Recall Petition Filing Targets Lincoln Mayor and Four Council Members
By Jack Williams , Managing Editor and Reporter Nebraska Public Media News
Oct. 27, 2020, 1:24 p.m. ·
A grassroots effort to recall Lincoln’s mayor and four council members is underway after a local group filed the required affidavits this week with the Lancaster County Elections office. The group LNK Recall says Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and council members James Michael Bowers, Richard Meginnis, Jane Raybould and Tammy Ward aren’t listening to citizens and have bypassed required rules over the past few months. All were elected last year.
“It’s time for a job performance review and that’s essentially what a recall is, it’s an unscheduled election,” said recall organizer Samuel Lyon. “There may more people in Lincoln who don’t like this, so instead of three council members coming up for election in the spring of 2021, we think that there should be seven people coming up for election in the spring of ’21 and then the citizens can decide if they want to retain them all or replace some of them.”
Lyon said the group is upset about how the city went about confirming Health Director Pat Lopez in August. They’re also unhappy with the mayor’s mask mandate and coronavirus rules, which they see as heavy-handed.
Lancaster County Election Commissioner Dave Shively says recall petitions don’t happen often.
“It’s been pretty rare here in Lancaster County. I’ve been Election Commissioner for 21 years and I think I’ve only had a couple attempts on recalls for elected officials somewhere in the county,” Shively said.
LNK Recall has 30 days to collect more than 21,000 signatures. The County would then have 15 days to verify the signatures. If the signatures are verified, an election date would be set, likely sometime next year.
In a written statement, Mayor Gaylor Baird said she would not be distracted by a small group of people trying to divide the community.