St. Louis Public Radio News
10:30 am
Wed August 27, 2008

Recall activists admit effort will fall short

St. Louis – Opponents of St. Louis mayor Francis Slay aren't giving up on their efforts to oust him from office.

But they now admit they'll have to wait until next year's elections.

A group led by activist Zaki Baruti fell almost 30,000 signatures short of gathering enough to place a recall of Mayor Slay on the ballot. But Baruti says he'll turn over whatever signatures he does gather to challengers who step forward.

"If we have a viable candidate, that would be a real great chance of defeating him cause there is a lot of discontent."

The group now wants to gather at least 19,000 signatures - the number of votes Slay got in April 2005. Baruti says it's been easy to collect signatures

"Over 90 to 95 percent of the people signed the petitions, and in fact in some of the community they were saying, why haven't you we've been waiting on you to get to the community."

Baruti has a "dream list" of city leaders he'd like to see run, including city comptroller Darlene Green, city license collector Michael McMillan, City Council president Lewis Reed, and former fire chief Sherman George. Green already plans to run for re-election to her office. George says it's not something he'd like to do, but won't rule it out.