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City of Wyoming Mayor Vanderwood faces calls to step down following felony charges

City of Wyoming Mayor Kent Vanderwood
City of Wyoming
Courtesy Photo
City of Wyoming Mayor Kent Vanderwood

City of Wyoming Mayor Kent Vanderwood was among the 16 ‘False Electors’ who were charged Tuesday by Michigan Attorney Gen. Dana Nessel. Vanderwood has since been asked to recuse himself or resign by state representatives and community members.

Vanderwood is among the 16 defendants who are alleged to have met in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters following the 2020 presidential election.

According to the state attorney general’s office, the defendants signed their names to multiple certificates in an attempt to cast state electoral votes for candidates of their choosing instead of candidates who were actually elected by voters.

On the city of Wyoming’s Facebook page, the city posted on Wednesday that it had received questions from community members about recall or removal of Vanderwood. The post went on to cite state laws regarding recall and removal processes but did not offer any additional information.

State Rep. John Fitzgerald, a Democrat representing Wyoming, said in a statement Wednesday, that the actions of Mayor Vanderwood do not reflect the honest values of the people of Wyoming.

“These allegations — attempting to overturn Michigan’s lawful election — not only demonstrate poor judgment, but they also describe actions that are un-American, dangerous and wholly inappropriate for any person in a position of public trust to perpetrate," Fitzgerald said.

“Every resident of Wyoming deserves to have trust in our local institutions and leaders. While these charges move through the courts, I do not believe that our city, nor its residents, are best served under the leadership of an indicted mayor."

Fitzgerald called for Vanderwood to, "at minimum, recuse himself from all official duties until the legal proceedings have concluded and a verdict has been rendered on all eight felony charges levied against him."

Meanwhile, State Rep. Phil Skaggs, a Democrat representing East Grand Rapids, also released a statement this week, but went a step further by stating “the right thing for [Vanderwood] to do is resign.”

“Anyone charged with attempting to overthrow American democracy must face the consequences of the law, regardless of their political affiliation," Skaggs said. "That’s why the individuals who are charged with conspiring to ignore millions of legal Michigan votes — essentially to install Trump as an unelected dictator — must be held to account."

Skaggs applauded Nessel for filing charges against the 16 defendants and said he has full faith that the justice system will produce a fair outcome.

"Our elections are safe and secure, and we must keep it that way. Among the Republicans accused of attempting to overturn the results of those free and fair elections is Wyoming Mayor Kent Vanderwood," he said.

In a statement to WGVU, the City of Wyoming said "we are aware of the charges against Kent Vanderwood. These actions did not take place in his capacity as a city official. With any charges, there is a legal process that needs to be followed."

Vanderwood was elected into office on Aug. 2, 2022 after winning more than half of the votes needed to avoid a runoff election.

Meanwhile, in East Michigan, Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot, who was among the 16 charged this week, wasstripped of all election duties on July 20 by the state Bureau of Elections while charges are pending. Grot has said he will recuse himself.

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