Petition to recall Portsmouth mayor denied

Posted at 11:31 AM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 16:47:28-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A judge has ruled that a petition to recall Portsmouth Mayor Kenny Wright does not have enough validated signatures to move forward.

The group needed 7,786 signatures to move forward with the petition. However, only 6,012 signatures out of the 8,530 the group collected were valid.

After the ruling, Mayor Kenny Wright spoke with reporters and said he was not nervous about the recall.

"There was never a doubt in my mind the folks here have spoken. They spoke overwhelmingly in 2010 and they did it again in 2012 and they will again in 2016," said Wright.

Additionally, Mayor Wright made this comment about the group of people who organized the recall effort.

"A small group of people that spew hate, racism and all types of mean spirited things are getting too much attention and making it fashionable to disregard our constitution and out liberties."

Robert Marcus was one of the leading forces behind the recall effort.

"Today is for mourning not for celebrating something else," said Marcus.

It took Marcus and a group of others more than a year to collect all the signatures, but after the judge's ruling, there is nothing more he and his group can do, for now.

"We are disappointed that we didn't have the requisite number of votes but we have another shot in November to enhance things here," explained Marcus.

When asked about whether or not Marcus will go after Mayor Kenny Wright if he is re-elected in November, he had this to say.

"It can't happen during the first year of any person's term including the Mayor, so it would have to wait until that length of time."