Kalamazoo vice mayor decides against write-in campaign, ends mayoral bid

Kalamazoo County

An undated courtesy of Kalamazoo Vice Mayor Patrese Griffin.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The vice mayor of Kalamazoo will not be running for mayor as a write-in candidate following a dispute that took her name off the ballot.

Vice Mayor Patrese Griffin announced Tuesday afternoon she has decided to focus on her advocacy work in other ways.

Kalamazoo City Clerk Scott Borling notified Griffin and one other candidate that they had not paid all their fees from previous campaigns and that under state law their names would not be allowed to appear on the November ballot.

Griffin owed $500 in fees at the time. She said that amount has since been paid and she was unaware of the balance at the time she signed an affidavit stating she was caught up on her fees. Borling said making the false statement made her ineligible.

In order to run for mayor, Griffin had to resign from her seat on the commission before the filling date but can continue to serve in the role through Nov. 1.

Griffin issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

“After much prayer and reflection, I am letting you all know that I will not be seeking to run a write-in campaign. I was looking forward to running a clean campaign that gave residents of the City of Kalamazoo a choice. After finding out that my name would be removed from the ballot, my team and I sought legal counsel and attempted every effort to get my name back on the ballot.

“Though we were unsuccessful, I am very grateful for every phone call, text, and email of support. It has meant so much. As a reminder to everyone, my irrevocable-by-law resignation from the Kalamazoo City Commission is effective November 1, 2021, but I will continue to work hard as Vice-Mayor until that day. Despite what has taken place, I remain positive.

“I do not regret making the decision to run for Mayor. I want to thank everyone who has supported and continues to support me and my work. My advocacy will now come through in other ways, stay tuned.”

Kalamazoo Vice Mayor Patrese Griffin; Aug. 31, 2021

While the mayor of Kalamazoo is elected separately from the other commission seats, he or she holds the same voting power as any member of the city commission, though the mayor has additional authority when running meetings.

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