Elections

First Democrat elected to Ottawa County Commission

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time ever, Ottawa County has a Democrat on the Board of Commissioners.

It took four years, three elections and lots of knocking on doors, but Doug Zylstra didn't give up because he believed not everyone in the community was being represented.

"There's changing demographics in Holland. I basically kept running because the current commissioner wasn't taking that into account," Zylstra said.

The local business owner pointed to a big year for Democrats and strong leadership from Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer in explaining how he finally landed a county commission seat.

One of Zylstra's top priorities is housing. He said housing options are limited and prices aren't what people can afford.

"The second part is health care. Holland is a unique community in that it is the youngest community in all of Ottawa County. We need to focus on physical and mental health in the city of Holland. I think putting more resources into that and attention into that is the way we need to go," he said.

Though the lone Democrat on the board, Zylstra says his goal is to work with Republicans to represent the city of Holland.


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