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Local News in Virginia

Mayoral Petition Drive Going “Bust”?

By Randy Singleton

Community Affairs Correspondent

New Journal and Guide

PORTSMOUTH

The petition drive to recall Portsmouth Mayor Kenneth I. Wright continued this past weekend. Recall supporters set up a tent outside of the Churchland Public Library and collected signatures.

A recall worker told the New Journal and Guide that 7,800 signatures were needed to get the recall election placed on the ballot in November. Currently, less than half of the required signatures have been collected.

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The Virginian-Pilot, the area’s daily newspaper, published a scathing editorial last week about Mayor Wright’s leadership style, pointing out that 11 city administrators have departed over the past year. However, the article failed to point out the strong support the mayor continues to receive from the African American and the business community within the city.

Economic development has continued to blossom in Portsmouth, one of poorest and most cash-strapped cities in Hampton Roads, with new businesses opening up in the mid-city area, more city schools being accredited by the state, and unemployment continuing to decline.

Kenneth Wright, the “Teflon Mayor,” continues to be a fixture at city-sponsored events such as the Umoja Festival, greeting visitors and serving as the city’s chief cheerleader. The Guide will continue to monitor these events and keep our readers informed.

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