And your Lansing Charter Revision Commission is …

Bauer, Jeffries lead the nine winners out of a 36-candidate field


WEDNESDAY, May 8 — Name recognition appears to have played a big role in the election of nine candidates yesterday to serve on the first-ever Lansing Charter Revision Commission.

The top finisher in the 36-candidate field was former state representative and Lansing City Council member Joan Bauer. She netted 6,216 votes, or just over 6% of the total, to pull ahead of another former Council member, runner-up Brian Jeffries (5.08%), by 1,104 ballots in the unofficial results.

They’ll be joined by Lansing School Board member Guillermo Lopez (5,032 votes, 5%), Elizabeth Boyd (4,553, 4.53%), a former press secretary for Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm; DEI consultant Lori Adams Simon (3,628, 3.61%); UAW Local 4911 president Muhammad Qawwee II (3,407, 3.39%); former 1st Ward City Council member Jody Washington (3,222, 3.20%); Jazmin Anderson (3,106, 2.99%), equitable economic development director at LEAP, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership; and Ben Dowd (3,007, 2.99%), an associate director of the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan.

The commission will begin meeting May 21.

Voter turnout was 12.46%, low compared to recent elections. A total of 11,176 voted.

Bauer, 74, is a Lansing native who served as a 68th District Democratic member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2007 to 2012. Before that, she was an At-Large member of the City Council from 1995 to 2006 and served as president.

Jeffries, 69, a 46-year resident, has been the lead attorney for Michigan State University’s Student Legal Services program for more than 40 years. He served as City Council president twice during his tenure between 2003 and 2013. Before that, he was an elected Ingham County commissioner from 1983 to 1992, and a Lansing Community College trustee from 1997 to 2003.

Lopez, 74, is a retired 30-year employee of the Lansing Human Relations Department. He’s perhaps best known for his work as a member of the Lansing School District Board of Education, a position he’s held since 2000.

Boyd, 72, press secretary to Granholm from 2003 to 2011, was also public information officer for former secretaries of state Candice Miller and Richard Austin. The Lansing native founded her own public relations agency in 2012.

Adams Simon, 55, also has previous state government experience, having served as the chief of staff for former 10th District House Rep. Nelson W. Saunders from 1990 to 1997. A former DEI director at Sparrow Health, Simon also spent 15 years as a contract and control specialist with the Michigan Department of Community Health. She was a member of the city’s Board of Ethics for 13 years, serving twice as president.

Qawwee, 56, is a U.S. Army veteran who has worked for 30 years as a pharmacy technician at Sparrow Health. He’s been the president of Sparrow’s UAW Local 4911 since 2019.

Washington, 66, served as a 1st Ward City Council member from 2012 to 2019. She ran twice to regain a Council seat after that, most recently losing in an at-large bid in a four-way race last November. She worked as a departmental specialist at the Michigan Department of Corrections for more than four decades.

Anderson, 32, spent more than a year working as an event manager with Downtown Lansing Inc. before moving into her current role with LEAP last September. In her spare time, the Lansing native and Everett High School graduate also operates an online plant shop called Stay Rooted.

Dowd, 41, has worked for the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan since 2018 after 15 years in the banking industry. The nine-year resident was also a member of the Old Town Commercial Association for eight years, serving as president for five of them. He is the lead organizer of Lansing Pride, the 2-year-old LGBTQ celebration.

The new members will begin meeting May 21. State law allows them to meet up to 90 times total over three years, during which they’ll have three opportunities to present a revised charter to the governor. If the governor approves, it would be sent back to the voters for the final word. If residents vote against it, the commission can try again twice more in that span.

The top nine vote getters included six from the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement slate in Bauer, Jeffries, Lopez, Boyd, Qawwee and Dowd. The others on the slate who fell short were Keith Williams (12th, 2.85%), Miranda Swartz (13th, 2.74%) and Stephen Purchase (16th, 2.43%).

A competing slate known as the Lansing Community Alliance yielded one top-nine finish in Anderson. Another, Julie Vandenboom (2.97%), fell just 18 votes shy of Dowd for the final spot in the closest call of the night. Other notable finishes from that slate included Erica Lynn (11th, 2.92%) and Layna Anderson (14th, 2.69%).

Just three of the candidates who finished in the top 21 fell outside of those two slates. Adams Simon and Washington were successful in their bids, while the third, Dedria Humphries Barker (2.68%), finished 15th.

In total, 11,176 of Lansing’s 89,660 voters participated in the special election for a 12.46% turnout. For comparison, 23.57% of the city’s registered voters cast a ballot in the Feb. 27 presidential primary, while 13.06% of them voted in the Nov. 7 election that established the charter revision process through a ballot question. City Council members were also elected then.

In the latter case, 7,211 voters (51.61%) approved opening the city charter for revision, while 6,762 (48.39%) opposed it. The question has appeared on the ballot every 12 years since the city’s original charter was established in 1978.

For more information on the candidates, the issues those who were elected may seek to address and additional coverage, visit

Here is a list of candidates and how they did:

Joan Bauer — 6,216, 6.18%

Brian Jeffries — 5,112, 5.08%

Guillermo Lopez — 5,032, 5%

Elizabeth Boyd — 4,553, 4.53%

Lori Adams Simon — 3,628, 3.61%

Muhammad Qawwee — 3,407, 3.39%

Jody Washington — 3,222, 3.20%

Jazmin Anderson — 3,106, 3.09%

Ben Dowd — 3,007, 2.99%

Julie Vandenboom — 2,989, 2.97%

Erica Lynn — 2,940, 2.92%

Keith Williams — 2,868, 2.85%

Miranda Swartz — 2,760, 2.74%

Layna Anderson — 2,708, 2.69%

Dedria Humphries Barker — 2,691, 2.68%

Stephen Purchase — 2,445, 2.43%

Jerry Norris — 2,379, 2.37%

Heath Lowry — 2,165, 2.15%

Samuel Klahn — 2,106, 2.09%

Ross Yednock — 2,072, 2.06%

Randy Dykhuis — 1,996, 1.98%

Monte Jackson — 1,565, 1.56%

Derek Melot — 1,327, 1.32%

Ted O’Dell — 1,231, 1.22%

Corwin Smidt — 1,160,  1.15%

Justin Sheehan — 1,085, 1.08%

Jesse Lasorda — 1,018, 1.01%

Mitch Rice — 1,014, 1.01%

Tim Knowlton — 997, 0.99%

Michele Fickes — 989, 0.98%

Jason Wilkes — 789, 0.78%

Stan Shuck — 762, 0.76%

Britt Houze — 635, 0.63%

Douglas Mulkey — 410, 0.41%

Simon Terhaar — 399, 0.40%

Nick Zande — 386, 0.38%

Lansing, Charter, Commission, Revision, Candidates, Special, Election, Voting, Voters, City, Government, Local, Municipal


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