Campaign to Recall Superintendent-Elect Diane Douglas Files Paperwork With State

A campaign to recall Diane Douglas, voters' choice for the new Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, has filed organizing paperwork with the state.

Douglas won't be sworn in to her new office until January 5. But the Republican, anti-Common-Core politician has already drawn plenty of criticism -- and not just from Democrats.

Douglas' Democratic opponent, David Garcia, received endorsements from two former GOP superintendents of public instruction, and one from the usually conservative-leaning Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

It was a tight race, but Douglas beat Garcia in the November 4 general election by more than 1 percent of the statewide vote.

A recall campaign began almost immediately, organized by schoolteacher Anthony Espinoza and lifeguard Max Goshert. A Facebook page about the recall effort has gained more than 9,000 "likes." They filed a statement of organization for a political committee, and the state announced today it had been accepted. Espinoza and Goshert are the chairman and treasurer, respectively.

Arizona law says no recall petitions can be circulated until at least six months after the politician has assumed office. But organizers felt an early start on the campaign itself would be best.

"It's going to be a large effort," Goshert says. "We're shooting for around 400,000 signatures."

The campaign will try to keep building momentum in the coming months, he says, adding that some people have already expressed interest in donating money to the campaign. Starting tomorrow, the group will begin to start collecting volunteer information.

Douglas may not have much time to prove that she's not the incompetent extremist that her opponents make her out to be.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.