Anderson Recall Fails, But Neighborhood Group Says "Its Not Over."

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 5/07 6:42 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF-TV) -- An effort by district seven residents to force Chris Anderson off the Chattanooga city council has failed.
After spending three months collecting signatures, the Hamilton county election commission says the campaign fell short of the 16-hundred names needed.
But the neighborhood group says it is not giving up.

CHRIS ANDERSON, DIST. 7, CITY COUNCIL "Its a desperate group of people that led the recall, so nothing would surprise me about them."

Councilman Chris Anderson was targeted in January by members of the Alton Park/Piney Woods Neighborhood Association.
Led by president Gil Shropshire, the stated purpose was to force Anderson to be more responsive to neighborhood needs.
But Anderson, who is the city's first openly gay council member thinks that's what's behind the campaign.

CHRIS ANDERSON "I think, not in my mind, but in their talking points and in their script, it was about biggotry and hatred and I don't have time for those kind of people."

The election commission could only find 1179 of the 1600 names needed to recall Anderson.
Shropshire says he thinks he knows why it failed.
He says the voter list was faulty and included deceased people.

GIL SHROPSHIRE, PRES. ALTON PARK/PINEY WOODS ASSOCIATION "Our next step is that we're going challenge this voting list because it needs to be purged..if its purged the way its supposed to be purged, we have more than enough signatures."

Shropshire says his group will demand that the elections department recount the names after a purge.
But, the elections administrator is doubtful that will happen.

KERRY STEELMAN, ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR "...in fact, they had a voter purge in 2009 and in 2011..the most recent."

Steelman says his office could only find one deceased person's name, and that voter died in April.
Shropshire says his group is not ready to give up.
While Anderson says his focus is now on the job.

CHRIS ANDERSON "In my mind the recall is over but fighting for district 7 is not over, I'm just going to keep focusing on my job and my district."

Anderson's attorney says he will announce next week whether to proceed with the lawsuit against the neighborhood group.


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