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Three candidates compete for Bloomington mayor

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BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) -- Three candidates who want Bloomington's top job. All three running for mayor are motivated by a desire to give back to the community, that gave them so much.

Mboka Mwilambwe has served on the Bloomington City Council for 10 years.

"I don't think you would want your principal to lead teachers, not having been a teacher themselves," said Mwilambwe.

Mike Straza has been a business owner for over 25 years.

"Because of the balance I have in what the abilities have done, the experiences I've had, I've been in this community since 1983," said Straza.

Jackie Gunderson, a small business owner, has lobbied for the welcoming cities ordinance in Bloomington.

"When one neighborhood that has been underserved thrives, the rest of the city thrives when downtown thrives, the rest of the city thrives. And I'm passionate about that," said Gunderson.

Gunderson said she was focused on bridging political divide and making sure the city is prepared to help its residents in crisis.

"We don't have an emergency plan in place. We don't have Rapid Re-housing, we have a lot of places where we could be doing better," said Gunderson.

Gunderson's platform has focused more on the needs of the community. Meanwhile, Mwilambwe and Straza have campaigned on the rebuild of the local economy and infrastructure.

"Our infrastructure is also a function of economic development, if you have good infrastructure. Well then, businesses are more likely to to invest in a particular area," said Mwilambwe.

"We've seen a really drastic reduction in jobs and services, I don't want services to be hindered because of that, because of tax dollars not coming in, and I don't want to raise taxes to continue the services we currently have," said Straza.

All three candidates are on the ballot for April 6th.

Paige Blanzy

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