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Group of Portsmouth citizens calls for recall of De'Andre Barnes, Mark Whitaker

The group members call the sudden firing of former City Manager Angel Jones at the end of May "unethical."

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A small crowd called for change outside the Portsmouth City Hall Tuesday morning.

Speakers said they want to recall two city council members following the firing of City Manager Angel Jones.  

The group of citizens and community leaders formed their own political action committee, and are focused on driving out Vice Mayor Deandre Barnes and Councilman Mark Whitaker from the city council. 

The group members call the sudden firing of former City Manager Angel Jones at the end of May "unethical."

Council members voted 4 to 3 to fire Jones. Barnes and Whitaker both voted in favor of that. 

Councilman Paul Battle and Councilman Christopher Woodard voted that way as well, but a community activist in the recall group said they aren’t focusing on Battle or Woodard yet because they are up for reelection in November. 

Members of the recall group say they want to reshape the Portsmouth city council. 

13News Now reached out to Vice Mayor Barnes about the recall campaign, and he gave us a statement: 

"I’m excited to see our citizens engaged and exercising their rights. My concern is that we have more pressing issues in the city right now. We have been losing our children at an alarming rate, in which even I have been affected by losing my 12-year-old cousin to gun violence. My only hope is that the same passion they’re showing for this, they’ll gather in unity when our kids are getting shot dead in our Portsmouth streets."

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