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Flint's mayor pulls off a double victory on Tuesday

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver hugs a supporter as she enters her victory party, escorted by Rev. Jesse Jackson

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver scored a double win on Tuesday.

Weaver easily defeated 17 challengers to win her recall election.  The mayor garnered roughly 53% of the votes cast. Her closest challenger, city council Scott Kincaid picked up 32%. The votes for the rest of the field tallied in the single digits.

“I’m happy that the people believed in me and saw what I was doing and my team was doing,” Weaver told reporters. “And had the confidence and faith and trust in me to keep me in office.”

Tuesday’s election also saw several of Weaver’s opponents in the Flint city council fall to defeat.   

“I think the city got the biggest win, because it’s time for us to move forward,” Weaver says. “It’s time for us to work together and make sure we’re doing what we were elected to do.”

Topping the agenda,a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority. The old city council opposed the deal. But a new majority on the council might be willing to sign off on the deal to ensure Flint’s long-term drinking water source.

Down the street from Weaver’s victory party, a more subdued crowd gathered at a different Flint nightspot.

Arthur Woodson led the recall campaign against the mayor. He convinced the county election board to approve his petition language that questioned the mayor’s support for hiring a new city garbage hauler.   Woodson led a small band that collected thousands of signatures to put the issue on the ballot, despite a persistent legal challenge by Weaver. He even ran against the mayor in the recall. 

And he lost. 

But Arthur Woodson insists, despite the result at the polls, he actually won something too.

“We made everybody aware of what’s going on here in the city. They are more politically conscious now,” says Woodson. “So no matter what, I feel like I won.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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