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Bryan Barnett (politician)

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Bryan Barnett
5th Mayor of Rochester Hills, Michigan
Assumed office
Preceded byPatricia Somerville
77th President of the United States Conference of Mayors
In office
Preceded byStephen K. Benjamin
Succeeded byGreg Fischer
Rochester Hills city councilmen
In office
Personal details
Political partyRepublican

Bryan K. Barnett is an American politician currently serving as mayor of Rochester Hills, Michigan. He has held office since 2006 as a Republican. He also served as the president of the United States Conference of Mayors from 2019 to 2020.

Political career[edit]

Rochester Hills city council[edit]

Barnett served on the city council for Rochester Hills for six years between 2000 and his election as mayor in 2006.[1]

Mayor of Rochester Hills[edit]

Barnett was appointed mayor in 2006 to serve the remainder of mayor Pat Somerville's term when she resigned due to poor health. He would be elected to the office in 2007.[2] During his tenure he has worked to improve the quality of life in the city. It has been named the safest city in Michigan with a population over 70,000, and it's consistently ranked in the top 25 best cities to live in the United States.[3] In order to achieve this high standard of living, Barnett is known for his bipartisanship, consistently working with Democratic mayors and with the state government in Lansing.[4] He has also sought to improve local participation in municipal government by running events and festivities, increasing local attendance to his speeches from just 30 individuals to over a thousand.[5] He also led the city through the COVID-19 pandemic and promoted a "rebound" effort for people to spend more time in public parks as opposed to in-home quarantine, resulting in a 300% increase in park usage in a year.[6]

In Rochester Hills, mayors can only be on the ballot for two terms for a major party. However, Barnett has successfully run for three more terms as a write-in candidate, bypassing the term limit.[1] In 2019 he won with 8,251 of the 9,156 votes cast, with an additional 720 votes being invalid write-ins with his name spelled wrong.[7] In 2023 he was re-elected with 11,029 write-in votes of 16,986 total votes.[8]

Congressional campaign[edit]

2014 Congressional campaign logo

Barnett announced his candidacy to stand for a United States House of Representatives seat in 2014 for Michigan's District 8.[9] However, he withdrew after just 25 days to focus on his mayoral re-election campaign, endorsing eventual winner Mike Bishop.[10]

President of United States Conference of Mayors[edit]

Barnett was selected to serve as the president of the United States Conference of Mayors from 2019 to 2020. The association is non-partisan with every mayor of a city whose population is larger than 30,000 being invited to be a member. Barnett's selection, as mayor of the relatively small Rochester Hills, was seen as representative of his efforts to improve quality of life in his city.[11] As president, he acted as the Conference's mouthpiece during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] During which he advocated for $250 billion in federal spending to cities to counteract the 88% shortfall in city revenues across the country.[13][14][15]


  1. ^ a b Peck, Andrea. "Bryan Barnett announces re-election campaign for Rochester Hills mayor". www.theoaklandpress.com. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  2. ^ Dwyer, Michael. "The Passing of Mayor Pat Somerville". rochestermedia.com. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  3. ^ Almond, Mary. "Rochester Hills State of the City address centers on oldest neighborhood". www.candgnews.com. Rochester Post. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  4. ^ Laitner, Bill. "Republican mayor in Rochester Hills pushes for bipartisan change". www.freep.com. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  5. ^ Cain, Carol. "Rochester Hills mayor takes page from Disney's book to lure crowds". www.freep.com. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  6. ^ Mordowanec, Nick. "Rochester Hills mayor said city is on upward swing". www.theoaklandpress.com. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  7. ^ Cavitt, Mark. "Bryan Barnett re-elected to fourth term as Rochester Hills mayor". www.theoaklandpress.com. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  8. ^ "Barnett sworn in to serve fifth term as Rochester Hills mayor". www.candgnews.com. Retrieved 2024-01-04.
  9. ^ "Bryan Barnett". ballotpedia.org. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  10. ^ "Rochester Hills mayor drops campaign for Congress". www.crainsdetroit.com. Associated Press. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  11. ^ Bach, Matt. "Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett Selected as President of U.S. Conference of Mayors". blogs.mml.org/. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  12. ^ Durr, Sara. "U.S. Mayors to Congress: This Crisis is Urgent, Cities Need Help Now". www.usmayors.org. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  13. ^ Durr, Sara. "Findings Highlight the Need for Congress to Address the Fiscal Crisis Facing Cities of All Sizes". www.usmayors.org. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  14. ^ Durr, Sara. "CITY DATA: Survey of 213 Mayors Reveals Extent of Shortage of COVID-19 Emergency Equipment". www.usmayors.org. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  15. ^ Durr, Sara. "United States Conference of Mayors Requests $250 Billion in Localized Aid to Fight Virus, Maintain City Services, Help Workers and Local Businesses". www.usmayors.org. Retrieved 25 October 2022.