It’s starting to look like there will be recall elections held in the Town of Bridgeport, following the filing of two petitions on Thursday, April 24 seeking the recall of town chairperson John Karnopp and town supervisor Mike Steiner.
A group dissatisfied with Bridgeport’s permitting of a frac sand mine to be operated by the Pattison Sand Company in the township began the recall drive earlier this spring. Karnopp and Steiner both favored permitting the sand mine.
The petition to recall Karnopp contained 146 signatures and the petition to recall Steiner had 138 signatures. By law 96 valid signatures are required to trigger the recall election in Bridgeport at this time.
Bridgeport Town Clerk Linda Smrcina confirmed the petitions were received on April 24. The clerk has until May 24 to certify the petitions or reject them as invalid. She is charged with making sure they were legally prepared and the signatures are those of qualified township electors.
If and when the petitions are certified as valid, candidates will have about four weeks to file nomination papers and elections will be held two weeks after the nominations are closed.
Depending on when Smrcina might certify the petitions and other factors, the election could be held in late June or early July.
In addition to the petitions already filed to recall chairperson John Karnopp and supervisor Mike Steiner, another group is circulating a petition seeking the recall of the township’s other supervisor Rodney Fishler, an opponent of permitting the Pattison Sand Mine in Bridgeport. That group, which started later than the other group, has until May 18 to submit the petition seeking the recall of Fishler.
Town Clerk Smrcina acknowledged it was conceivable, and maybe even feasible, if all the petitions are certified to have elections for the three recalled petitions on the same day.
If more than two candidates file nomination papers for any of the recalled positions, it would trigger a primary election for that seat.
While certification and the exact timing of any elections is not known at this point, it seems likely that there will be recall elections held in Bridgeport in the near future.