DOVER — Town Chairman Mario Lena will face off against one current and one former town supervisor in a recall election this summer.
Dean Larsen, a former town supervisor, and Sam Stratton, a town supervisor currently serving his third term, have declared their candidacy in the election. A primary election is set for July 31. If any candidate receives 51 percent of the primary vote, he will automatically assume office. If not, the top two vote-getters will face off Aug. 28. The winner of the recall election will serve through April 2019.
Larsen and Stratton told The Journal Times on Tuesday evening that they were both confident in their ability to defeat Lena in the recall.
“I’m feeling pretty good about my record. I’m hoping that speaks for itself,” Stratton said.
Larsen, owner of the Hogs Nest Saloon in Downtown Kansasville, said that as chairman, he would minimize public spending and save citizens tax dollars.
Lena, who runs a Kansasville automotive repair business, could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening. He told The Journal Times on June 11 that he was confident he would keep his seat.
Tom Lembcke, the town chairman who Lena unseated in 2017 by a margin of just nine votes, previously said he was considering running in the election but never declared candidacy.
Lena’s brief tenure as chairman has been fraught with controversy.
At a Town Board meeting in April, Stratton asked Lena to resign and at a June 11 meeting, several members of the public also asked him to resign. Lena has repeatedly refused to do so, saying he is confident the people will keep him in office.
Town supervisors Stratton and Mike Shenkenberg also formally censured — or publicly reprimanded — Lena at an October Town Board meeting for allegedly violating town vehicle use policies and acting in an unprofessional, vulgar manner while acting as chairman.
After the June 11 meeting, Lembcke turned in a recall petition with 436 valid signatures. The required number to trigger a recall election is 411. Lena received 395 votes to win his election.