FLINT, MI — The Genesee County Clerk’s Office has approved more than 8,000 signatures collected by petitioners to force a recall election to unseat Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.
Last month, Flint resident Arthur Woodson submitted 780 petition sheets to County Clerk John Gleason, who approved most of them before passing them on to Flint City Clerk Inez Brown, who has two weeks to verify the legal status of names on the petitions.
“This has been a long journey,” Woodson said. “We had about 12 people out there constantly collecting signatures and I think they did a great job. If they certify them fine. If not, then God have mercy on Flint.”
Woodson had the task of collecting at least 5,750 signatures to move forward with putting the recall issue on the November ballot.
Recall supporters collected 8,848 signatures, but Gleason’s office whittled that total down.
“We collected more signatures than votes she got to win the election,” Woodson said. “That’s a lot of signatures. It shows how the people really feel about her as a leader.”
Weaver took the mayor’s seat from Dayne Walling in November 2015 with 7,825 votes. Walling had 6,061 votes.
If the 5,750 signatures are verified, Flint will see another mayor’s race.
Gleason says people interested in being Flint’s mayor would have to collect 900 signatures to be placed on the November ballot to run against Weaver. Weaver’s name will automatically be placed on the ballot unless she withdraws. Under state law, an unlimited number of people can run, and whoever gets the most votes in the November election will be able to serve out the remainder of Weaver’s term, whether that is a majority of the votes cast or not. The winner could be Weaver herself, or it could be someone else.
(TBR Editor’s Note: For a definitive report on Michigan recall election law and how it relates to whether Mayor Karen Weaver has a good chance to survive Woodson’s effort, see the April 25, 2017, article on the same subject in The Ballenger Report).