Big Rapids City Commissioner Jennifer Cochran announced on Friday, Aug. 27th her intentions to run for Big Rapids Mayor in the November election.
Cochran becomes the second person to announce their mayoral candidacy as retired Big Rapids Doctor Fred Guenther announced his intentions to run for mayor a month ago.
According to a press release, City Commissioner Jennifer Cochran believes in the future of Big Rapids. The retired university administrator, educator and consultant believes that thoughtful, disciplined
leadership will help Big Rapids continue to attract a variety of high-quality businesses, sustain
the financial support needed to fund crucial city services and help address the economic
challenges on the horizon.
Cochran is asking Big Rapids voters to believe in her, too. She is asking them to elect her Mayor
of Big Rapids on Nov. 2.
“It has been my privilege to be an active member of the team – the City Commission working in
conjunction with city staff – that has brought us to where we are today,” Cochran said. “I have
learned a great deal about how the city operates and how we need to think about solutions to
problems. It is now my desire to step up to the next level of leadership as Mayor.”
Listen • Learn • Lead – That’s Cochran’s philosophy on public service and governance. During a
time when so many issues of importance are politicized, misrepresented or purposely taken out
of context by political campaigns, Cochran encourages community engagement, public
discussion and research before passing judgment on a proposed policy or project.
“It is incumbent upon us as leaders to make informed decisions on the many, varied issues that
come before the City Commission,” she said. “I know that there will be decisions made by the
commission that some people will disagree with. However, I strongly believe they should
always know how I came to those decisions. I listen, learn and then lead.”
Following her retirement, Cochran wanted to use her skills to volunteer to make a positive
impact in Big Rapids. She was appointed to the Planning Commission in 2015. In 2017, the
Commission chose her from a field of seven candidates to fill the seat vacated by Mayor
Hogenson. Two years later, the voters elected her to be their voice and entrusted her with a
seat on the City Commission.
“My priorities as mayor will not be informed solely through my own experiences, but through
my interactions with people who also want the best for Big Rapids,” Cochran said. “Many
people told me they didn’t always feel like they had a voice, that they were heard. I listen to
their stories, and ideas, about how Big Rapids can be a safe, thriving and inclusive community.”
As the city leadership team considers new projects and programs, Cochran believes that Big
Rapids should not further burden taxpayers and business owners.
“We must remain diligent in our practices of sound fiscal management, increase our efforts to
secure funding through state and private sources, and continue to nurture current partnerships
and cultivate new ones with those who also have a stake in seeing Big Rapids grow and thrive,”
Outgoing Mayor Tom Hogenson praised Cochran’s philosophy of Listen • Learn • Lead.
Hogenson is term-limited and cannot seek reelection. He is supporting her in her campaign to
“Like all successful leaders, she asks questions in order to understand versus merely to
respond,” Hogenson said. “She seeks the advice of those she serves in order to make decisions
informed by study and diverse input. Her ability to identify problems and solutions and to
prioritize action accordingly are also part of a winning approach to governance.”