With eight percent turnout for Flint city council primary, most incumbents advance to the general election

By Paul Rozycki

As voters turned out in surprisingly low numbers for Tuesday’s city council primary, a number of new faces emerged to challenge incumbents in City Hall. Yet, with about eight percent of the voters casting ballots, only one incumbent found himself in the losing column.

Voters in the 2nd Ward defeated incumbent Maurice Davis, as he finished third in a four person field.  All of the other incumbents who chose to run, were unopposed, or, survived to run in the Nov. 2 general election. The top two candidates in each ward will move on to the general election ballot in the fall. 

Campaign signs mark the entrance to a local polling station in the 7th Ward at Mott Community College. (Photo by Paul Rozycki)

Of Flint’s nine wards, only six held primary contests on Tuesday. 

In the 1st and 9th wards, incumbents Eric Mays (1st) and Eva Worthing (9th) were unopposed, though both face write-in challenges in the general election.  Their challengers are Tanya Rison in the 1st Ward and Steve Barber in the 9th Ward. 

In the 5th Ward, there were only two candidates, incumbent Jerri Winfrey-Carter and Joseph Schipani. They will both appear on the general election ballot in November. 

In the other six wards the voters chose who will be running for the council in the fall. The top two finishers will be on the Nov. ballot.

In the 2nd Ward, Ladel Lewis (253 votes, 41 percent), and Audrey Young (155 votes, 25 percent) won. Finishing third and fourth were incumbent Maurice Davis (114 votes, 18.5 percent), and Arthur Woodson (94 votes, 15 percent). 

Signs signifying which precincts were not voting in Tuesday’s primary hang on the door at Mott Community College. (Photo by Paul Rozycki)

In the 3rd Ward, A.C. Dumas (145 votes, 39 percent), and Quincy Murphy (126 votes, 34 percent) will move on to the general election. Former council member Kerry Nelson finished third (100 votes, 27 percent). Incumbent Santino Guerra chose not to run for reelection. 

In the 4th Ward, incumbent Kate Fields (134 votes, 44 percent), and Judy Priestley (114 votes, 38 percent) both advance, and Michael Doan (56 votes, 18 percent) came in third. 

In the 6th Ward, the top vote getters were Tonya Burns (219 votes, 34 percent), and Claudia Perkins (202 votes, 31 percent). Trailing were Chris Del Morone (120 votes, 19 percent), and Terae King Jr. (105 votes, 16 percent). Leslie Ann Haney was a write in candidates with no votes. Incumbent Herbert Winfrey chose not to run for reelection. 

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church polling station show campaign signs from the two 4th Ward candidates who won and will be on the ballot in November. (Photo by Paul Rozycki)

In the 7th Ward, incumbent Monica Galloway (438 votes, 39 percent) was the top vote getter, followed by challenger Allie Herkenroder (388 votes, 35 percent). Both will move on to the Nov. general election ballot. Shannon Searcy (295 votes, 26 percent) finished third. 

In the 8th Ward, challenger Dennis Pfeiffer (193 votes, 34 percent) came in first over incumbent Allan Griggs (178 votes, 31 percent). Both will move on to the Nov. election. Finishing third and fourth were Thomas Ross (101 votes, 18 percent) and William Harris Jr. (99 votes, 17 percent).

The Flint City Council primary began with 43 individuals filing to run. Twenty-five petitions were certified to make the ballot on Tuesday.  Several of those whose petitions were rejected are running as write-in candidates. They include Tonya Rison (1st Ward), Richard Jones (3rd Ward), Lakeisha Tureaud (7th Ward), and Steve Barber (9th Ward).

Under the new city charter, those elected in Nov. will serve until 2026, when they will be elected in the same year as the governor. 

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church a polling station in the 4th Ward on Flint’s north east side. (Photo by Paul Rozycki)

In other area elections, voters in Birch Run approved a millage by a 68 percent to 32 percent margin. That millage was narrowly defeated in the last election. Fenton voters approved a school operating renewal millage by 65 percent to 35 percent margin. Voters in Linden approved their school operating renewal by an identical 65 percent to 35 percent margin. 

EVM Political Commentator Paul Rozycki can be reached at Paul.Rozycki@mcc.edu.

Author: Tom Travis

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