By Paul Rozycki
Flint voters turned out in low numbers but made some big changes as they elected their new city council, defeating three incumbents, and electing three new members in wards where incumbents were not running again.
The turnout for Genesee County was just under 13 percent of the registered voters, but the turnout in Flint was even lower, with most wards showing a turnout below 10 percent.
The new council will have six new members. In the 3rd and 6th wards incumbents chose not to run and in the 2nd Ward, incumbent Maurice Davis lost in the primary. Incumbents Kate Fields, the council president, along with Monica Galloway, and Allan Griggs were defeated in the 4th, 7th and 8th wards.
The results for Flint’s nine wards are as follows.
First Ward: In the 1st Ward Eric Mays was unopposed and won with 631 votes. Apparently, write in challenger Tonya Rison received most of the 121 under votes. Mays has made it clear he would like to be the new council president. With Kate Fields losing, the new council will be making that decision.
Second Ward: In the 2nd Ward, Ladel Lewis won with 54 percent of the vote (433 votes), defeating Audrey Young who had 46 percent (363 votes). Incumbent Maurice Davis lost in the primary and has said he plans to run for mayor.
Third Ward: In the 3rd Ward, Quincy Murphy beat A.C. Dumas with a 58 percent (306 votes) to 42 percent (224 votes) margin. Incumbent Santino Guerra chose not to run again.
Fourth Ward: In the 4th Ward, council president Kate Fields lost to challenger Judy Priestly. Priestly had 55 percent (254 votes) and Fields had 45 percent (205 votes).
Fifth Ward: In the 5th Ward, incumbent Jerri Winfrey-Carter won over Joseph Schipani. Winfrey-Carter had 60 percent (325 votes) and Schipani had 40 percent (216 votes).
Sixth Ward: In the 6th Ward, Tonya Burns won with 55 percent of the vote (428 votes) beating Claudia Perkins-Milton who had 45 percent (345 votes). Incumbent Herbert Winfrey chose not to run again.
Seventh Ward: In the 7th Ward, challenger Allie Herkenroder came out on top over incumbent Monica Galloway. Herkenroder had 53 percent (745 votes) over Galloway’s 47 percent (671 votes). There were 67 under-votes, presumably for write in candidate Lakeisha Tureaud. The 7th Ward had the largest turnout in the city with a 15 percent turnout. All other wards were at 10 percent or less.
Eight Ward: In the 8th Ward, incumbent Allan Griggs lost to challenger Dennis Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer has 54 percent (450 votes) and Griggs had 46 percent (377 votes).
Ninth Ward: In the 9th Ward, incumbent Eva Worthing was unopposed and received 100 percent (283 votes) though there were 174 under-votes, most of which went to write-in challenger Steve Barber
An unusual council election
This year’s election was unusual in several ways. As election districts are being redrawn around the state, the Flint City Council election is using the wards drawn a decade ago. Over those ten years some wards have lost as much as 30 percent of their population, and the city itself has lost just over 20 percent of its residents in the last decade.
The timing of this year’s election is also unusual. Because of the new city charter this was the last election held in an off-year, when little else was on the ballot. The next council election, in 2026, will be held at the same time as the governor’s contest, with the hope that turnout will increase.
Elections outside the city of Flint
In addition to the Flint City Council races Fenton and Flushing elected mayors and council members. Burton and Grand Blanc elected council members. Grand Blanc elected its Board of Review.
Clio elected members of its City Commission and Davison Township elected its clerk. Many of those races were uncontested, however in the contested Davison Township clerk race Democrat Pat Miller won with 65 percent of the vote over Republican Morgan Jackson.
Also on the ballot in the county were several proposals.
In Fenton voters approved a street improvements bond proposal with a 60 percent yes vote.
In Clayton Township voters approved a 2.9 mill levy to fund the police department, by a 75 percent yes vote.
In Montrose Township voters approved a $25 tax on each parcel of land for mosquito abatement also by a 75 yes percent margin.
In Mundy Township voters approved a $28 tax for a similar mosquito abatement plan by a 73 percent yes vote.
The Goodrich Area School voters renewed its operating millage of 18 mills on all property with a 68 percent yes vote.
EVM political commentator Paul Rozycki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.