By CYNTHIA KMETT
There are three candidates for the Republican nomination for the 41st Michigan House District – councilman Ethan Baker, insurance agent Ron Dwyer, and former councilmember Doug Tietz, who is also the district representative for outgoing Congressman Dave Trott who chose not to run again.
Baker and Tietz are both very conservative, and both have the Right to Life endorsement. Baker has the support of popular John Pappageorge, who served in both county and state government. Baker also garnered the endorsement of the Detroit News. Tietz is endorsed by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.
It was definitely looking like a campaign in Troy and Clawson between these two and whoever knocked on the most doors would probably win.
But then, to a lot of folks surprise, a bit of negativity entered the race with Tietz’s two pieces of literature. The piece claims that Baker is supported by “Democrats and Never Trumpers” because “Baker shares their values.”
There’s only one Baker supporter who is on the Democratic ticket. That would be former Clawson mayor Penny Leubs. She was a long-time Republican who is registered as a Democratic candidate in the County Commissioner’s race in the 16th District, where the winner will face incumbent Wade Fleming who is unopposed on the Republican side. Why she changed parties is not known, but obviously she had her reasons.
Tietz said that there may be other Democrats supporting Baker. But then there is at least one former, and perhaps still, Democrat on his side of the campaign. That would be former councilmember Louise Schilling, who ran as a Democrat for county commission in 2012.
With so many Democrats hoping for a place on the November ballot, it’s unlikely many of them will cross over to vote Republican on August 7th.
And, it’s true that despite not liking the Troy Trolley’s lack of ridership and costs, Baker did cast a vote that kept it in operation, at least for the moment. But it wasn’t a millage increase vote; those are on the ballot, not on council’s table. Baker voted yes on the city’s annual budget, which included the trolley’s operation.
“I wasn’t going to vote against the Police Department’s traffic unit’s return or the Medi-Go takeover by the city to serve our seniors,” Baker said on his not casting a no vote on the city’s budget. “If the council had a line item vote on the budget, I would have voted against the trolley,” he adds.
What Baker had been lobbying for all spring was the city’s use of its general funds to return Fridays of operation at the library. He will admit that he could become exasperated when council had money for many other projects but not the library. And, yes, he did support the library’s millage renewal, which was widely approved by voters.
But what really riled Baker’s supporters was Tietz putting two pictures of Hillary Clinton on his campaign literature against Baker. Baker did meet Mrs. Clinton once, but that was the result of his having worked for Nancy and Ronald Reagan for five years, and actually being one of the speakers at Mrs. Reagan’s funeral.
Tietz says that everything in his campaign pieces are the truth and can be backed up by public record. “If you don’t want your record exposed, you shouldn’t run for office,” he says.
Hopefully, this will be the last of this kind of campaigning we see in Troy. Just tell us how you’re going to cut taxes and fix our terrible roads in Michigan at the same time.
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