Flint, MI — It’s official: five candidates are now vying for the vacant 7th ward seat on Flint City Council.

On Monday, July 17, 2023, Flint City Clerk Davina Donahue shared the list of candidates, naming Mercedes Kinnee, Ira Gilbert, Doug Matthews, Candice Mushatt and Shannon A. Searcy.

The candidates — who, according to the city charter, must be residents of the 7th ward and registered to vote in Flint for at least one year prior to filing — are looking to fill the role vacated by former Flint City Council President Allie Herkenroder.

Herkenroder announced her resignation on June 8, and stepped down on July 1, setting in motion the charter mandate by which Council has 30 days to appoint its new member.

“The City Council shall consider and appoint one of these individuals to serve as 7th Ward Council Member BEFORE July 31st,” the clerk’s press release reads. “That person shall serve in this capacity until a special election is scheduled by the City Council, the special election is held, and a candidate is certified as elected.”

Council will hold its next committee meetings tomorrow, July 19, and its next regular meeting on July 24.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....