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Arkansas Mayors Facing Recalls

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Not all states give citizens the right to attempt the recall of an elected official before his or her term is up.

But Arkansas does.

And several mayors will be facing recall elections this fall.

In Arkansas you don't need a reason to seek the recall of an elected official. You just need enough signatures.

Opponents of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker needed more than half-a-million voter signatures to force a recall election this summer.

The petition drive was successful but the recall effort was not.

Petitions have been making the rounds in the Jefferson County town of Redfield.

In this case, 138 names are enough to force a recall vote of Mayor Tony Lawhon half way through his first four year term.

"They don't have to have a reason," says Mayor Lawhon. "They just have to want me out."

Lawhon says some would like to see his time as Redfield Mayor cut short because they don't like change. Or don't like the hair stylist's leadership style.

One city department head with a lot riding on the recall results is Redfield street superintendent Harmon Carter. Carter has been one of the people gathering signatures in support of the recall. Carter said he couldn't speak with us without risking losing his job.

Lawhon says he understands that in Arkansas recall elections are a part of the democratic process. But he says having to campaign every two years instead of every four keeps him from fully focusing on serving his city.

"This distracts us from the vision of making Redfield a great, small southern town," says Mayor Lawhon.

Mayors in Alexander, Bauxite, Kingsland and Cotton Plant will also face recall votes this November.

A recall effort targeting the Mayor of Bryant fizzled out.

Air date: August 8th, 2012

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