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Recall petition against Genesee County Republican Party chair falls short

Matthew Smith (file photo)
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Matthew Smith (file photo)

An effort to recall the Genesee County Republican Party chairman from a local school board seat has failed.

Matthew Smith recently pleaded guilty to making a malicious phone call to a Democratic county clerk in the Upper Peninsula. He was sentenced last month to probation.

Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly alleges in 2020 Smith threatened to kill her dogs during the call. Smith admitted to making the phone call, but denied he threatened to kill her dogs. Smith claims he wanted to "annoy" Kelly, who was running for re-election against a friend of Smith's.

Volunteers spent weeks collecting signatures to set up an election to vote to recall Smith from his seat on the Davison School Board.

But last week, Genesee County officials determined that the recall petition drive against Smith fell short by about 100 signatures.

Petition organizers say they are “examining all options.” One of those options could be another attempt to recall Smith.

Smith issued a statement claiming the petition circulators lied and tried to smear him.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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