Kent County Sheriff
Lawrence A. Stelma – Incumbent (R)
Occupation: Been in law enforcement since 1972 and has acted as sheriff for 16 years.
Residence: Cedar Springs
Why did you decide to run for Sheriff back in 2000 and continue to run today?
“It’s been a natural progression in my career that started as a corrections officer. We have many projects in the works like the 911 central dispatch that I want to see to completion.”
What are some of the benefits and challenges to the central 911 dispatch?
“Well, some of the challenges are funding and technology, but the benefits are very important. A central dispatch would make for greater efficiency for all the agencies and would create better communication for emergencies and big events.”
With national headlines centered around negative police-community relations, how would you continue to foster and strengthen the relationship between the Sheriff’s Department and Kent County?
“We work hard with the community and with community leaders. We build strong relationships so that we all work together. We work with organization like the Neighborhood Watch, with faith-based organizations, and also with the mental health community.”
Michael B. Scruggs – Candidate (D)
Michael B. Scruggs is the Democratic nominee for the Kent County Sheriff. He will be running against Lawrence A. Stelma in the November 8 election.
Kent County Prosecuting Attorney
Alida J. Bryant – Candidate (D)
Occupation: Staff attorney at the Kent County Defender’s Office. Criminal defense attorney for the past 22 years.
Why did you decide to run for Prosecuting Attorney?
“I decided to run in order to validate the need for criminal justice reform. Accountability, productivity, safety, victim’s rights and fiscal responsibility are all goals which must be managed and balanced.”
As Prosecuting Attorney, what would be your main goal or focus?
“The main focus is finding a balanced approach to law enforcement. I want to move non-violent, victimless offenders from accountability to productivity.”
Chris Becker – Candidate (R)
Chris Becker is the Republican nominee for the Kent County Prosecuting Attorney. He will be running against Alida J. Bryant in the November 8 election.
Kent County Clerk
Chris Reader – Candidate (D)
Occupation: Software developer for Spectrum
Residence: Grand Rapids
Why did you decide to run for Kent County Clerk?
“I believe it is the place I can do the most good. I have a decade of community service and I believe the clerk can be a partner to the community. I think I bring a unique set of skills that fit the position well.”
As Kent County Treasurer, what would be your main goal or focus?
“Compared to other offices statewide, Kent County can do a lot more online. I want to find ways for the clerks office to reach out to the community. Right now you have to go downtown to access the clerks office.”
Lisa Posthumus Lyons – Candidate (R)
Lisa Posthumus Lyons is the Republican nominee for Kent County Clerk. She will be running against Chris Reader and James Lewis in the November 8 election.
James Lewis – Candidate (L)
James Lewis is the Libertarian nominee for Kent County Clerk. He will be running against Chris Reader and Lisa Posthumus Lyons in the November 8 election.
Kent County Drain Commissioner
Rachel Hood – Candidate (D)
Occupation: Consultant for Chase Park Grants
Residence: Grand Rapids
Why did you decide t run for Kent Country Drain Commissioner?
“I’m passionate about water and possess a skill set and experience that uniquely qualifies me to take the job into the 21st century. I’ve spent the last 10 years working on changing policy and investments in storm water in the greater Grand Rapids area.”
As Kent County Drain Commissioner, what would be your main goal or focus?
“I will increase responsiveness and transparency by investing in technology and customer service tools. I want to ensure that we do more than just manage our infrastructure; we can leverage our drain dollars to attract federal and state investments that will help us bring more value to our drain dollars. We can use drain investments to achieve water quality improvements, or build recreational facilities that double as stormwater management strategies, like soccer fields that also store and slowly release stormwater underneath the field. Or using stormwater bioswales that double as traffic calming and place-making tools for neighborhood business districts.”
Ken Yonker – Candidate (R)
Ken Yonker is the Republican nominee for Kent County Drain Commissioner. He will be running against Rachel Hood in the November 8 election.
Kent County Treasurer
Kenneth D. Parish – Incumbent (R)
Kenneth D. Parish is the Republican nominee for Kent County Treasurer. He will be running against Jodi Betten in the November 8 election.
Jodi Betten – Incumbent (D)
Jodi Betten is the Democratic nominee for Kent County Treasurer. She will be running against Kenneth Parish in the November 8 election.
All candidates were contacted and invited to participate in sharing their message to the voters.