Kalamazoo mayor to face 2 challengers, including vice mayor, in upcoming election

Kalamazoo County

Candidates for Kalamazoo mayor in the November 2021 election. (Left – Mayor David Anderson; Middle – Vice Mayor Patrese Griffin; Right – Benjamin Stanley)

KALAMAZOO (WOOD) — Incumbent Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson will have two challengers in November’s municipal election, including the city’s vice mayor.

At the filing deadline on Tuesday, Vice Mayor Patrese Griffin and Benjamin Stanley had both turned in enough signatures to challenge Anderson on the November ballot.

Anderson had previously announced he was running for reelection during a press conference in Bronson Park in May.

Griffin was elected to the Kalamazoo City Commission in 2019 for a four-year term. As the highest vote-getter in that election, Griffin was chosen as vice mayor.

Kalamazoo residents voted to change the city charter in 2014 to directly elect the mayor for a two-year term. Previously, the highest vote-getter in the election was elected mayor. Under that charter revision, there was also a provision that a commissioner whose term is not up at the time of a mayoral election must resign their commissioner seat before the filing deadline in order to be eligible to run for mayor.

Griffin turned her resignation in to Kalamazoo City Clerk Scott Borling Tuesday morning. She will continue to serve as Vice Mayor until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 1.

In a statement to News 8 Tuesday night, Anderson welcomed Griffin to the race.

“As a colleague on the city commission for the last two years, I have enjoyed working with the vice mayor on the priorities that will make Kalamazoo an even better place to live. Although we voted together on almost every agenda item, I look forward to having a positive discussion over the next few months about the policies and values that will bring a better future to the city of Kalamazoo.”

News 8 reached out to Griffin Tuesday but have not heard back yet.

Stanley, the third candidate in the race, ran for city commission in 2019 and Kalamazoo County District 1 commissioner in 2020.

Voters in Kalamazoo will also be voting for four city commissioner positions. Nine candidates turned in enough signatures.

Current Commissioners Eric Cunningham, Erin Knott and Jack Urban are not seeking reelection. The fourth seat is the one being vacated by Griffin.

The candidate that finishes fourth in voting will serve out the remaining two years of Griffin’s term. The top three vote-getters will be seated for four-year terms.

The nine commissioner candidates are:

  • Marshall Kilgore
  • Alphonso Harris
  • Qianna Decker
  • Don Cooney
  • Steven Chandler
  • Stephanie Hoffman
  • Jason Morris
  • Esteven Juarez
  • James Mitchell

The election will take place on Nov. 2.

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