Wednesday, April 18, 2018 | 2:39 p.m.
Republican-backed efforts to recall two Democratic state senators have failed and no recall elections will be held, a Nevada judge declared today.
Judge Jerry Wiese said in a court hearing in Las Vegas that petitions to recall Sens. Nicole Cannizzaro and Joyce Woodhouse failed after a recount from elections officials showed the efforts didn't collect enough valid voter signatures.
The recalls, which could have swung control of the state Senate to Republicans, did not include any allegation of misconduct or any official cause for the recalls. Nevada is not one of the eight states that require specific grounds for a recall, such as misconduct or incompetence, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Instead, conservatives backing the Nevada recalls later cited the Democrats' stance on taxes and other issues as reasons to try to oust them.
Dan Stewart, an attorney for the recall backers, said after Wednesday's court hearing that he doesn't know if his clients will try to appeal to the state Supreme Court. They have 30 days to decide once the judge formally files his order with the court.
"Today, justice feels like it was served," Cannizzaro said after the hearing. "It's been frustrating to have to dedicate such a significant part of my time to defeating what is a baseless recall effort."
Woodhouse called the recall efforts "reprehensible" and "ridiculous," and said she's not worried about the possibility that the recall backers will appeal.
Wiese said he was concerned elections officials again revised their count this week of how many valid signatures were collected.
"I don't know who it is that counts the votes and verifies the signatures or what they do over there, but I can't believe that they can't give me a firm number," Wiese said.
Election officials declared earlier this month that the petitions each fell short of the required number of signatures by at least 1,500. That included more than 2,000 voters that Democrats persuaded to remove their names from the petitions - an effort Wiese upheld in court last month.