Group seeks to oust Fairmont council members

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – A group of about 10 Fairmont residents plan to circulate a petition to recall councilmen David Kennedy and Barry Bledsoe.

Bledsoe referred to Democratic vice president candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris as a “hoe” and called Danielle Walker “satanic” for supporting activities like Drag Queen Storytime.

“Anything that I said that they don’t like wasn’t racist and it wasn’t even unfriendly,”Bledsoe said,”It was simply a matter of responding to political issues.”

Kennedy has been the target of criticism since he allegedly made statement on social media that were insensitive to people of other races and members of the LGBTQ community.

On social media Kennedy recently responded to the petition:

“Taylor County communists were sponsors of Fairmont City Council Petition, that recall petition has one motive, to silence myself and Bledsoe. Put us out of the way of certain subversive group will have almost total power to make the decisions for the city. As conservatives we pose real threats to their radical work. If we are gone nobody will come forward in the future to take there lies, slander, abuse, and corruption. We’ll fight this fight until the end and my term ends in two years.”

Organizer of the effort, David Ice says the group is concerned about the image of Fairmont and believes this type of speech can discourage businesses and industry from locating to the area.

“We’re labeled as a friendly city and with them making those remarks that doesn’t make us a friendly city,”Ice said,”That puts us as a bad city.”

Ice expects to get the petition from officials Thursday, September 24 and he says they will go out into the community.

“We’re going to do petition drives and go door-to-door,”Ice said,”But, with COVID-19 we will do social distancing and everything.”

Bledsoe tells WAJR News that the petitioning group is opposed to his positions on a wide variety of issues and they’re using these social media comments as a way to remove him.

“If any group can simply take up arms and try to remove a politician because they don’t like his stand, that could lead to a bad future,”Bledsoe said.

According to the Marion County clerk, the group will have to get 2,461 signatures to accomplish the recall. The signees must have been registered to vote in the November 2018 election and must be Fairmont residents.