Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie might be a leading favorite for the District’s next mayor, but at least a few of his constituents don’t even want him in a D.C. Council seat. In May, some of them launched a recall effort aimed at ousting McDuffie from office.

The group, which calls itself the Committee to Preserve Ward 5, faces a difficult path to kicking McDuffie out. If their petition language wins approval from D.C. Board of Elections, the aspiring recallers will have to collect nearly 6,000 signatures—10 percent of the ward’s registered voters. The District’s Office of Campaign lists only eight previous recall efforts since 2002, all of them unsuccessful.

Still, recall effort treasurer William E. Hunt insists he has enough resources to gather petitions.

“It’s enough people to make sure it goes through,” Hunt, a 60-year-old Brookland resident, says.

Hunt’s effort might also be hampered by a lack of actual grievances with the incumbent. While Hunt says McDuffie “duped the voters,” Hunt’s concrete mostly come down to gripes about McDuffie’s constituent services and his now-quashed anti-crime plan. 

“In Ward 5, we can’t seem to get a non-corrupt councilperson,” Hunt says. 

McDuffie’s office didn’t respond to LL’s requests for comment. But if the recall gets far enough, McDuffie will get a chance to make his case to the voters. By law, recall petitions have to leave space for elected officials to argue against their recall.