Michele Fiore foes behind in recall effort
Organizers seeking to recall Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore turned in 567 signatures to the city clerk’s office Wednesday, less than one-third of the number they will need to force a recall election, with just over a month before the deadline.
The signatures represent 45 days of work, according to the recall committee “Expel Michele,” and were required by state law to be submitted to the city as the 90-day effort reached its halfway point.
Organizers, who have criticized Fiore for “racially charged” comments and supporting the conversion of a historic hay barn into an event center, said they remained optimistic about hitting the 1,911-signature threshold despite recent hurdles.
“We were in a good place with our volunteers and gathering our self-imposed daily quota,” Molly Taylor, founder of Expel Michele, said in a statement. “Then the (legislative) Special Session hit and the COVID-19 numbers were increasing, so we saw a bit of a slowdown. But we have a new strategy, and the passionate volunteers who share our desire for new leadership at City Council for Ward 6 are fired up to meet our signature goals.”
The recall effort was launched on June 11, hours before a defiant Fiore addressed reporters outside her home in northwestern Las Vegas to apologize to anyone who was offended for remarks she reportedly made during a Clark County GOP convention days earlier.
At the time, Fiore brushed off the recall effort: “I think they’re bored, but it’s America so bring it.”
But Fiore also claimed that her convention comments were being portrayed inaccurately and out of context. Niger Innis, a black conservative activist and friend to Fiore who served as the event’s keynote speaker, recalled that Fiore was criticizing affirmative action and said something similar to: “If my white ass is qualified for a particular job, and your black ass is less qualified, then my white ass should get the job.”
The comments, which reportedly included “white lives matter” and “all lives matter,” set off a firestorm, spurring a public rebuke from the county Republican Party and a call for Fiore to be removed as mayor pro tem by Councilman Cedric Crear. On June 16, Fiore stepped down from the appointed council leadership position, but she said it was only to focus on bridging a racial divide in the community and, as the Nevada GOP national committeewoman, to ensure that President Donald Trump is re-elected.
Proponents urged to ‘stand strong’
Taylor said the reported county GOP convention comments were simply the final straw amid a laundry list of issues that organizers have with Fiore’s leadership, which they have been sharing individually on the committee’s social media accounts. A state GOP probe into the remarks could not conclusively determine exactly what had been said.
The required number of signatures from registered voters is based on 25 percent of the total votes cast in the 2017 general election, and the signatures must be collected from voters who cast a ballot in that election.
Organizers have until Sept. 9 to make up ground and, as Taylor noted in a statement Wednesday, Fiore also has an opportunity to reach out to voters who have already signed and request they remove their name from the petition.
“We urge our supporters who signed the recall petition to stand strong,” Taylor said.
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