Organizers respond after Oakdale mayoral recall fails

Oakdale Mayor Gene Paul
Oakdale Mayor Gene Paul
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 3:51 PM CDT
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Oakdale, LA (KPLC) - The organizers of a petition to recall Oakdale Mayor Gene Paul have responded after falling short of the signatures needed.

More than 900 signatures were necessary for a recall election. Organizer Bridget Perkins said the recall petition was signed by more than 600 people.

To be successful, a recall petition must have signatures from at least 33 1/3 percent of registered voters.

“I am deeply disappointed at the failure of the recall for Mayor Gene Paul,” Perkins said. “Not so much that the recall failed by itself, but of the situations that occurred to cause that failure.”

The recall petition was filed after an audit found a city clerk stole around a million dollars over several years.

“I am glad the recall petition is over,” Paul said in a statement. “I would like to thank the people and the city employees that stood by me and seen the truth. The last 6 months have been stressful for all of us. Right now our focus is moving the city forward with the progress of ongoing water and sewer infrastructure as well as other upcoming projects. We just want to put it behind us.”

Perkins said she heard from many in Oakdale who wanted to sign, but felt they couldn’t because of their connections to the mayor.

“We were able to gather a little over 600 signatures,” Perkins said. “That is a really good number, considering that number came within the first 2 weeks of the recall. We also had at least 250 people that emailed, texted, private messaged, or expressed in person their desire to sign the recall, however, they found themselves too scared to do so for one reason or another. Family ties and connections to the mayor stopped them from signing on the dotted line. If you add those two numbers you will realize that we had enough to recall the mayor, and that is fine with me.

“We had the support we needed, but not everyone has the liberty to fight the good fight,”

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