Fargo School Board Members Who Favor Masks Won't Face Recall

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A petition drive to recall four members of the Fargo School Board who have supported measures meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 has failed, district officials said Wednesday.

Officials said that while the recall group submitted more than the required amount of signatures, many of them were rejected for various errors. That included inadequate signatures, out-of-district addresses, notary mistakes and the lack of city, zip code and date information.

Some of those signing petitions listed addresses of Horace, Harwood, Bismarck and Moorhead, Minnesota, KFGO radio reported.

Recall Fargo School Board was hoping for a special election in an attempt to oust members Dr. Tracie Newman, Seth Holden, Nikkie Gullickson and Jim Johnson. They have backed virus requirements such as a mask mandate in school buildings.

North Dakota ranks 10th in the country for new cases per capita over the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. One in every 215 people in the state tested positive in the past week.

Newman, a pediatrician, has said the state is seeing an “exponential rise” of pediatric COVID-19 cases on a week-to-week basis. Health officials are also worried about hospital capacity, with less than 11% of staffed hospital beds around the state available as of Wednesday.