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Kalamazoo cuts ties to Southwest Michigan First

Courtesy City of Kalamazoo Twitter

Kalamazoo is cutting its ties to Southwest Michigan First. City commissioners pulled out of the regional economic development agency Monday night. That's after it picked former State House speaker Lee Chatfield as its new CEO. Commissioner Erin Knott says Chatfield - a Republican - isn't the kind of person the city wants or needs:

"Chatfield ran on division, not unity. Seeing an opportunity to take extreme positions to win a seat by challenging the establishment, he aligned himself with the Tea Party."

Knott is the head of the group Equality Michigan. It fought Chatfield's opposition to expanding civil rights protections to LGBTQ people when he was in office. The city is dropping out of an advisory group for Southwest Michigan First. It also canceled 10-thousand dollars in support.