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Chamber Launches 2017 Virtual Candidate Forum

An online forum highlighting candidates in the upcoming Traverse City commission election is available through the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber launched its latest version of its Virtual Candidates Forum in advance of the City Commission election in Traverse City coming up November 7. The Virtual Candidates Forum is available on the Chamber website’s homepage available at

The digital format highlights the candidates and includes their written responses on several business and related issues in the city, along with video remarks from the candidates. There are three 4-year commission seats up for election this year, and the candidates include incumbent commissioners Michele Howard, Gary Howe and Tim Werner, along with candidates Jeff Leonhardt and Brian McGillivary. Leonhardt participated in the written portion of the forum, but not in the candidate video responses. Mayor Jim Carruthers is also seeking re-election to a 2-year term and is unopposed.

The Chamber created the Virtual Candidates Forum three years ago because of the large number of candidates in some of the area’s primary election races. Because of the positive response and thousands of views from Chamber members and the public, the Chamber has continued the digital forum in subsequent elections.

“The Virtual Candidates Forum provides an opportunity for people to hear directly from the candidates about who they are and their positions on key issues impacting the city and the business community,” said Kent Wood, Director of Government Relations for the Traverse City Area Chamber. “The virtual format allows our members and the public to learn about the candidates when it’s convenient for them to do so.”

Questions can be directed to Wood at (231) 995-7109 or