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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Mayoral candidate Tammy Kim faces recall campaign led by pro-Palestinian activists

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A recall campaign has been started against Irvine City Councilwoman Tammy Kim.

Kim’s campaign announced on April 25 that she received a notice from residents on April 24 that a group, led mainly by pro-Palestinian activists, had started a recall campaign.

The notice, written in the name of “Irvine Residents,” contains 180 signatures. The names of the signatories include ethnic Palestinians and other Middle Eastern ethnicities, along with about four Korean Americans, according to Kim’s office.

Kim cited pro-Palestinian residents and organizations that have been pushing the Irvine City Council to adopt a Gaza ceasefire resolution since November 2023 as the reason behind the recall campaign. Kim says she and two other council members have faced intense criticism and threats since they voted against the resolution, arguing that the conflict in Gaza is not the council’s decision to make.

Tammy Kim

Kim, who is running for mayor in November, has raised the possibility of political motivation as the reason she is facing the recall. She said she is the only one targeted by the recall campaign, not the other two council members who voted against the ceasefire resolution.

It’s very disconcerting to receive this kind of notice when the mayoral election is about six months away, Kim said. She also stated that it seems like a blatant tactic by her opponents to intimidate and undermine her campaign.

To meet the requirements for a recall election, the recall campaign must collect 15,000 valid signatures by June 10. Kim’s camp says the recall is being politically exploited because she is running for mayor in November and her term as a council member ends later this year.

Kim said she condemns the use of unfair recall tactics for political purposes. She also hopes that the people of Irvine will realize the unfair and extremist nature of this recall attempt and focus on the values and track record of the candidates.

BY LAWRENCE SANGHWAN LIM, JUNHAN PARK    [lim.sanghwan@koreadaily.com]