Latasha Holloway is working to recall Mayor Bobby Dyer, citing malfeasance. She also plans to file campaign paperwork to run for mayor.
“This is something I’m doing after all the outcry from the citizens of Virginia Beach,” Holloway told The Virginia Star. “It’s based on misuse of justice and neglect of duty. So basically what I am highlighting is the incompetence that Mr. Dyer has demonstrated in the position of mayor.”
“The two examples that cry out injustice the loudest are the assassinations of both Donovan Lynch and Deshayla Harris, and the fact that we have not received any answers. The fact that there has been a lack of transparency is just ridiculous. And I am demanding that there be now and investigation sought out at the highest levels from the Department of Justice,” Holloway said.
Hollway said Dyer has failed to diversify the city. She said he’s overcharging city residents for flood protection initiatives with no clear vision for solving the problem.
It is difficult to successfully recall an elected official in Virginia. A recall petition must have signatures from voters of the official’s district; the total number required is ten percent of the number of votes that originally elected that official. Then, the petition is submitted to a judge.
The Commonwealth’s attorney, not the petitioners, carries the case forward. In Virginia, the legal reasons for recalls are not focused on policy, but on misconduct and crime. That creates several points where recall petitions usually fail: something can be technically wrong with the petition’s signatures or its wording, the Commonwealth’s attorney could decide not to prosecute it, or the judge could decide not to remove the official after trial.
In 2020, Dyer was re-elected; 220,033 total votes were cast in that race, so the recall petition will require 22,003 signatures from registered Virginia Beach voters. Holloway’s lawyer Amina Matheny-Willard said they planned to get more than necessary, and expected the whole process to take about six months. They announced the recall the weekend before the election and by Election Day had already received over 2,000 signatures.
Dyer’s office declined to comment.
Holloway said she also wants to recall Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle and Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Stolle. Holloway previously sued the city of Virginia Beach over its voting system. In March 2021, a federal court found that Virginia Beach’s “at-large” voting system violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965, according to a Holloway press release.
Holloway said the recall isn’t about political party. She said people interested in signing the petition should visit https://detoxvb.now.site.
She said, “The citizens of Virginia Beach are fed up, okay. The fact of the matter is people have been seeking me out to sign the petition. I’ve seen an overwhelming response from the community. The response that I hear most often is, ‘It’s about time that somebody stood up against the usual suspects in Virginia Beach and do something.'”