Next GR mayor’s race could get expensive

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Second Ward City Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss was in Mayor George Heartwell’s chair during Tuesday’s Grand Rapids City Commission Committee of the Whole Meeting.

As commission president, part of her job is to fill in for the mayor when he’s absent. But could it also be a sign of the future?

“Yes I am. I’m exploring my options,” said Bliss, the first person to publicly express an interested in the office.

Earlier this month, voters in Grand Rapids approved a measure placing term limits on the mayor and city commissioners. The vote will end Mayor George Heartwell’s tenure as mayor.

Several city commissioners, including Bliss, will be term limited out of office as well in the next three years.

Bliss recently announced on her Facebook page confirming she’s putting together a mayoral race exploratory committee.

“I’m thinking about what’s best for the city. I’m thinking about the impact on my personal life and my own life. It’s a big decision,” said Bliss.

>>Inside Proponents: GR term limits a ‘victory’

Bliss admits there are other major factors to consider, like money.

“Part of exploring is looking at all of the work and the details that go into making a final decision,” said Bliss.

What is the price tag to win the part-time, $38,000 a year job of mayor in Grand Rapids?

Bliss says based on her first run when she faced a challenger, she spent about $44,000, but that was in 2006 and in one city ward. Multiply that by a citywide campaign, and Bliss’ own estimates put the cost on a mayoral campaign in Grand Rapids at over $130,000.

“It’s a big decision. I think it requires a lot of time and thought,” she said.

As for a time table, Bliss says she will take a couple of months before she decides whether she will mount a mayoral campaign.

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