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Rosalynn Bliss elected next mayor of Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids City Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss has been projected as the city's next mayor, becoming the first woman elected to the position.

Receiving nearly 70 percent of the vote, Bliss secured the win Tuesday evening. While the election was technically a primary, Bliss was running against former city commissioner and state representative Robert Dean, and political newcomers John George and Willard Lee.

Bliss told FOX 17 last week, despite her endorsement from outgoing Mayor George Heartwell, she planned to run a different administration, taking a different approach to tackling issues in the city,

“My leadership style is different” Bliss said. "I really enjoy getting involved and being a part of solving problems and working on local issues."

Addressing the current relationship between the city’s police department and community as a whole, Bliss touted new policy changes the commission made with the department to implement use of body cameras on officers and evaluate hiring practices.

“We’re working on those things right now, but it takes time,” she said. “It’s not going to change overnight, but there is an absolute commitment to improve community and police relations.”

Bliss had managed to outpace other candidates in fundraising. Records from the Kent County Clerk’s office show her campaign raised more than $92,000, with more than $30,000 raised during a single fundraising event held at Harmony Brewing in June.

Bliss will take on her new role at the beginning of the year. She has served as commissioner for the city's Second Ward for nearly a decade.

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5 comments

  • Steven VanPutten

    Sigh…
    Well, that is it for me. I’m moving. Good bye, GR. Good bye, Michigan.
    I am going someplace where they live in the 21st century. Good riddance to this 1950’s era corruption and mindset.
    Fortunately I have a job where I can request relocation and I have the seniority to pretty much pick where I want to go.
    Texas, Colorado, Oregon maybe.

    Shame on you, voters.
    Shame on you.
    You deserve the continued corruption that you are going to get.

  • Greg

    What a fantastic choice to succeed the great George Heartwell. Congratulations to Rosalynn Bliss! Grand Rapids will continue to prosper!