Bill Clayton recall, Rapid City, South Dakota (2013)

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An effort to recall Bill Clayton from his elected position on the city council of Rapid City, South Dakota, was launched in March 2013. The effort, however, fell short of receiving the required number of signatures to trigger a recall election.[1][2]

Reasons for recall

The recall was sparked after Clayton told an African-American television reporter that she should be sent back to Kenya with President Obama. Clayton, who made the comments during a telephone interview, said he did not know the reporter was black. Former city councilman Gary Brown said, "Once you're elected to office you know every newsperson that's out there; you know if they're male, female, tall, short, white, black, Native American, you know. So the excuse that the gentleman said he didn't know that she was African American, I find that very weak."[1] The city attorney launched an investigation into Clayton's remarks, but city council voted unanimously not to take action after the investigation was complete.[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in South Dakota

On July 3 recall supporters admitted in a press release that they had failed to gather the required number of signatures to trigger an election. They had submitted more than 7,000 signatures to local election officials, but approximately 1,700 were rejected because they were collected by paid out-of-state petition gathers; all signatures for South Dakota recall petitions must be gathered by South Dakota residents.[2]

Recall supporters had 60 days to collect approximately 6,200 signatures, representing 15% of Rapid City's registered voters.[1]

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