Recall Petitions Submitted for Virginia Mayor | 07/13/16
PORTSMOUTH -- Organizers of an effort to unseat Mayor Kenny Wright delivered nearly 8,200 signatures on July 12 to the Circuit Court clerk, hoping to trigger a recall election less than four months before the general election.
The effort, led by Norfolk businessman and Portsmouth resident Robert Marcus, has been 14 months in the making.
"The mayor has proven to me and a large number of citizens that he's ill-suited for the job he's been tasked with," he said.
Tidewater Tea Party Alliance Chairman Nelson Valez, who helped gather signatures, said Tuesday that Wright had caused two groups to suffer with higher taxes in Portsmouth : homeowners and businesses. And despite the highest tax rate in the region, services haven't improved, he said.
Wright, reached by text message, didn't say whether he'd legally challenge the signature collection.
"I love this city and all of its people!" he responded. "In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 'We shall overcome!' "
Marcus' effort needs the valid signatures of 30 percent of the number of people who voted in the last governor's election. That appears to be 7,786 signatures, based on 25,952 votes cast in the November 2013 election, although Marcus has said he thinks the number to reach is 7,776. He didn't provide the exact number he thinks he has.