Bliss re-elected as mayor of Grand Rapids, Ysasi "emotional" after winning 2nd Ward race

Nov 6, 2019

Credit John Rothwell

Voters Tuesday re-elected Rosalynn Bliss as the mayor of Grand Rapids, defeating challenger and local pastor Daniel Schutt in a “landslide.”  Bliss, the first female mayor in Grand Rapids history, told WGVU, that she does not take the job for granted.

“Every day, I feel grateful. It has been the biggest privilege of my life to serve,” Bliss said. 

This will be Rosalynn Bliss’ last term as mayor due to term limits.

In a closer than expected race, city commissioner and incumbent Jon O’Connor beat newcomer Allison Lutz and held onto his seat in the city’s 1st ward, while Melinda Ysasi edged former Grand Rapids Public School Board President Wendy Falb for city commissioner in the city’s 2nd Ward.

It’s a big win for Ysasi after a close primary this past August, with both candidates having strong endorsements from various members of the city commission.

“I’m going to be the next 2nd Ward’s city commissioner,” Ysasi said. “I’m grateful, overjoyed, emotional, but most of all, I think I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful for this community, and for all the people that stepped up to make this happen.”

Meanwhile, voters said yes to a 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 is permanent.