PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - There are now two separate recall petitions in the City of Port Allen. The first is moving forward with trying to recall Mayor Deedy Slaughter. Wednesday however, the mayor's supporters filed one against the Councilmember-at-Large R.J. Loupe.
Caster Brown, co-chair of the petition against Loupe, is striking back by starting their own petition. This one is to begin collecting signatures to recall Loupe.
"We are unhappy with the way the council has been treating the mayor, the way they been treating the citizens," said Brown.
Loupe has been on the council almost 30 years. He was first elected in 1972 and served for 20 years. He was out of office until Jan. 2005 and now has served for another eight. After former mayor Derek Lewis resigned in 2011, Loupe served as interim mayor until Roger Bergeron was elected.
Brown said Loupe is their target because they see him as the city's biggest problem.
"We're looking for positive things from her. If they just give her a chance, and work with her," said Brown.
"You don't feel she's been given a chance in all these months?" asked WAFB's Kiran Chawla.
"She has not been given a chance in all these months because everything she put up for a vote, the council votes against it. The three whites vote against it," said Brown.
Loupe said he is not surprised to hear about the petition filed against him. He added he refuses to vote for something that is not right for the City of Port Allen.
This petition comes just one day after Deloris Kibby and Millie Jackson delivered their recall petition against Mayor Slaughter with more than 1,400 signatures, to Registrar Stacy Ryan.
"They will need 1,285 signatures of eligible voters to meet the recall petition threshold," said Ryan.
Meanwhile, Mayor Slaughter said it was the first she had heard about the petition against Loupe.
"Are you in support of this petition against Loupe?" asked Chawla.
"No, why would I be in support of it?" said Mayor Slaughter. "I'm just ready to move the city forward. I'm ready to continue to do what I was elected to do."
Brown said Tuesday's filing of the mayor's petition tipped the scales forcing them to start this petition. Many who signed that petition said it's about the future of Port Allen, not race. Others, like Mayor Slaughter & Brown, disagree.
"So is this about race?" asked Chawla.
"It's been a race issue. It's been race issue," said Brown.
"If it's a race issue, why are there black people chairing the petition against the mayor and why are black people leaving city hall?" asked Chawla.
"We look at it as a conspiracy against the mayor that the whites have drummed up," said Brown.
They have 180 days from Sept. 4th, 2013 to get 1,285 signatures, which is 1/3 of all the registered voters in Port Allen. The same process will apply. If they get the required signatures, the Registrar would have to verify them and then sent them to Governor Bobby Jindal, who would then declare an election to recall Loupe.