Kalamazoo Mayoral candidates (left to right) David Benac, David Anderson and Esteven Juarez spoke at a forum for candidates running for Kalamazoo Mayor. October 22nd, 2019
Kim Willis / WMUK

Kalamazoo will have a new mayor in November. Bobby Hopewell is not running for re-election this fall after 12 years as Kalamazoo’s mayor. Three candidates, David Anderson, David Benac and Estevan Juarez participated in a forum on Tuesday October 22nd. It was sponsored by WMUK, Western Michigan University’s Institute of Government and Politics and WeVote, a WMU group dedicated to voter registration. (Advisory: on the discussion of marijuana one of the candidates utters a profanity twice. This happens for the first time about 36:45 into the forum). 

A forum for Kalamazoo City Commission candidates was held October 1, 2019 at Western Michigan University
Kim Willis / WMUK

Candidates running for Kalamazoo City Commission answered questions on issues ranging from spraying for mosquitoes to prevent the spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis to tax policy and pedestrian safety. Tuesday’s forum for city commission candidates was co-sponsored by WMUK, Western Michigan University’s Institute of Government and Politics and WMU WeVote.

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West Michigan Congressman Fred Upton says a “red flag law” probably would have prevented the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018. The St. Joseph Republican says other states have used red flag laws, and it should be implemented nationwide. 

Vendors of election security services and equipment ply the halls during a convention of secretaries of state in Santa Fe, N.M.,  July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
Morgan Lee / The Associated Press

West Michigan Congressman Fred Upton says he hasn’t made a final decision about running for another term. The St. Joseph Republican says “I would not be doing these 10, 12, 14 hour days often six, seven days a week, if we had made the decision not to run, but frankly it’s just a little bit too early.” 

Map of Michigan's Congressional Districts
Department of Interior / Wikimedia Commons

The Director of Princeton University’s Gerrymandering Project says a new independent commission in Michigan presents an opportunity to move past partisan gridlock and represent a wide range of interests. Sam Wang says there are also challenges such as essentially starting a new state agency from scratch.