Mayor Rosalynn Bliss was re-elected for a second-term as the Democrat mayor of the city of Grand Rapids. She ran a campaign against Daniel Schutte, a pastor and candidate for the 75th District of the Michigan House of Representatives in 2018. Bliss ran a campaign focused on the city’s infrastructure, economic development, and restoration of parks. Schutte ran a campaign on “proclaim[ing] the glory and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Chrst.” Schutte’s campaign also focused on eliminating abortion – a policy more commonly held by national politicians rather than local. Mayor Bliss won in a landslide victory Tuesday night. Daniel Schutte garnered 16% of the vote while the incumbent mayor took home 84% of the vote.
Rosalynn Bliss became the first female mayor of the city in 2016 after winning her election with 66% of the vote. Prior to serving as mayor, she was a member of the Grand Rapids City Commission since 2006. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice at the University of South Alabama and a master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University.
She serves on many city-wide boards and committees, is an adjunct professor of social work at Grand Valley State University, and served as Director of Residential Services at D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s – a non-profit that gives shelter to neglected and abused children in West Michigan.
Many political experts looked at the 2019 election as the last “referendum” on President Donald Trump. A large Democratic victory in Kent County may mean that the area could turn Democratic in the upcoming 2020 election. Mayor Bliss recently penned a letter with more than fifty other mayors across America to endorse Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana for president in 2020.