WTIP file photo

Mayoral candidates square off in WTIP election forum

2020 has been a memorable year for Grand Marais. From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to one of the busiest summers on record, there have been many highs and lows and memorable moments in this small lakeside community throughout the year.

Among them are haunting moments like the downtown fire in April where the community lost three local businesses. Showing resilience through the pandemic, there is the dedication of so many volunteers that helped in the local grocery stores to keep people safe and essential businesses operating. There was a major highway reconstruction project and there were rallies on city sidewalks from May until now in the fall. Indeed, 2020 has been a year to remember.

And now there is an election.

Election Day in Grand Marais is Nov. 3. A record number of absentee ballots have been requested across the state in the lead up to the election, including many by Grand Marais voters, largely due to the ongoing pandemic.

Among the local elections on the ballot this year is who will be the next mayor in Grand Marais. There are two candidates who filed to be mayor: Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux and Kelly Swearingen. They joined WTIP News Director Joe Friedrichs for a candidate forum that aired live Oct. 12. Arrowsmith DeCoux is the current mayor in Grand Marais. Swearingen is a member of the Grand Marais City Council.

The audio below is the 2020 mayoral candidate forum presented by WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.

Topics covered in the forum include a mask mandate related to the pandemic, protests and rallies on city streets in Grand Marais, collaboration with other governing bodies and organizations in Cook County, the city’s climate action plan and what steps city officials can take to improve communication with local residents about large projects similar to the Highway 61 reconstruction project and the removal of treasured elm trees in city limits.