‘Taking our town back’: Group has enough signatures to recall mayor who defunded police

by WorldTribune Staff, August 17, 2020

Organizers of a grassroots group in Norman, Oklahoma say they have collected more than enough signatures on a petition to recall Democrat Mayor Breea Clark, a report said.

Norman Mayor Breea Clark

The recall effort also targeted four members of the Norman City Council, including one who has since resigned, after the council voted to defund the city’s police department.

“What we just did was historic,” Unite Norman co-founder Russell Smith told supporters gathered outside City Hall on Friday, which was the group’s deadline for turning in petition signatures, The Oklahoman reported on Aug. 15.

“It’s about the issues here in this town. It’s about taking our town back. It’s about not having radicals in power. This is about centering the ship,” Smith said.

The petition to recall Clark requires 18,124 signatures, or 25 percent of registered voters in Norman. The group reported turning in 20,560 signatures Friday.

In Norman, the City Council voted in June to cut the police department budget by $865,000 and to reallocate the money to community development programs and to hire an auditor to track police overtime.

Clark reserved comment until the signatures have been verified, saying: “In the meantime, I will continue to focus on doing my job instead of worrying about losing my job.”

Of the other four City Council members, Unite Norman said it had enough signatures to recall Alison Petrone, but not Kate Bierman and Stephen Holman. Sereta Wilson, who was also targeted in the recall effort, has resigned.

The city clerk has 30 days to verify the signatures. A recall election looms in January if enough signatures are verified.

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