University of Tenn. at Chattanooga Senator-President-elect Phillip Stubblefield is stepping down before he is even sworn into office.
“You know, it did come as a surprise to me, honestly. We were in the SGA offices when it happened,” said Senator-elect Blake Kitterman.
It comes amid a scandal that is hanging over the Student Government Association.
Stubblefield was elected in March, but many were unhappy with him running on a platform of “free speech” and “diversity” only to call for Senator-elect Hailey Puckett to resign after she chalked pro-Donald Trump messages on the campus sidewalk.
In his resignation letter, Stubblefield says, “aS one of the few conservatives in a student government that is very much considered liberal, I have always felt that it was difficult to serve students, and when I tried to change that, I was attacked and mischaracterized.”
A petition was started by fellow students to hold a recall reelection on Stubblefield’s seat. Tucker McClendon is the one who launched it.
“The angle at first was, let the students have another vote, you know, so, the poor leadership they showed, the poor leadership, the poor communication, and also the restricting of her first amendment right,” said McClendon.
Puckett, who’s of the same party as Stubblefield, would not grant News 12 an interview, but she did speak to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly last week.
“Everything has been taken out of context. They’re saying the wall is about division. And we want unity on campus, but we also want to include everyone. So, it’s just kind of hard to say I’m wrong and then say you want unity,” Puckett said in the interview.
The recall petition reached 700. A run-off election will now be held between the two other candidates who ran for his seat.
News 12 tried multiple times to ask Stubblefield for an interview. He did not return our calls.
“I think it’s for the best. Um, you know, I was one of many senators who were going to be calling for his impeachment soon,” expressed Kitterman.
— Phillip Stubblefield (@P_H_I_L_L_I_P_) April 11, 2016