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Recall petitions filed to remove county commissioner, school trustee (updated)

By Bob Conrad
Published: Last Updated on

Members of Washoe County’s Republican Party last week filed a recall petition seeking to remove Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung from office. A simultaneous recall was filed for School Board Trustee Angela Taylor.

Cindy Martinez and Sandy Linares of Sparks, listed on the Republican Party’s website as officers, filed the petition to recall Hartung, along with George Spatz.

Hartung, a Republican, said he he was surprised to learn of the recall attempt. 

“I was surprised to learn that three voters, with the help of their Las Vegas lawyers, have signed a notice of intent to circulate a petition to recall my election. The petition doesn’t identify any reason attempting to overturn the will of tens of thousands of voters, nor does any exist,” he said. “For over 9 years I have worked tirelessly to improve this community and represent all the people of District 4 and Washoe County with passion and integrity. I am grateful the voters of County Commission District 4 elected me by the widest margin of any commissioner in the last 2 elections, and look forward to the privilege of continuing to represent you.”

The recall for Taylor was signed by Robert Beadles, Bev Stenehjem and Susan Shilling, all from Reno.

An email provided to This Is Reno in Beadles’ name and email indicates he is funding the efforts. He speaks at local government meetings and is listed online as CEO of a cryptocurrency company. He ran, as a resident of Lodi, California, unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010 and has owned businesses in California.

No specific reasons for the recall were provided. Beadles did not respond to This Is Reno by the time of publication.

“You may not know but we started two recalls last week!” the email noted. “The first is to remove the Chair of the Washoe Unified School District [sic], Angie Taylor. I probably don’t have to tell you the hundreds of reasons we can’t leave her in charge of our kids until 2025.

“The second, is Vaughn Hartung, the Chair of The County Commissioners. I’m sure here again, I don’t need to tell you what he as commissioner has done to us all over his time in office. Again, he too can not be left in office until 2025!” the email continues.

Beadles swore at school trustees during the October 2021 school board meeting where the board considered, but failed to approve, the censure of Trustee Jeff Church.

“God has blessed me,” Beadles said. “I have a shit-ton of money and I’m going to do everything I fucking can to remove all of you [from office].”

The email stated Beadles is funding “nearly $30k to the registrar of voters for Taylor alone.”

Taylor, in response, said the group behind the petition is upset the school district followed the governor’s mask mandate. 

“As a Board, we carefully considered what we thought was best for the District and to keep our more than 70,000 staff and students safe from this deadly virus,” she told This is Reno. 

She said this same group is opposed “to teaching the entire story of the history of our great nation. This could mean excluding cultural icons like Martin Luther King and ALL he represents. It is important to talk about the good and the bad, so we can move forward informed and together.” 

The Beadles email further noted about 16,000 signatures will be needed for each office. 

“We need around 40 people to gather signatures for each recall. That’s it. 80 people. We are doing both recalls simultaneously,” the email continued.

UPDATE (Feb. 18, 2022): This story was updated to include a statement by Hartung.

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