Former Kalamazoo County Commissioner Julie Rogers won her race for State Representative in Michigan’s 60th district. The seat is being vacated by former Democratic Representative, Jon Hoadley, who is now running to represent Michigan’s 6th district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rogers joined Meredith Place, the Democratic candidate for Kalamazoo County Clerk, at Western Michigan University’s Bernhard Center to pass out snacks to voters. She was excited to see high voter participation among students.
“The participation has been through the roof,” Rogers explained. “We wish that people would’ve registered a little bit early but I’m thrilled that they’re here now because we have improved voter laws.”
Rogers and Place ventured to the Bernhard Center because they heard lines were longer than expected and some students had not come prepared to wait.
“We’ve heard some students didn’t anticipate having to wait this long so they didn’t bring anything with them and didn’t have any water or anything to drink,” Rogers explained. “We wanted to do our little part to help out and make it a more comfortable experience.”
The two candidates did some campaigning in the morning and were looking forward to watching the results roll in as the night progressed. The election cycle had been unlike any other because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been a very different year because COVID,” Rogers said. “Initially we had to do more virtually and do more online things but we’re really trying our best to stay safe and keep everyone safe.”
The election had high stakes for Rogers because her term as a County Commissioner ends on Dec. 31.
“If I lose, I won’t have an elected position so a lot is at stake for me,” she explained.
Rogers will have to resign her position as a physical therapist at Ascension Borgess because serving as State Representative is a full-time position.
“My orientation, they already let us know, it starts Thursday, so it’s kind of jump right in, and then we are sworn in in December and we officially take office Jan. 1,” Rogers said.
On a presidential level, Rogers feels we need a leader who’s more responsive to COVID-19.
“I don’t think COVID has been handled well on the national level and so for the health and safety,” Rogers explained. “Of course, me being a healthcare provider, I’m very concerned about COVID and the health and safety of our residents nationally.”