeff Denham.
Denham said he's preparing for another tough election. He's set up a new website, hired a new campaign manager, and opened an office in Modesto. Denham also says he does not regret last year's budget vote. "I'd do it exactly the same. I'm proud of my vote last year. You know the easy thing would have been to cave in and vote for the budget, there were others who were doing it, it's just not me," said Denham.
In the recall, voters will be asked two questions: Should Jeff Denham be recalled? And if yes, Which candidate should replace him?
So far no opponents have come forward.
Denham's district 12 includes parts of Madera, Merced and Monterey counties. The governor now has 80 days to set the date for the recall. Denham expects it to be set for June.
local, maureen naylor
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