Recall petition seems to have growing interest

Starting Tuesday a large group of Memphians will continue their efforts to push the city mayor out of office. Monday night, recall volunteers met to discuss how they'll try to get all the signatures they need.

And it's clear the interest is growing. The guy leading the petition drive for the recall, Thaddeus Matthews, says that in the past two days, they've already gathered a 1,000 signatures. They only need 64,000 more.

There was a  standing room only crowd at tonight's meeting. It was reportedly twice as large as the last time Willie Herenton-critic Thaddeus Matthews called for volunteers.

"Don't let the suit fool you," said recall volunteer Robert Hood. "And I'll tell the Mayor and anyone else who wants to come at me, you'd better come correct."

Matthews has a plan, he told them. Ten intersections. Morning, noon and night. He wants this crowd there, getting signatures.

"I'm gonna be on street corners," said Hood. "I'm gonna be anywhere they need me."

On Friday, the recall petition was officiated by the election commission and interest has grown.

"We're not happy about everything...about him getting his raise and then we are broke," said recall volunteer L.B. Julio.

The Memphis Mayor, for his part, has said he won't be engaged by this fight. Telling us last week that criticism comes with authority.

"A few of the naysayers and a few of the people that are not on this bandwagon of growth, well, they can sign a petition," said Mayor Willie Herenton. "For those elements that want to distract me, they will not be succesful."

Meanwhile, even within this group there are challenges. Samuel Lofton says Matthews isn't doing a good enough job at making the case to African-Americans.

"He might say all day long it's not about black and white. But when he asked who wants to stand on Lamar and Airways, no hands went up," said Lofton. "If you're standing for truth, you should be able to stand on any street corner. Not just the ones in your neighborhoods."

This group will begin looking for signatures all over the midtown and downtown area tomorrow.

So again, here's what's next...Thaddeus Matthews must collect 65,000 signatures of registered Memphis voters within the next 75 days if he wants to get the recall vote on the ballot.

That vote would come in August.