South Bend Meet the Candidates Forum, voters get informed before Election Day

NOW: South Bend Meet the Candidates Forum, voters get informed before Election Day

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend voters got the chance to speak one-on-one with candidates running for local office Thursday night; including common council, city clerk and, at least one of the candidates for South Bend Mayor.

One race garnering attention is for the 2nd district common council seat, covering much of the city’s west side, which will soon be led by a new face.

“District 2 deserves to have a representative that cares about everyone,” says democratic candidate Ophelia Gooden- Rodgers, running for the 2nd district seat.

“I’ve been over there for the last 14 years, so I’m not going to focus on the problem, I’m going to focus on the solutions that we need,” republican candidate Roosevelt Stewart running for the 2nd district seat says.

A topic of discussion recently in the second district is concerns within the LaSalle Park neighborhood, which current Councilman Henry Davis Junior says is victim to redlining, inadequate funding, and overall disregard by the city.

“If I’m elected, I would address, making sure that there is being spread across the whole board, investments and that we’re not overlooking that area,” Stewart says.

“I’ll be there to hear what the needs of the people are,” says Rodgers about the upcoming Lasalle Park Town Hall meeting. “I will be working for the people of Lasalle Park as well.”

Running for the mayor’s seat against incumbent Mayor James Mueller is republican Desmont Upchurch.

He believes the city needs to take an active role in reforming South Bend schools following the closing of Clay High School.

“We have a problem at the executive level of the school corporation, and we need to work with them to be able to use the money wisely so we can stop closing schools,” says Republican candidate Desmont Upchurch running for South Bend Mayor.

To his surprise, Upchurch found out Thursday night Mayor Mueller declined an invite to participate in a formal, mayoral debate next week.

Mueller’s campaign office says it came down to a scheduling conflict.

“This is the first time we haven’t had this debate since roughly 1983 and he’s going to sit out, this is a blatant disregard to citizens,” Upchurch comments.

Election Day is on November 7.

If you want to hear where each individual candidate stands on issues, you can visit for more information on the upcoming election.

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