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Mr. Butler said he would be delighted to hear from Mr. Peebles.

“We’ll take all the help we can get,” he said.

A recall effort can yield multiple, unforeseen challenges, said Dorothy Brizill, a longtime city government watchdog who runs the D.C. Watch website. Petitioners need to elicit a negative response from voters and the ousted politician can run in the special election to fill his own vacancy.

“The recall process requires you to essentially run a political campaign — that means bodies and money,” Ms. Brizill said. “‘Recall’ sounds interesting and sexy and what have you, but recall is a tough row to hoe.”

For their part, Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown voluntarily responded to Mr. Butler’s notice of intent to recall with short letters that outline their goals and accomplishments.

Mr. Gray said a recall election would be “ill-advised” and costly before outlining his goals on education, job creation, fiscal stability and public safety.

Mr. Brown pointed to comprehensive ethics legislation, job-creation efforts and ongoing school reform as milestones of his first year in office.

A spokeswoman for the BOEE said more than one recall effort can occur at once with the requisite paperwork. Both petitioners would have to meet the signature requirement “unless they combined forces in one campaign.”