He’s been a City Engineer, Inspector, and Building Official. Now he’s the newly-elected Mayor of Kentwood.
Stephen Kepley is Kentwood’s newest mayor. WKTV’s Citizen Journalism program had the opportunity to sit down and get to know the newly elected official, who won the closely contested race over City Commissioner Sharon Brinks by 96 votes.
When asked about his effective campaign strategy of going door-to-door to meet the citizens of Kentwood, he replied:
“I loved it. I looked forward to going door to door. It became like Christmas morning. Every time you knocked on the door you didn’t know what present was behind it. It was wonderful to realize the depth of character that we have in the city.”
Kepley had to take a five month leave of absence– with no salary– to campaign and realize his political aspirations. “It is a calling to run for an office. If I didn’t do this I would have missed my calling,” he exclaimed.
He shared that the extremely close 96 vote difference left him feeling honored and humbled.
Former Mayor Richard Clanton received high praise from Kepley.
“He had the courage to stand in the gap—to do what he did, I really appreciate his courage.”
The happily married father of three girls– ranging in ages from 4-16 — says his family was excited and relieved when they learned the good news.
And, what will his first project be:
“My first project is to listen to people and departments. I will do ride alongs with various departments to see what they see. I am a problem solver.”