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Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Leon (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

LA City Clerk Approves Kevin De Leon Recall Petition

‘De Leon managed to piss off every major voting group with that scandal’

By Evan Symon, December 7, 2022 12:07 pm

A recall petition against Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Leon was approved by the Los Angeles City Clerk on Tuesday, giving recall supporters until the end of March to collect enough signatures to trigger a recall election sometime in late 2023.

The effort to recall de Leon dates back to early October. That month, de Leon, along with then-City Council President Nury Martinez, City Councilman Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, were found to have made multiple racist and racial comments in an audio leak of the four talking during a district realigning meeting last year. In addition to the racist words, the four were also heard plotting to reorganize Council lines to decrease the power of black Councilmembers and others in the city.

In the ensuing weeks, while all four made multiple apologies, both Martinez and Herrera resigned, and Cedillo, whose term ran out this month, said he would end his tenure by not attending any more meetings. De Leon, however, refused to resign, despite the majority of Angelinos, as well as Mayor Eric Garcetti, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), Governor Gavin Newsom, and President Joe Biden all calling for his resignation. Protests have also been constant against de Leon, with enough protestors still active that de Leon has stayed away from attending City Council meetings.

With de Leon not budging, a recall effort was started in late October, with petitioners filing a recall effort with the City Clerk. Recall groups, led by Pauline Atkins, who had tried twice before to recall de Leon, spent November preparing to branch out once the official word from the City Clerk was given.

“The amount of support we’re receiving for her third recall bid is night and day compared to previous attempts,” said Atkins last month. “I’m one thousand percent confident that we’ll be able to gather the signatures. That’s the vibe we’re getting is that there’s going to be a lot of constituents. They’re very, very upset. I’m just overwhelmed by the participation of CD 14 in this early stages of the recall.”

De Leon fired back against the filed petition, saying, “The recall petition has been organized by a group of political extremists that have attempted to recall me before. These individuals have weaponized the recall process against the voters of Council District 14 by trying to overturn election results. A recall election will cost taxpayers millions at a time when the city should be spending its resources to support families and small businesses in need.”

De Leon recall petition approved for signature gathering

On Tuesday, the recall petition was finally approved, with recall supporters collecting 20,437 from registered voters in the 14th District of LA by March 31st. If  successful, the recall election would likely occur sometime in late 2023. Political experts note that if de Leon is recalled as a result, it would likely end the political career of de Leon, who previously was a State Assemblyman, State Senator, nearly beat Senator Dianne Feinstein for a U.S. Senate seat in 2018, and who came in third in the Los Angeles Mayoral Primary earlier this year, losing out to Congresswoman Karen Bass and developer Rick Caruso.

“De Leon managed to piss off every major voting group with that scandal, including Latinos, who are usually behind him 100%,” explained explained Maria Costa, a Los Angeles pollster who focuses on Latino communities, in a Globe interview on Wednesday. “So the recall groups should not have that hard a time to get signatures right now. Sooner would be better than later, because the scandal could seem like miles away by March for some, but they’ll likely get enough. They need 20,437, so 25,000 or so would be needed for sure to be safe.”

“If they get those signatures, de Leon will have a much harder time fending off being recalled. If he manages to survive, he has pretty much doomed himself from going to any higher office or any more powerful office after 2024, when his term expires. And this is all people are going to remember him by. The scandals are always remembered. For de Leon, it won’t be his decade and a half years in public office. It will be this and not knowing the pledge of allegiance on live TV. And a successful recall will cap it.”

Petition signature updates are expected through the end of 2022 and into early 2023.

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3 thoughts on “LA City Clerk Approves Kevin De Leon Recall Petition

  1. “De Leon managed to piss off every major voting group with that scandal.”
    Yeah, that’s our Kevin for you! That’s what he does. And yet he somehow gets “elected.”
    This is not the first attempt to recall him. Or the second. May not even be the third.

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