Flint, MI — Recall petition language submitted against Flint Councilwoman Judy Priestley was voted down at an election commission meeting on June 8, 2023.

The language, filed by Flint resident Adam Ford, read that Priestley failed “to work effectively with her Flint City Council colleagues.”

Per Michigan law, the election commission had to determine if the language submitted was “clear and factual.”

Addressing the commission, made up of Probate Judge Jennie Barkey, Genesee County Clerk Domonique Clemons and County Treasurer Deb Cherry, Ford began by saying that his statement met that benchmark.

“Opinions can be facts,” he told the commissioners. “I can say Adolf Hitler was a bad leader. I think that’s a fact.”

Ford added that he thinks voters should be the ones who decide whether his petition statement is factual.

Priestley’s attorney, Daniel Wholihan, argued that the language submitted was not clear nor factual, citing that there were “no specifics in that language.”

After hearing from both parties, Judge Barkey made a motion for the commission to find the language not clear or factual. Her motion passed unanimously with both Clemons and Cherry voting in favor.

“I’m glad that I can continue serving the residents of the City of Flint without the distraction of a recall,” Priestley said following the hearing.

Ford told Flint Beat that he thinks the ruling is insulting to voters and that the recall process should be revisited in favor of residents.

“I think people should have more of a right to recall their elected officials that they don’t feel are doing the job,” he said.

Since the commission determined that the language was not clear or factual, the recall petition against Priestley was denied and will go no further in the recall process.

Sophia is Flint Beat's City Hall reporter. She joins the team after previously reporting for the Livingston Daily and the Lansing State Journal, along with some freelance work with The New York Times....