Flint’s mayor’s race is just a governor’s signature away from getting back on track.
The race was thrown into chaos in April after the city clerk gave candidates the wrong date to submit petition signatures. No candidate submitted enough signatures by the correct deadline to qualify for the August primary.
Without help from the state, Flint voters would have had to write-in the names of candidates in the November general election.
On Wednesday, the legislature approved a bill allowing four candidates onto the August primary ballot. The governor is expected to sign the bill.
“Flint needs a regular election after everything we’ve been through,” says Mayor Dayne Walling.
During the past few years, the city has been run by an emergency manager appointed by the governor to fix Flint’s city finances. The financial emergency was lifted this spring.
The city has endured deep budget cuts, seen violent crime spike, and city water quality fall.
Those issues are expected to be debated by incumbent mayor Walling, city councilman Eric Mays, councilman Wantwaz Davis and candidate Karen Weaver during the months leading up to the August primary.
Even though the legislative fix appears to have the campaign back on track, candidate Eric Mays is concerned about how Flint’s mayoral election problem have been resolved.
“It kind of sets a precedent for not just the city of Flint but other cities, because there will always be violations,” says Mays.
One person not commenting on the legislation is Flint City Clerk Inez Brown. It was her mistake that created the situation.
The city is conducting an internal review.