Social Media Taunt by Janice Winfrey Provokes Pushback: 'Petty,' 'Inappropriate'

November 08, 2017, 7:47 PM by  Alan Stamm

Detroit's city clerk can't resist playful gloating after being re-elected by a thin margin. Janice Winfrey's strutting on Instagram provokes a backlash from Detroiters who see it as "beyond immature" and "very inappropriate."

She shares this slide at right on Wednesday morning and tags it "#message."

Winfrey got 50.5 percent of the votes to beat Garlin Gilchrist, a 35-year-old former city technology director, who had 49 percent. They're just 1,482 votes apart out of 98,282 counted. 

Gilchrist may ask for a recount, he says, because "Detroit voters need to know their vote was counted and counted accurately. 

"Winfrey dominated the absentee vote, while Gilchrist won a majority of Election Day votes," writes Nicquel Terry of The Detroit News.

Winfrey had 19,967 absentee votes, compared to Gilchrist’s 11,207 with all precincts reporting.

Gilchrist won 37,193 votes at the polls Tuesday, while Winfrey earned 29,915, according to Wayne County voting data.

The 59-year-old city clerk, in office since 2006, keeps her "janice4thewin" Instagram page in private status. That means only 1,223 pre-approved followers can see it.

The post-election photo meme apparently seems off-key to at least one follower, who shares it directly with Detroit marketing executive Eric Thomas, an outspoken Facebook commenter on local issues. He posts it with this observation:

Janice Winfrey won by a single percentage point and is out here flexing. Half the electorate doesn't believe you should be the candidate and you postin' memes. Oh ok.

Thomas, senior partner at Saga Marketing downtown, attracts more than 40 comments so far. "Garlin losing by a point to the person who was in charge of elections . . . is so Detroit that it hurts," one friend says pointedly.

Here are samples from the lively thread, with names omitted because participants aren't posting for publication:

Janice Winfrey won by 1,482 votes out of 98,282 counted. (Campaign site photo)

♦ Very inappropriate.

♦ This is indeed poor taste. You don't get to be petty in politics as a black woman. We already got a white man as president doing enough for everyone. We really have to do better and set a better example.

♦ That is beyond immature from a public leader.

♦ Childish.

♦ She gotta chill. 1%, sis. She has to wake up and humble that shit. You won by a percent so you ain't that "hip." What type of professional is she? Like this isn't a reality show, so the meme is classless. This is a city. It's peoples lives and you posting petty memes. It's classless. That's a Real Housewives of Atlanta meme. [From multiple comments]

♦  Exactly -- classless. Do the work instead of making memes. You barely won by the hair on your chinny chin chin. She blew no one out.

♦  A little too confident over 1%.

♦ You should absolutely mind your behavior, your manners and act/win with grace and respect. This was in very poor taste.

♦ That's pretty classless. Enjoy it while you've got it, Janice. You won't last long.

♦ Everybody has a little Trump in them.

♦ Now if only she were even half as serious about doing her job as she was about posting memes and being classless.

♦ Told y'all she ghetto.

♦ This is one of the main reasons I cant wait to move down South next year. Y'all can have this fuckery representing the city, I just tired.

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