Larry Morrissey Profile

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

It's the story of man searching for change, pledging to bring his visions to fruition.

Larry Morrissey first jumped into Rockford politics in 2001 when he ran for mayor. It was a four-person race, and he captured 26 percent of the vote, coming in second to Mayor Doug Scott.

"Four years ago we talked about potential for Rockford; about jobs, downtown rail, and these are still issues today, and frankly, I'm running for mayor because the one issue that's really emerged that last four years is the need for strong leadership," says Morrissey.

“Priorities” has been a prominent word in Morrissey's campaign.

When asked, “If you had a magic wand and could change two things about the city instantly, what would they be?”

There was no hesitation. He replied, "Schools and crime. If we have excellent schools, we'll have businesses and homeowners who will want to be here. If we have a city that's safe, we'll have businesses and schools that want to be here and we won't have to wait for a magic bullet," says Morrissey.

Magic bullets, Morrissey says, like casinos and convention centers. He says those "things" would only mask the city's true problems. He says the city needs to concentrate on what he calls the three Rs of Rockford's infrastructure: roads, rail and river.

Morrissey says the riverfront is suffering from decades of missed opportunity.

"We simply haven't had the political drive to make opportunity occur. We need a mayor to drive opportunity forward, because every day that water goes along our banks and shores, it's a missed economic development opportunity," says Morrissey.

Morrissey says the city needs a non-partisan mayor, someone who will work for one cause, the people, and that person, he says, is him.


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