FLINT, MI — Eighteen challengers have filed to take on Mayor Karen Weaver in a November recall election, including a veteran of the City Council and the citizen activist who led the petition drive to force the election.
Genesee County Clerk-Register John Gleason and the office of Flint Clerk Inez Brown said the candidate filings include David Davenport, Chris Del Morone, Woody Etherly Jr., Anderson Fernanders, Ray Hall, Ronald Higgerson, Brent Jaworski, Ellery Johnson, Scott Kincaid, Sean MacIntyre, Gregory Martin, David Meier, Anthony Palladeno Jr., Don Pfeiffer, Jeffrey Shelley, Al Wamsley, Angela Ward, and Arthur Woodson.
In addition to Weaver, those 18 candidates will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot and voters will be asked to pick one of the 19 to complete the last two years of Weaver’s term. Whoever finishes first will be elected.
The current candidate list includes four candidates who filed petitions and whose nominating signatures still must be verified, according to the city.
Candidates had the choice of filing either petitions with a minimum of 40 Flint voters’ signatures or $100 to secure a spot on the ballot.
The recall seeks to remove Weaver from office for agreeing to an emergency waste collection contract with Rizzo Environmental Services, but the incumbent has been rocked by controversy on other issues as well.
Woodson led the petition drive to force the recall election. Kincaid is a 32-year incumbent on the city council and the longtime president of the panel. There may be a challenge to Kincaid’s eligibility to run for mayor while he runs in a separate race for re-election to his 9th Ward council seat, although Kincaid argues that he had no way of knowing that he would have the opportunity to run in the mayoral recall at the time he filed for the council last spring. Changes in Michigan’s recall law have created an unprecedented scenario that has never had to resolve a situation like Kincaid’s, not has it been challenged in court.
If Kincaid is allowed to run for mayor, he can be expected to be Weaver’s top competition. He ran against former Mayor Woodrow Stanley in 1999 and lost narrowly. Stanley, who now supports Weaver, was recalled himself in 2001.