Kathy Warmath recall, Lebananon, Tennessee (2011)
An effort to recall Kathy Warmath from her elected position as a city councilor in Lebananon, Tennessee, in Wilson County was launched in October 2011. The recall effort was abandoned in December 2011. Warmath represents Ward 6.
Reasons for recall
Beulah Garret, the Lebananon planning commissioner, filed the recall petition. Garret says that Warmath "has moved to a confrontational manner in an attempt to undermine the efforts of the people elected and tasked with running the city government."
Warmath says that the recall campaign is retaliation for her opposition to parts of Mayor Philip Craighead's agenda. Warmath has opposed property tax increases and garbage fee increases that the mayor pushed for.
Garret says she abandoned the recall drive because Warmath had taken a more conciliatory tone.
Path to the ballot
The recall petition was certified by the Wilson County Election Commission in October 2011. Recall organizers would have needed to collect the signatures of 15% of registered voters in Lebananon, or 2,186 signatures. The deadline for signature submission was December 30, 2011. Any Lebanaon voter may sign the recall petition, but only voters in Warpath's ward would be able to vote in a recall election. The soonest a recall election could have appeared on the ballot was August 2nd, 2012.
Several city leaders have questioned the constitutionality of the state's recall provisions. City Attorney Andy Wright says, “The inequity in my mind rests in the fact that, theoretically, 2,200 voters in Ward 5 could force an election in Ward 6." Warmath says, "“The ‘one man, one vote’ principle is somewhat in question as far as constitutionality.”
On October 18th, the Lebanon City Council unanimously approved a resolution asking the Attorney General of Tennessee, Robert E. Cooper, Jr. to issue an opinion on the matter. City leaders will have to find a local state legislator to request the opinion of the attorney general.
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