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Effort to recall Marion Barry fails

October 28, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ An effort to recall District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry ended Tuesday after organizers failed to garner enough signatures to force a vote on ousting the four-term mayor.

Tuesday was the deadline for submitting the recall petitions to the board of elections.

Sandra Seegers, a local activist who led the recall effort with claims that Barry is incompetent and responsible for what she says is a decline in the quality of city life, refused to say exactly how many registered voters had signed the petitions.

She shredded the petitions in front of reporters, saying she did not want the Barry administration to find out the names of the signers.

It would have taken 33,475 signatures _ 10 percent of the electorate _ to force a recall election.

Barry, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment. Aides said he was doing well after having undergone a minor outpatient procedure Tuesday related to surgery he had two years ago for prostate cancer.

If the signatures had been upheld, an election on the recall question would have been held in February or March.

Barry is up for re-election next year and, though he has made no formal announcement, it is widely expected he will run for an unprecedented fifth four-year term. His only absence from the mayor’s office since 1979 was 1990-94 after he went to prison for six months for drug possession.