Councilman Jackson ahead of recall election: “I feel good going into tomorrow”

By Kirsten Glavin

kglavin@abc6.com

@kirstenglavin

PROVIDENCE, RI – After 22 years on the Providence City Council, Kevin Jackson’s run in politics could be coming to an end if voters in his ward decide to oust him in a recall election, Tuesday.  Although on Monday night, the embattled politician said he felt good about his chances.

"I feel good going into tomorrow,” Jackson told ABC6 News in an interview at City Hall.

Jackson is faced with a recall election after he was arrested last May for embezzling money from the youth sports team he helped found and for misusing campaign money. Jackson has vehemently and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

"I would have stepped down if I was guilty, so I maintain my innocence,” he said Monday night.

Jackson, feeling hopeful, said he will keep his fingers crossed for the Mount Hope region in particular to hit the polls in his favor, noting his past successes in the area.

Arthur Norwalk, a resident in Ward 3 for more than 40 years and a member of the steering committee for the group, “Recall Kevin Jackson,” told ABC6 News Monday that many people in Ward 3 plan to vote him out.

A recall petition was signed by more than 20% of the registered voters in Jackson’s ward after his arrest.

"Councilman Jackson has violated the public trust and is no longer fit to serve on the council,” said Norwalk.

Over the weekend Norwalk said he handed out Anti-Jackson fliers to more than one hundred people.

ABC6 went to ward 3 to speak to some of the residents the night before the vote.

"I’m voting to re-call Kevin Jackson,” said Robert Howe.  Howe explained that he disliked Jackson’s conduct on a variety of other issues before the charges, but that this was “icing on the cake.”

"I would just like to encourage Jackson to go,” added Mona Delgado, a resident on Fourth Street. “He has lost all credibility.”

ABC6 did find an undecided voter who wanted to remain anonymous. He added, "innocent until proven guilty."

When Jackson was asked by ABC6 News Reporter Kirsten Glavin if he had any final message for his voters, he responded with the following statement:

"It has been an honor and a privilege to have served them 22 years. I believe I still continue to serve them, even under the cloud of suspicion that is hanging over me at this point. I’m the most active councilperson, I’m here everyday at city hall. I stand up for the people that haven’t had a voice and I’m asking them, just say ‘no’ tomorrow.”

Polling locations for Ward 3 include:  Church of Redeemer, Summit Commons and Vincent Brown Recreation.  Voting will begin at 7a.m. and close at 8p.m.

According to the communications person for the Providence City Council, Michaela Antunes, if Kevin Jackson is recalled, his seat becomes vacant and a special election will be held within 90 days.