Commissioner Bliss announces GR mayoral run

Posted at 3:45 PM, Jan 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-28 22:26:19-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- In front of a room packed with cheering supporters Wednesday evening, city commissioner Rosalynn Bliss officially, and admittedly to not much surprise, announced her candidacy for mayor.

The Kent County Clerk's Office had confirmed to FOX 17 earlier in the day that Bliss filed campaign finance papers Wednesday setting her up for a mayoral run.

If elected, Bliss would become the first woman to ever serve as mayor of Beer City. She used the announcement to tout her victories during her decade serving on the city commission, including righting the city's budget wrongs, and coming up with a comprehensive plan to fund road repairs in the city.

Hoping to carry that momentum into her campaign, Bliss also acknowledged there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure the city's progress doesn't stall out.

“We also have to take a closer look at where we’re not doing well and we have to work in a very targeted way to address those issues," Bliss told reporters after the announcement.

"I see another big issue we have to work through in the next couple of years being the river restoration project, which could be a catalyst for our downtown revitalization along the river, that’ll very important over the next five years.”

Bliss announced the formation of a committee to explore a run for the Mayor's Office in November. A mayoral campaign site 'Bliss For Mayor' is already live online.

Bliss has been serving as city commissioner for Grand Rapids' Second Ward for 10 years.

Grand Rapids' current mayor George Heartwell is term-limited following voter approval to place term limits on mayors and city commissioners last November.

Bliss is one of four commissioners facing term limits within the next three years. She wouldn't speculate on who she expected might become a possible opponent in the race. The deadline to submit a nominating petition to appear on the ballot is late April.