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Election Day: What's at stake in Muskegon and Grand Rapids

Election polling station sign
Wikimedia | Tom Arthur | CC BY 2.0


Voters across West Michigan today will head to the polls to elect city officials and vote on a number of proposals. In the city of Grand Rapids, voters will decide a number of elections, most importantly in the race for Mayor. Rosalynn Bliss, the first female mayor in Grand Rapids history, hopes voters will give her four more years, while challenger and local pastor Daniel Schutte is looking to unseat her, after running on a faith-based platform.

Two city commission elections as well in Grand Rapids. A race that a number of people will be watching is between former Grand Rapids Public School Board President Wendy Falb, who takes on Milinda Ysasi, the executive director of the non-profit employee support organization, The SOURCE. During this summer’s primary, it was close, with roughly 200 votes separating the two. Meanwhile City Commissioner Jon O’Connor takes on newcomer Allison Lutz in the city’s first ward.

Voters in Grand Rapids will decide whether or not to adopt a permanent millage to improve and maintain the city’s parks, pools and playgrounds. While the proposal is technically a renewal of the one voters passed in 2013, the new millage increases the tax, and if it passes, would be permanent.

In Muskegon, four races to watch for city commission. In the first ward incumbent Eric Hood is being challenged for his seat by Jennifer Ross. In the 2nd Ward Jeanette Burt-Moore  looks to unseat incumbent Willie German Jr. The third Ward sees the return of Lawrence Spataro, who served 16 years as city commissioner before losing his seat four years ago. To win back his spot on the commission, he will have to defeat Michael Ramsey. Finally, newcomers Teresa Emory and John Page will duke it out to represent Muskegon’s fourth ward.

Officials say, voters can now register the day of the election, giving no one an excuse of not voting.

The polls close at 8PM.

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