- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A city resident attempting to recall current Mayor Vincent C. Gray and council Chairman Kwame R. Brown will have to wait until Feb. 13 to hit the street with petitions for the effort, D.C. elections officials said.

Frederick Butler did not appear at the Board of Election and Ethics‘ meeting on Wednesday to approve the language and other features of the paperwork, which he must fill with signatures from about 45,000 registered D.C. voters to even get a recall initiative on the ballot.

“He did need to be there,” BOEE spokeswoman Alysoun McLaughlin said of the meeting. “He needs to formally adopt the petition as his own.”

He will not lose any of the 180 days he is allotted to collect signatures, because the clock starts running when the petitions are released. But he will lose his opportunity to canvas for signatures at Mr. Gray’s One City Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Feb. 11.

BOEE attorneys spoke to Mr. Butler and decided to reschedule his appearance for Feb. 13, when the board is convening to consider a ballot initiative that would ban corporate donations to local political campaigns in the District, Ms. McLaughlin said.

Mr. Butler, a supporter of former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, faces a monumental task once he obtains the petitions. While every D.C. mayor but one has faced a recall effort, none of the initiatives has even come close to making the ballot for a yes-no vote.

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