Wednesday, July 26, 2023

2023 Kalamazoo Election Preview

This article was last updated September 8, 2023.

This is a preview of the November 7 elections in Kalamazoo County.

Kalamazoo City Commission

The mayor and three seats on the Kalamazoo City Commission are up for election. The seven commissioners are Mayor David Anderson (on since 2005, mayor since 2019), Don Cooney (1997-2019, 2021-P), Jeanne Hess (2019), Chris Praedel (2019), Qianna Decker (2021), Stephanie Hoffman (2021), Esteven Juarez (2021)

The mayor is elected separately every two years.  There are staggered four-year terms for the other seats, with three up for election every two years.  Cooney, Decker, and Hoffman were elected to 4-year terms in 2021, and Juarez won a 2-year term created by a resignation.

Mayor Anderson, a center-left democrat, will run for reelection.  He is being challenged by John Allen, an attorney.

Hess, Praedel, and Juarez are seeking reelection.  Other candidates include Jeff Messer, James P. Ayers, Alonzo Wilson II, and James Mitchell.  Mitchell ran unsuccessfully in 2021.

Portage City Council

The mayor and three seats on the Portage City Council are up for election.  Patricia Randall was elected mayor in 2017 after serving on the council since 2009.  Councilwoman Lisa Brayton, who was elected unopposed to the council in 2021, tried to challenge Randall for mayor.  However, she dropped out and resigned after it was revealed that she did not live where she claimed to in her filing.

The other councilmembers are Terry Urban (1997), Jim Pearson (2011), Lori Knapp (2017), Chris Burns (2017), and Vic Ledbetter (2020).  The three seats up for 4-year terms are held by Pearson, Knapp, and Burns.  All three an running for reelection.

Also running are Charley Coss, Tony Lorentz, Mark McKeon, Nicole Miller, Kathleen Olmsted, Steve Pieczko, and Jihan Ain Young.  Lorentz is a former Kalamazoo GOP chair, and Coss is the current Kalamazoo GOP vice-chair, and has run for county commission several times.  Kathleen Olmsted is the current Kalamazoo GOP secretary.

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