This week in my County Blog, I thought I would focus on the upcoming primary elections. There are several important elections and issues that will be on the ballot, and this is a good time for people to start thinking about them.
First a reminder – you can only vote in the Democratic or Republican primary election. Not both. If you try to cross over and vote for one democrat and one republican, your ballot at the box will be rejected. If you do it with an absentee ballot, your ballot will be spoiled and none of the choices will count. So once you decide if you are voting on the Republican or Democratic side…stay there!
The Governor’s race is the first on the ballot. For the first time in 8 years, there will not be an incumbent. The Democrats have Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero versus Speaker of the House Andy Dillon. The Republicans have Congressman Pete Hoekstra, businessman Rick Snyder, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Attorney General Mike Cox, and State Senator Tom George all running. These have been well documented in the press, so I won’t comment any further.
There is no U.S. Senator on the ballot this year. Senator serve 6 year terms which are staggered, and neither Sen. Stabenow nor Sen. Levin are up for re-election this year. All 435 members of the U.S. House, though, are up for election. As such, in Ingham County we have Republican U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers seeking re-election. He is unopposed in the primary. On the Democratuc side, on the ballot is Kande Ngalamulume. He has dropped out, though, and has will not campaign for the job. Running as a write-in for the Democrats is Lance Enderle of Clinton County. Should be interesting to see if Mr. Enderle can get enough votes to knock Kande off the ballot.
For State Senator, most of the county is represented by Democratic Sen. Gretchen Whitmer who has another term available and is running for re-election. She is unopposed in the primary. Repuvblican Kyle J. Haubrich is running on the Republican ticket. Part of the county near Livingston are represented currently by Sen. Valde Garcia. He cannot seek another term due to term-limits, though. Former State Rep. Joe Hune is running for the seat as a Republican, as is Brighton Councilman and former Mayor Paul Rogers. That should be an interesting race. On the Democratic side is Chuck Fellows.
For State Rep., most of Lansing (and all of Lanisng Township) is represented by Democrat Joan Bauer. She is unopposed in the primary. On the Republican side is Timothy B. Moede, who is also unopposed in the primary. For East Lansing, Democrat incumbent Rep. Mark Meadows is unopposed in the primary. The Republicans have Meridian Twp Supervisor Susan McGillicuddy and Frank Lambert running against each other in the Republican primary. Parts of south Lansing as well as the rest of the county are represented by Democrat Barb Byrum. She is unopposed in the primary. There are 3 Republicans running for her seat, though. They are Jeff Hall, Jeff Oesterle, and Trisha Opper. I understand they are all running hard, so if you are in the district and are a Republican, you have a tough choice to make.
All 16 County Commissioner seats are up. There are only a few primaries, though. You already know that I am the incumbent in SE Lansing and face a primary opponent. Rebecca Bahar Cook of downtown and Westside Lansing is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, but has Republicans Vickie Niklas and Jennifer Smith running against each other. Democrat Carol Koenig of East Lansing is also unopposed but has Republicans Robert Batchelor and Owen Blank opposing each other. Republican Don Vickers of Mason faces primary opponent Leon Black. And the one empty seat (Commissioner Laura Davis is not running again) has three Republicans facing each other – Barry Damon, Vince Dragonetti, and Renee Sumerix.
The 30th Circuit Judge spot is open due to Judge Giddings being unable to run again due to age. Candidates for the spot are: Gregory Crockett, Clinton Canady, Jim Jamo and Billie Jo O’Berry.
The 55th District Court spot has Judge Don Allen running to retain his spot after being selected for the bench by the Governor. Opposing him are Randie Black, Patrick Crowley and Paul Joseph. Judge Allen will have the incumbency designation on the ballot.
There are also a variety of ballot initiatives. CATA has two millages. The first renews the CATA service millage of 2.22 mills in Lansing, East Lansing, Meridian Twp, Lansing Twp, and Delhi Twp. The second renewal is primarily for the elderly and disabled. It is a .48 millage renewal. While this millage is primarily for the elderly and disabled, some of the money is also used for rural CATA service.
The Capital Area District Library has a renewal of its millage of 1.56 mills for library operations.
Lansing has a 1 mill renewal of its Parks millage. Delhi has a new police protection millage of 1 ½ mills on the ballot, and a fire protection millage to increase the previous millage by 1 ½ mills. Dansville and Leslie schools also each have millages on the ballot.
For more information, you can go to the County Clerk website at http://www.ingham.org/CL/Election_Info/2010/AugustPrimary.htm or go to the individual city or township clerks.