Flint, MI — A Flint resident has turned in more than 1,000 signatures in the hope of removing City Council Vice President Ladel Lewis from her seat.

According to Genesee County Clerk Dominique Clemons, “roughly” 86 pages of signatures were turned in around 2 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2023. A total of 785 signatures are needed to move the effort to a May 2024 special election ballot. 

Recall effort supporters said they collected an estimated 300 more signatures than needed.

“They want her out,” said Flint resident and business owner Beverly Biggs-Leavy. “People were coming to us to sign the petition. She doesn’t work for the people.”

Biggs-Leavy said she worked with petitioner Sherry D. Allen and other Flint residents to collect the signatures.

The County Clerk’s office has seven days from Sept. 12 to do a preliminary review, which includes checking for a written name, signature, address, and dates. The signatures will then go to the Flint City Clerk’s office, where each signature will have to be verified as a registered voter and a resident of the second ward, which Lewis represents. 

Language filed by Allen was approved at a June 27, 2023, Genesee County Election Commission hearing on Lewis, Councilwoman Eva Worthing, and former Council President Allie Herkenroder, who has since resigned

Recall language filed by Flint resident Sherry D. Allen against current Flint City Vice President Ladel Lewis. (Image pulled from the recall petition on file with Genesee County Clerk)

All three petitions refer to Herkenroder, Lewis, and Worthing not attending a special meeting on May 20, 2023, “which was properly noticed to update the processes for organizations and individuals applying for community grant program funding through the American Rescue Plan Act subsidies allocated by the city of Flint and other general city business.”

Lewis said she isn’t worried about the recall election and supports the democratic process. 

“The voice of the people will prevail,” Lewis said of the recall effort after a Sept. 12 Flint City Council meeting. “ I believe in democracy and this is what it looks like.”

Including Lewis, over half the council is facing potential recall. Worthing, as well as Councilmembers Eric Mays, Judy Priestley and Dennis Pfeiffer, have all seen petitions approved against them in the past four months. (Pfeiffer is the only councilperson to have appealed the county election commission’s decision.)

So far, only signatures to remove Lewis have been turned in.

According to Clemons, the Flint City Clerk’s office has 22 days from Sept. 12 to verify that each signatory is a registered voter and resides within the second ward that Lewis represents, and Lewis has 30 days from Sept. 12 to appeal recall signatures.

Sophia Lada contributed to this story.

Flint Beat‘s founder and publisher, Jiquanda Johnson is a Flint-area native with more than 16 years of experience in journalism including print, television and digital media. She has worked for The...

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