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Group looking to recall Commissioner Piepkorn won't file petition

FARGO -- The committee looking to recall City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn said it will not file its petition in the effort.

In a statement, the group said the decision comes after "Piepkorn's recent promise to personally obtain the list of all signatories."

Initially, the Committee to Recall Dave Piepkorn wanted to file the petitions last Monday, but delayed it to Friday, May 12.

"Over the past two months our volunteers have worked ceaselessly to hold accountable a City Commissioner who continues to abuse his power in the effort to denegrate and marginalize some of the city's most vulnerable residents," the statement reads. "Piepkorn's actions are the actions of a bully and we will continue to work to ensure that no elected official, especially those installed with a minority vote, uses their office to spread fear, foment distrust and divide our community."

The group said petitioners had spoken to thousands of Fargo residents during the recall effort. "They knocked doors, met neighbors and listened to stories that have had a deep impact on each of us; stories of friendship, of volunteering, of coworkers and of cross-cultural exchange."

Further the group said its efforts to recall Piepkorn "show folks they need not be afraid" even while his "demagoguery, conflated language and counterfactual claims went unchecked and his statements were repeated without question or clarification." 

The statement praised Fargo for welcoming refugees since the end of World War II.

"Fargo's churches and business leaders have led the effort to welcome these people who hae experienced immense loss, hardship and suffering and by doing so given them a second chance at life. These refugees in turn enrich our community, increase our tax base and strengthen our workforce," it reads. "In the process they become us; our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends and family members."

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