Recall effort against Kansas City Councilman Eric Bunch falls short

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An effort to recall Fourth District Kansas City Councilman Eric Bunch has failed, according to numbers released from the Office of the City Clerk.

Petitioners needed 2,637 valid signatures to get the recall on the ballot, however, only 2,453 valid signatures were collected.

“Happy to have this behind us and excited to continue the work as your councilperson. The work continues,” Bunch tweeted in response to the news.

First District Councilman Kevin O’Neil tweeted that he was glad to hear that Bunch would not be facing a recall election.

“Councilman Bunch is a good representative of his district and a good friend. As I have always said, we might disagree with people on issues but we can still like them and debate with civility,” O’Neil tweeted.

The group leading the recall effort, Take KC Back, tells FOX4 they have not received an official report from the clerk’s office.

“We believe that enough qualified voters from Kansas City’s Fourth District signed the petition to put a recall of Councilman Eric Bunch on the ballot. We are awaiting the official report from the City Clerk’s office and hopeful that it too will find that the numbers were sufficient, so that these concerned citizens’ voices will fairly be heard,” organizers said in a statement to FOX4.

Take KC Back organizer Shannon Bjornlie said in an earlier interview that the recall effort was in response to Bunch’s vote to shift funding for the Kansas City Police Department so the city council would have more control.

“We see it as defunding because there’s no plan,” said Shannon Bjornlie with Take KC Back. “The money doesn’t say specifically that it has to go back to the police department.”

In a previous thread of tweets Bunch previously called the KCPD reallocation, “A vote I still stand firmly behind.” Bunch added, “You and your local officials can ensure that KCPD uses your tax dollars as intended — at least for a portion of their budget.  Gone are the days of writing a blank check to the governor-appointed police commission.”

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