Senita Wins Seat In Recall Election

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Robert Senita will replace Ross Gooder on the Pine/Strawberry Fire Board.

Senita received 455 votes to Gooder's 225 during the recent recall election.

Recall election votes were tabulated Wednesday.

The election results will not be official until the Gila County Board of Supervisors reviews them on Tuesday. Dixie Mundy, Gila County division of elections director, will present the results.

Mundy said about 40 percent of the 1,692 registered voters in Pine and Strawberry participated in the election. Six hundred and eighty-two ballots were returned by Tuesday, the official Election Day.

The votes were tallied at the Gila County Elections Office in Globe.

Senita will assume his new seat after the County Board of Supervisors approves the election results and the fire board holds an installation meeting. Senita will not be able to vote on issues until the installation meeting is held, said fire board chair Rose Harper.

Senita will complete the remainder of what would have been Gooder's term, until November 2008, she said.

"We're striving to move forward and do the best we can," Harper said. "I commend Gooder on all the time he served."

Gooder faced the recall election after the board of supervisors approved the recall election during its Dec. 19 meeting, after the required number of signatures were collected from registered voters in the district.

According to the election ballot, Gooder was recalled because of his unprofessionalism and malfeasance as a board member. The fire board had voted to remove Gooder as chair of the board in May. Gooder served seven years as both a member and chairman of the board.

Senita's election victory is the third time he has sought a spot on the board. He ran unsuccessfully in November and applied to fill the vacancy left by former board member Dan McKinney in February.

David Prechtel was appointed in March to replace McKinney, who had been absent for more than 90 days, legally requiring the board to replace him.

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