by CYNTHIA KMETT
A host of candidates are hoping to win their party’s nomination so they can run in the general election this November. You’ve probably never heard of some of the candidates, so this is an election to go to oakgov.com and get the names of those on the ballot before you vote. They all have email or websites these days. See where they stand on issues before you get in the voting booth, and you might want to Google them to see what kind of background and experience they bring to the table.
Let’s start with our local candidates. The Michigan Senate in the 13th District is a race where you won’t see too much campaigning until we’re closer to the Tuesday, November 6th election. Republican and current State Senator Marty Knollenberg and Democrat Mallory McMorrow are both unopposed in the August primary and are hoping to win the four-year seat in Lansing.
There are three candidates for the Republican nomination to the Michigan House of Representatives in District 41. The candidates are Councilman Ethan Baker, independent insurance agent Ronald Dwyer and County Commissioner Doug Tietz. All three candidates live in Troy. Baker and Tietz are conservative Republicans and have a host of supporters. Former State Sen. John Pappageorge is backing Baker, and County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is backing Tietz. Baker and Tietz are both endorsed by Right to Life.
According to his website, Dwyer’s message is: “We can fix our no-fault insurance system and keep our unlimited benefits while reducing premiums! Fixing our roads, fixing our education, and getting rid of the Jennifer Granholm tax are also my priorities.”
The Republican nominee will run against Democrat Padma Kuppa, a member of the Troy Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. She and her team have been busy going door-to-door this summer to see where local residents stand on the issues in Lansing.
The Oakland County Board of Commissioners has open seats in District 11 and District 16. Candidates on the Republican ticket for District 11 are Glenn Clark and Thomas E. Kuhn. The winner will face Democrat Ann Erickson Gault from Rochester Hills. In District 16, Republican Martin Howrylak and Democrat Tim Burns dropped out of the race leaving current County Commissioner Wade Fleming unopposed in the primary. Democrats Penny Luebs and Charles Salgat are running for the chance to challenge Fleming in November.
It seems like half the state is running for governor. On the Republican side, we have current Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Patrick Colbeck, Jim Hines and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schutte. Campaigning for the Democratic nomination are Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar and Gretchen Whitmer. The Democratic candidates are doing a lot of TV advertising, so we’ll have to see which one makes voters happiest in the primaries. Two Libertarians are also in the race, Bill Gelineau and John J. Tarar.
In the race for the U.S. Senate Republican nomination, Sandy Penseler has spent his campaign calling his opponent John James “not a real Republican.” The candidates participated in a debate on July 6 that will air on Public Television in the next couple of weeks. The winner will run against Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat first elected in 2000. In office, Stabenow has been focusing on protecting the Great Lakes water supply.
Many candidates will make promises this election season. They will promise to lower taxes, fix the roads and enhance the educational system. What they often don’t include is how their proposals will be funded. It’s a good idea to take a little time to Google their names and the city where they live to learn more about them.
Debates abound this fall. They may not seem exciting, but since only 48 percent of voters actually go to the polls, your vote really does count. Take time to learn about the candidates and register to vote. Registration for the primaries closes on Monday, July 9, and registration for the November election closes on October 9.