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Denton City Council puts recall of current city council member Jesse Davis on May ballot

Denton City Council puts recall of current city council member Jesse Davis on May ballot

Denton City Council puts recall of current city council member Jesse Davis on May ballot
February 16
12:00 2023

The city will hold a recall election for council member Jesse Davis on May 6 after a 6-0 vote by the Denton City Council at a  meeting on Feb. 7. 

Davis has filed for reelection in District 3 alongside former mayoral candidate Paul Meltzer, according to the City of Denton website.

“It’s not even redundant, it’s just completely pointless,” Davis said. “It’s just a ploy to get a little dig at me, because Alison got recalled in the fall and, like I said, give me a little black eye going into the election. I think it’s a pretty cheap trick and I don’t expect it to work.”

If Davis is reelected, the results of the recall election will have no effect due to the rules of the city charter, said City Attorney Mack Reinwand during the city council meeting. If Davis does not win the reelection and is recalled, the term he is being recalled for will already have ended with the announcement of the results of the reelection.

“There is a way to remedy this and it is  through amending the charter, but we chose to take the step and not give direction for charter review,” said District 5 council member Brandon Chase McGee at the city council meeting. “I want to highlight that again and encourage us to do so at the next opportunity we can remedy these types of things.”

The petition to recall Davis was started by several District 3 citizens and required 254 signatures from registered District 3 voters to be passed into motion in the city council, according to Denton City Secretary Rosa Rios. 

“He’s not representing the will of his constituents in District 3 and never has, and I’ve had enough of it,” said Richard Gladden, participant and volunteer in the recall petition effort. “All the people that signed that petition that we collected their signatures from were not just indifferent — they were angry.” The petition states Davis voted against “the will of over 32,000 Dentonites, compromising 71 percent of Denton city voters” in November 2022 regarding Proposition B, and in June 2022 against a resolution deprioritizing the use of city funds to investigate and enforce federal law regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade. 

Signatures for the petition were collected by volunteers going door to door in neighborhoods. The city charter requires all petitions to be physically signed and dated in person to be considered valid. 

Voters have the ability to circulate petitions for the recall of a city council member freely without fact-checking or an official investigation. The requirements are a clear statement of the reason for the recall of the selected council member, the number of genuine signatures in ink and dated, the address of each person who signed and the ability to verify signatures of voters within that district by the city secretary, according to section 4.12 in the Denton Code of Ordinances. 

The recall election must be held between 30–60 days after the petition is presented to the council. If a general election coincides with this time frame it may be used as the recall election, as stated in section 4.13(c) in the Denton Code of Ordinances.

The recall election will not increase the cost of the election for the city due to the general election being held simultaneously on the same ballot, Rios said. Early and general voting locations and dates have not been selected and announced.

The last day to register to vote in the City of Denton is Thursday, Apr. 6.

Featured Image Council member Jesse Davis attends the Denton City Council meeting on June 7, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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