D.C. Mayor Recall: Organizer Starts Effort To Remove Vincent Gray

WASHINGTON -- Now entering his second year in office, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray (D) has had trouble shaking off the various scandals and missteps that have surrounded his 2010 campaign and administration since taking office.

Gray, who previously represented Ward 7 on the D.C. Council before becoming its chairman, told The Washington Post recently that the various investigations are never far from his attention. "I think about it every day," he told the Post, adding that "[y]ou can't do this job living in fear. You have to do it going forward, not looking backward over your shoulder."

As a federal grand jury continues to investigate his 2010 campaign for misconduct related to the Sulaimon Brown hiring scandal, one local activist is starting an initiative to recall Gray, plus D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (D), and Councilmembers Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) and Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5).

"We will file before the end of the week, and once we are given the green light volunteers will be in the streets the following day," organizer Frederick Butler wrote on the recall initiative's website.

Butler is demanding that Thomas also resign immediately. Federal investigators recently searched Thomas' home, the latest development in the Team Thomas corruption scandal.

As the Examiner lays out, a mayoral recall involves gathering 45,314 signatures of registered voters in 180 days, which is a tall order. If D.C. election officials validate the signatures, a special recall election can be scheduled between 54 and 114 days of the recall petition certification.

A Clarus Research Group poll released in December found that Gray's disapproval rating jumped from 40 percent in March to 53 percent.