Doug Polk Suspends Bid to Recall Las Vegas Mayor, Cites Pandemic Obstacles

3 min read

Doug Polk mucked his hand and Carolyn Goodman, the Las Vegas mayor he was attempting to have recalled, took down the pot. The recently retired poker star was unable to obtain enough signatures to have the mayor removed from office. He gave an explanation for why he’s ending his bid on Twitter.

Doug Polk Las Vegas mayor
Doug Polk released his cards and Mayor Goodman took down a big pot. (Image: YouTube/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Polk expressed disdain for the mayor over her comments concerning coronavirus. Goodman, the wife of former Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, in a controversial CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, suggested her city become a “control group” for epidemiologists to study the spread of the virus.

Prior to Nevada casinos reopening last month, the mayor argued the financial strain on businesses outweighed the risks of spreading COVID-19. Polk was none too thrilled with her comments. In response, he filed a motion to have Goodman recalled. The Upswing Poker founder advanced his motion past the first stage, obtaining four signatures from those who voted in the most recent mayoral election.

But that was just beginning, and he decided on Wednesday to call it quits.

Polk Lays Down His Hand

Over the past two months, Polk has been attempting to get signatures from Las Vegas voters. The rules for recalling a mayor state you must obtain signatures from 25% of those who voted in the most recent mayoral election, which took place in 2019. He had to accomplish this difficult task by Aug. 4. In this case, given that 26,273 votes were cast in 2019, the former poker pro needed at least 6,681 signatures.

Polk was unable to pull it off, and thus, is suspending his campaign to recall Mayor Goodman. He explained his reasoning in a lengthy Twitter post. He cited the current global health pandemic as one of the main obstacles he couldn’t overcome.

“The people who need to sign this petition (those who voted in the last election) are the people most at risk,” he wrote of the demographic, which he claims is over 80-years-old.

He said that, due to the coronavirus spread, it isn’t feasible to go door-to-door asking for signatures. The retired poker pro stated, “the astronomical cost, logistics, and risks of conducting the recall during this period are untenable.”

Polk’s plan to hire workers to obtain signatures didn’t work during a pandemic. He said the city of Las Vegas was unwilling to make an exception.

Mayor Goodman has served in office since 2011 and her third term is up in 2023. She won the 2019 election with 83.5% of the vote.


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