Recall election held for Beulah mayor

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 6:32 PM CDT
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BEULAH, N.D. (KFYR) - According to Beulah Mayor Jeff Gooss and city council member Sean Cheatley there will be a new mayor for the city of Beulah.

The two say a recall election for the mayor of Beulah was held Tuesday and Cheatley defeated Gooss unofficially 54% to 46%.

The votes will be canvassed on August 28 at 3:30 p.m.

Gooss also filed a statement to the Mercer County Sheriff asking the department to investigate the election. The department says the statement has been turned in to the State’s Attorney’s office and the Secretary of State’s office. Your news Leader has requested a copy of that statement.

On August 22, 2023, the Mercer County State’s Attorney’s office told Your News Leader it will have no comment regarding the statement submitted by Mr. Gooss. We repeated the request for the statement and the office again said no comment.

Cheatley says “It hasn’t sunk in yet and probably won’t ‘till the first meeting I take over, but it is a good feeling.”

As to why he ran, Cheatley says he noticed some “division” when Gooss took over as mayor and wanted to make it more of a team effort.

On Wednesday, Gooss posted on his mayoral Facebook page:

“The votes have been cast, and the people of Beulah have spoken. The people have chosen a different course for the city. While I may not agree, it is the will of the people. I would like to congratulate mayor-elect Sean Cheatley for his win today. I may be leaving as the mayor, but make no mistake, my family’s head remains high. This community has woken up. This is not the end. Simply the beginning of a new chapter.

Thank you everyone who supported my family through this. We love you dearly and know that you will continue to carry the torch to the change we desperately needed.”

Gooss was elected mayor of Beulah in June of 2022. He defeated Travis Frey. Gooss told Your News Leader that Beulah Councilman Gary Miller called for a recall weeks into Gooss’s term as mayor.

The process for the recall involved a committee and a letter from Beulah City Council member Eric Hoffer that Your News Leader has obtained. The Beulah City Auditor’s office said 179 absentee ballots were sent in. 831 total votes were received.

The letter is attached to this article and was sent to those who signed a petition to recall Gooss.

The letter from Beulah City Council member Eric Hoffer encouraging people to vote in the...
The letter from Beulah City Council member Eric Hoffer encouraging people to vote in the recall election. It includes instructions on how to vote absentee.(KFYR-TV)

When asked why he led the recall, Hoffer said, “It was the atmosphere of fear that he created.” He said the best thing to do now is for the city to move past this and heal.

“Disgust” is how Gooss describes the letter.

“Whether it is legal or not, it doesn’t mean it is moral or ethical. It is playing on the hearts and minds of Beulah residents,” says Gooss.

He also adds that there are no allegations of any wrongdoing by him as mayor.

“This literally boils down to recalling a person that doesn’t act or speak in a certain way,” says Gooss.

The Beulah City Commission meets next on August 23.