Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson announces re-election campaign

ELKHART, Ind.-- Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson announced his re-election campaign Tuesday, hoping to hold on to the seat he's had since he first won in 2019.

"We are going to do this again y'all," he said. "We're going to make this happen. And I thank you for being here in order to support me."

His announcement speech Tuesday evening, at the Winchester Mansion in Elkhart, primarily focused on what he's already accomplished as mayor, which he says is investment in all areas of Elkhart, improved police accountability and transparency, and efforts to reopen the Tolson Center.

"Elkhart is the second leading metropolitan area for manufacturing in the country,
Roberson said. "We are the number one emerging market for housing in the country. We are the number one metro area for employment in the country."

His promises garnered the support of people like Robert Taylor.

"Man, I'm born and raised here, Elkhart, Indiana, my entire life." Taylor said. "We got a good path going right now, so why wouldn't we continue the mission?"

Roberson touted his accomplishments as the city's current mayor.

"Well, we've brought a community together that was really reeling in 2019," he said. "There was acrimony on our council. We were struggling trying to make sure our neighborhoods were supported and cared for."

And promised to continue neighborhood revitalization.

"We will continue to advance our housing effort," he said.

The announcement was originally scheduled for late November. However, just before the scheduled announcement, his older brother, 70-year-old Garvin Roberson, went missing.

"Our community rallied," Roberson said, "and I never felt alone during that time."

The whole community waited on bated breath, but Garvin was eventually found dead in Sturgis, Michigan.

After taking time to grieve, Roberson is now ready to launch his campaign.

"My brother was pretty proud of me," he said. "And I feel as though there's still a lot of work to do."

And Roberson teased ahead to upcoming announcements.

"We're working on plans to bring a brand to our downtown that will uniquely position us against any city within 100 miles around," Roberson said.

Roberson said he's very proud to announce the Tolson Center, a resource for the community's troubled youth, will be reopened by the end of 2023.

The primary municipal elections are May 2, 2023.

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