With both the State Senate and the State House being up for election this year there is plenty of action down the ballot. Below the fold are many of the competitive primaries for tonight. Hopefully you follow along as the votes come in.
District 2 – Bert Johnson (D – Highland Park)
Bert Johnson previously announced he was running in the open 14th Congressional district this year before dropping down to run for his final term in State Senate. This was not Johnson’s first flirtation with Congress. He challenged John Conyers in the 13th district in 2012. If re-elected I assume we could see him running again in 2016.
While Johnson has been looking to make a next step, several rivals looked to win his seat. The first is Georgia Lemmons. Lemmons is a retired teacher and wife of Detroit Public Schools board member LaMar Lemmons. Interestingly, Mr. Lemmons had filled for the race as well before withdrawing to support his wife. The next challenger is State Representative John Olumba. Olumba has a reputation for winning tough elections after he defeated a fellow incumbent Democrat in 2012. However, he left the Democratic caucus after being reelected. His main justification was the failure of Democrats to work on urban issue. While Olumba was usually one of the more liberal Democrats, his voting record shifted to the right after becoming an independent. While he is a tough campaigner, I am not convinced that he can persuade voters to forgive his transgressions. Finally, Taras P Nykoriak of Hamtramck is running. He seems somewhat like a Some Dude candidate and previously has run for office as a Republican.
District 4 – Virgil Smith (D- Detroit)
Incumbent Virgil Smith has his work cut out for him as he faces term-limited State Rep Rashida Tlaib. Senator Johnson comes from a political family and his father is a judge and longtime Detroit politician. Meanwhile Representative Tlaib is a known as a hard campaigner but faces a district that is majority African American. Even worse, she only represented about 10% of the district because much of her base in Southwest Detroit is not in the district. Representative Tlaib won a tough race in 2012 when she was placed in a majority black district with another incumbent Democrat so she is no stranger to uphill battles.
Tlaib has outraised Smith 230k to 160k thanks to her connections in to the Muslim community. However, Smith has earned to powerful UAW endorsement and the Detroit Regional Chamber endorsement. Meanwhile Rep. Tlaib has the endorsement of the police, firefighter, and nurses unions.
While most of the action will be in Detroit, a sizable number of votes come from the Downriver communities in the district. Most expect Rep Tlaib to win this part of the district, but she may need a sizable margin to overcome areas of Detroit.
This primary has become very negative with Smith throwing the first punches.
District 5 - Open (D)
This is an open very Democrat seat that contains parts of Detroit plus its suburbs. As with many open races, this election has become a crowded primary with several current and former State Representatives running.
There are 4 top-tier candidates running for the seat. The first up is former State Rep Shanelle Jackson. That name may ring a bell with some election junkies because she challenged Congressman Conyers in 2012. Jackson is known for being a great speaker and being very beautiful. After that comes a duo of current Detroit state representatives in David Nathan and Thomas Stallworth III. Finally first term Representative David Knezek of Garden City is running.
Few issues actually separate the candidates, but some are notable. First Jackson in pro-life and pro-life groups are backing her as a result. She is being bankrolled by Betty Devos backed groups. This could hurt her with Democratic primary voters. Meanwhile Stallworth and Nathan differ on the state's role in helping Detroit. Stallworth was critical in terms of getting a deal done while Nathan opposed the plan. Meanwhile, David Knezek is somewhat of a blank slate having only served one term. His primary hope is that he wins the suburban areas of the district while Jackson, Nathan, and Stallworth split the Detroit vote. Many political observers feel that this is very likely. However, if one of the three can rise above the others, Knezek could be in trouble. Knezek does have the money advantage though having raised over 100k.
District 11 – Vincent Gregory (D – Southfield)
When Vincent Gregory announced he was running for Congress, term-limited State Representatives Vicki Barnett and Ellen Cogen Lipton jumped into the race. At that time it looked like a battle between two fairly prominent politicians. Vicki Barnett is known as the House Dems go to person on tax policy. Meanwhile Lipton is known for her expertise in education policy. While they come from different parts of the district, they share similar bases. As a result, I wondered if any Southfield based African American candidate would jump into the race. Turns out that candidate was Vincent Gregory. Gregory dropped out of the Congressional race when he realized he didn't have a path to victory.
Gregory has picked up most of the key union endorsements and should have a solid base in Southfield. Unless one of Barnett or Lipton can infiltrate the others base, I have a hard time seeing either of them winning.
Lipton may be better positioned pull off the upset. She raised 150k for the race while Barnett raised 50k. Gregory raised 55k.
District 13 – Open (R)
This is an open Oakland County seat that Republicans will somewhat need to defend. This seat has always been a Democratic target. In 2006 Andy Levin (son of Sand Levin) barely lost to now term-limited senator John Papageorge in a slightly more Republican version of this district. This race has important primaries on both sides.
Let’s start with the Democrats. The Senate Democrats recruited a young attorney named Ryan Fishman. Fishman has spent much of his political career as a Republican operative. Democrats hope that his connections with Republicans can help him win in November. Fishman has the fundraising chops to stay competitive and he mostly draws money from people that donate to Republicans. However, Democrats have another option in former Clawson School Board member Cyndi Peltonen. Peltonen hopes that Democrats will vote for her because she is actually a Democrat. She won’t be able to keep up with Fishman’s cash, but she may be able to get some of the more liberal votes. She served on the board for 20 years so probably has deep connections in the community. She has a lot of ground to make up because she has raised only 7k compared to Fishman’s 211k.
The Republican primary is even more fascinating. For the longest time it looked as if the battle was going to be between former State Rep Chuck Moss and State Rep. Tom McMillin. The establishment wanted Moss over the very crazy McMillin and cleared the race for him. When McMillin switched to the 8th congressional district race, the floodgates opened. Now Moss has to deal with former State Reps Rocky Raczkowski and Marty Knollenberg, plus Ethan Baker a former special assistant to Ronald Reagan (although this was after Reagan was president), and Some Dude Al Gui.
Basically Raczkowski, Moss, and Knollenberg are career politicians. Raczkowski has made it a habit of losing elections after he lost the Carl Levin in the 2002 US Senate race and Gary Peters in the 2010 House race. Those races should give him some name recognition but also hold hurt his brand. Meanwhile Knollenberg is the son of former congressman Joel Knollenberg. He was last seen losing an election to be the Mayor of Troy. Ryan Fishman was the campaign manger the beat Marty in that race. Really all the Republican politicians are just kind of bland. As a result, it is possible that the untested Baker could pull through as the conservative alternative.
On the fundraising side, Knollenberg raised only 50k and Raczkowski only 70k. Meanwhile Moss started off strong raising over 168k last year but apparently stopped fundraising after the New Year. Two weeks out, he has spent less than half of it. I assume he is saving some of the money for the general election (Michigan does not split primary and general funds), but that would be foolish. Ethan Baker raised 20k.
District 15 – Mike Kowall (R – White Lake)
Mike Kowall always seemed like a pretty bland politician to me but he has earned the hate of the Tea Party and faces one of the strongest tea party challengers in the state in Matt Maddock. Kowall voted for Medicaid expansion so he is being targeted as too moderate. Maddock has raised a respectable amount but the establishment has given Kowall an arsenal of more than 250k to defend himself.
District 23 – Open (D)
This is the seat of term-limited senate Minority leader Gretchen Whitmer. Hoping to replace her are Curtis Hertel Jr, Larry Hutchinson, and Harold Leeman. It looks like Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr is running away with this race. Harold Leeman Jr is a former Lansing City Council member. He has failed to gain traction in his past two runs for higher office though. The only lingering question about Curtis Hertel is why Ingham County has a clerk and a register of deeds when most other counties have consolidated that into one office?
District 31 – Mike Green (R – Mayville)
This is a Republican incumbent vs a Republican state representative as Mike Green faces a strong challenge from Kevin Daley. The race is somewhat about ideology and somewhat about geography. In redistricting, Green’s district added Lapeer County (home of Daley). As a result, this is the first time Green will have to sway voters there. Meanwhile Green voted to step up an ACA exchange in Michigan and voted against Right to Work. These are pretty big issues in a Republican primary and I could see it tanking Green. Green has a massive warchest of over 300k to win this primary though. Daley on the other hand only has 55k.
District 32 – Open (R)
This Saginaw-based district is one of the top pick up opportunities for Democrats. While Republicans have their candidate in former State Rep Ken Horn. Democrats have two candidates vying for the nomination— Garnet Lewis and Stacy Erwin Oaks. Lewis is a former administrator at Central Michigan University. If she wins she would be the first openly lesbian state Senator in Michigan history. Meanwhile, Stacy Erwin Oaks is currently a State Representative. She is also African American and should have a solid base for the primary. While Lewis has earned the endorsements of many politicians, Erwin-Oaks has earned the union support. The City of Saginaw itself is 46% African American. Erwin Oaks has more money for the race thanks to being able to transfer funds from her State Rep campaign. As a result, she has over 200,000 compared to Lewis’ 95,000.
District 34 – Goeff Hansen (R- Hart)
This is another district Democrats want to win. However, they already have their candidate in Oceana County Road Commissioner Cathy Forbes. The battle here is on the Republican side and incumbent State Senator Hansen faces a primary challenge from Nick Sundquist. Sundquist has blasted Hansen for voting for Medicaid expansion in Michigan. Democrats should hope for a Sundquist victory because he will be easier to defeat than Hansen.
District 37 – Open (R)
This seat became unexpectedly open when State Senator Howard Walker decided not to run for re-election. Republicans have two state representatives running against for the seat. Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City is the more moderate candidate of the two. He faces off against Greg MacMaster. The establishment really would prefer Schmidt. His main weakness is that he is the Republican go-to guy on transportation funding. Unfortunately, Republicans fumbled passing a bill. The establish has backed Schimdt by helping him raise more than 300k. MacMaster only has 60k.
District 1 – Brian Banks (D – Grosse Pointe)
Brian Banks won a crowded primary in 2012. Then revelations about his criminal past and his more recent issues related to bounced checks emerged. To top it all off he faces a sexual harassment claim from one of his staffers. Now 6 candidates piled into the race to defeat him. Race may play a part in the race as Detroit is obviously dominated by African Americans while the Grosse Point communities are white. There are 5 black candidates in the race –Brian Banks, Taryn Jones, Corey Gilchrist, Harry Scott, and Rebecca Thompson. Meanwhile, Michael Koester and Paul Fillmore are white and from Grosse Pointe Woods. Corey Gilchrist has is a former government staffer that now works for in the nonprofit arena. Taryn Jones is a software consultant that ran for the eight house seat in 2012. Harry Scott tried to run for the 2nd house seat in 2012, but was thrown off the ballot. Rebecca Thompson the director of Engagement for the United Way of Southeastern Michigan. Michael Koester is a Grosse Pointe Woods Council member. Finally, Paul Fillmore is a Detroit firefighter.
The clown car may be enough to keep Brian Banks in Lansing, but if the black vote splits enough I could see Koester pulling off an upset. I think if another black candidate beside Banks emerges it should be Rebecca Thompson.
District 3 - Open (D)
Like all open seats in Detroit, this primary is extremely contested. 8 candidates jumped into this race. The assumed frontrunner is Clarence Gayles. Gayles is a former state legislative staffer and has received most of the big endorsements. UAW endorsed co-endorsed Wendell Byrd and Carron Pinikins though. Steven Lett and Dorthea Thomas look like respectable candidates as well. Detroit elections can be weird so anything can happen.
District 5 - Open (D)
Another open Detroit area seat. This one drew 5 candidates but 2 heavyweights dominate the field. First is Fred Durhal III. He is the son of the termed limited State Representative Fred Durhal, Jr. Meanwhile Ishmail Terry is the other serious contender. Awkwardly Terry is the former chief of staff of the elder Durhal. It looks like the younger Durhal has earned much of the union support. His father’s name recognition should help as well.
District 6 -Open (D)
This is the district of term-limited Rashida Tlaib. 7 Democrats have jumped into this race. The assumed frontrunner is Stephanie Chang. Chang is close with Representative Tlaib and that connection has earned her a lot of endorsements. Meanwhile Tyrone Carter is a name that would be pretty familiar in the district because he ran multiple times for Wayne County Commission. The Commission seat overlaps a lot with this house district. While coming somewhat close, he could never seal the deal. Carter has the support of UAW and that may help him win.
District 7 – Open (D)
Another open Detroit district with a lot of candidates. 6 candidates entered this race. The top candidate is Nicole Stallworth Wells, wife of outgoing State Representative Thomas Stallworth III. She has gotten most of the endorsements and should win. The UAW on the other hand is backing LaTanya Garrett who appears to be the chief rival in the race.
District 8 – Open (D)
Sometimes it becomes hard to tell these crowded races in Detroit apart. This one seems to have a favorite in Sherry Gay-Dagnogo. However, you never know what could happen in a Detroit election. Mia Grillier, Nicole Hampton, Muhammad Muhsin, Stacy Pugh, and Cyrus Wheeler are the other candidate.
District 10 – Open (D)
There are too of these open Detroit area seats. I can barely tell who is even a real player in this race. Jay Johnson a Redford Township Trustee seems ok, but his main shot at winning the district is to have the black vote split enough. That is totally possible. Political consultant Brandon Jessup looked promising, but he failed to file his campaign finance report. Retired police officer Roy McCalister might win. He raised the most money, but much of that is from himself. This should be a weird election.
District 11 – Open (D)
Finally we have a district outside of Detroit. That didn’t stop the primary to replace David Knezek from becoming ridiculously crowded though. 8 Democrats are looking to win this seat. The obvious frontrunner is Hillard Hampton, the Mayor of Inkster. However teacher Julie Plawecki raised the most money.
District 13 – Open (D)
While there is a primary here it seems like radio host and activist Tony Trupiano has this seat won. He has earned all the endorsements and his opponents are mostly Some Dudes.
District 21 – Open (D)
This western Wayne County district can be a little swingy so Democrats have tried to pick their candidate. The preferred choice is former Senator Stabenow staffer and political consultant Kristy Pagan. Pagan has all the endorsements and raised over 80k. Her main challenge is from Natalie Mosher. Mosher is a former Wayne County commissioner. She previously ran for congress in 2010 against Thad McCotter. Mosher raised over 60k of her own to stay competitive. Also in the race is Cornell Mathis who oddly did not file a full campaign finance report then reported giving himself a 45k in funds.
District 22 – Open (D)
John Chirkun, the Mayor of Roseville, faces off against firefighter Gary McMenamin. Chirkun should win given the fact that all the establishment is backing him.
District 23 – Pat Somerville (R – New Boston)
Despite this being a district Obama won twice, Somerville managed to survive 2012 after coming in during the 2010 wave. This is a prime target for Democrats. As a result three Democrats jumped into the race. The preferred candidate is Brownstown Township Supervisor Andy Linko. Also running is Gibraltar School Board Member Bob Ptaszynski and information technology consultant David Haener.
District 27 – Open (D)
This primary is to replace State Rep Ellen Lipton. While there are 5 candidates in the race, two stand out. The first is Rudy Serra, a Granholm appointed judge. He is also openly gay and has the endorsement of Granholm. However, insurance agent Robert Wittenberg appears to be the front runner. He has received many of the union endorsements and raised more money.
District 30 – Jeff Farrington (R – Utica)
This shouldn’t be competitive, but in 2012 Joseph Bodgan, a Some Dude that does not believe in campaigning, won over the establishment candidate. Hopefully Bo Karpinsky wins so we have a real candidate in this semi-competitive district. At the very least we can set Karpinsky up for a strong run in 2016 when Farrington is term-limited.
District 34 – Open (D)
Now it is Flint’s turn to have a way too crowded Democratic primary for a safe seat. 8 candidates are running for the nod. Major candidates include County Commissioner Omar Sims, School Board member David Davenport, and Flint Councilmen Sheldon Neeley and Eric Mays. Omar Sims seems to have raised the most money and has support from UAW.
District 35 – Open (D)
This is the seat of Rudy Hobbs who is running for Congress. While several people entered the race, Southfield City Councilman Jeremy Moss is the frontrunner. He has received all the union endorsements and most of the money. He has some credible challengers. For instance Nicole Brown in a Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor. Ultimately, Moss should win this race though.
District 37 – Open (D)
This race is to replace Vicki Barnett. It is very interesting and three seemingly strong candidates are running. At first glance one would think Farmington Hills Mayor Barry Brickner would be the front runner. In reality he has raised the least and received few endorsements. General Motors global training manager Theresa Rich seems to be the union favorite. Meanwhile business owner Christine Greig has poured money into her campaign (over 50k between her and husband) and as a result leads in fundraising. The women that serve in Michigan legislature seem to prefer Greig. This could be a wild primary.
District 43 – Open (R)
Again this is another race that looks one way on paper, but is different in reality. On paper you would think Independence Township Trustee Jose Aliaga or Michigan Assistant Attorney General (and Bill Schuette ally) Nate Knapper would be strong competitors. However, the fundraising suggests it is a race between businessman Jim Tedder and another Independence Township Trustee Andrea Schroeder. Schroeder has the establishment endorsements in this race.
District 47 – Open (R)
This open seat pits Howell Mayor Phillip Campbell against Handy Township Supervisor Henry Vaupal. You would think Campbell would have the advantage since he is the mayor of the largest city in Livingston County. However, most of the money has gone to Vaupal. Howell School Board member Wendy Day is also in the race. That may help Vaupal by taking votes from Campbell.
District 56 – Open (R)
This seat will be a race to watch come the fall as it is a potential pickup opportunity for Democrats. Democrats have their candidate in Tom Redmond. Meanwhile two Republicans are going after the nod. Fundraising for Republicans is pretty even (around 35k). The more establishment candidate is Monroe County Commissioner Jason Sheppard. However, small business owner Irma Kubiske (who seems a little more Tea Party) could win as well.
District 58 – Open (R)
I hate crowded primaries where nobody really dominates fundraising. Car dealership owner Eric Leutheuser seems to most likely to win. He raised the most money (35k) and has the endorsement of the Farm Bureau. Reverend Rochelle Ray raised 25k and she could be competitive. My personal favorite candidate though is Hal Nottingham, a professional Abraham Lincoln impersonator. I really hope he wins.
District 59 – Open (R)
While there are other candidates in the race only two have a shot at winning. The front runner is former Three Rivers City Commissioner John Bippus. He has raised over 120,000. The other is former Three Rivers Superintendent Roger Rathburn. Rathburn raised only 40,000.
District 60 – Open (D)
This should be a fun primary to watch as it seems like a good old fashion throw down between the blue collar and white collar wings on the party. Political consultant Joe Hoadley has stepped up on the fundraising side. He raised over 135k for the race. He has received the endorsements for the Michigan Education Association, Michigan Nurses Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Victory fund. Meanwhile, County Commissioner David Buskirk has more of the local and blue collar support. He has endorsements from IBEW, Building Trades, and the Teamsters. Also in the race is Pam Brown Goodcare, a lecturer at the University of Michigan. She could possibly pick off some of the African American vote in the City of Kalamazoo.
District 61 – Open (R)
This Kalamazoo County seat is open because State Rep O’Brien is running for State Senate. The establishment favorite is county commissioner Brandt Iden. However, Tea Party favored challenger Phil Stinchcomb has raised enough money to stay competitive.
District 62 – Open (D)
This is the seat of term-limited State Rep Kate Segal. None of the candidates have raised much which might suggest that Democrats may be happy with any candidate. Battle Creek City commissioner Andy Helmboldt has several high profile endorsements including Planned Parenthood, Michigan Nurse Association and Calhoun County Treasurer Christine Schauer (wife of Mark Schauer). Calhoun County Democratic Party chairman Dave Morgan and Calhoun County Commissioner Terris Todd is also running.
District 63 – Open (R)
This is the seat held by current Speaker Jase Bolger. Two Republicans are vying to replace him. Kalamazoo County Commissioner David Maturen and Marshall Board of Education member Vic Potter. Fundraising had been even and this should be an interesting race.
District 65 – Open (R)
This Jackson County district is actually a potential battle ground district with both Democrats and Republican primaries.
For the Democrats 2012 candidate Bonnie Johnson faces retired teacher Ed Peterson. Sadly neither candidate has raised much so this may be a crapshoot primary.
For Republicans four credible candidates are vying for the nod. Seed dealer Brett Roberts has raised the most money. He also is the only major candidate from the Eaton County part of the district. The Jackson County portion has three viable candidates. One is businessman Dale Moretz. Another is Grass Lake Charter Township Supervisor Jim Stormont. Final one is
former Vice President Columbia Township Treasurer John C. Calhoun.
District 73 – Open (R)
It seems that open West Michigan districts draw fairly large Republican primaries. 7 candidates are vying for this seat. Grand Rapids Township Treasurer Chris Afendoulis appears to be the front runner. He raised over 90k for this race. Behind him is a group of 4 candidates that raised between 20k and 30k. Autodealer John Decker seems to be the most credible challenger. However, we should not count out Frank Pfaff who is endorsed by the homophobic Dave Agema.
District 80 – Open (R)
This should be an interesting race. The Tea Party has a legitimate opportunity to win because there are two more establishment type Republicans in the race. The money and politicians seem to be supporting Mary Whiteford. Meanwhile, Allegan Township Supervisor Steve Schulz is also running. The Tea Party candidate is Cindy Gamrat, a homeschool coop teacher. This is a race that could get interesting because Gamrat looks to be crazy enough to make Republicans look really bad.
District 82 – Open (R)
This is the seat that Kevin Daley gave up to run for State Senate. 4 Republicans entered the race in this Lapeer county district. Most of the money has gone to Lapeer County Republican Chairwoman Jan Peabody. Attorney/Accountant Todd Courser is in distant second in terms of fundraising. Meanwhile Arcadia Township Clerk Sharna Cramer Smith and journalist Jacob Hunsanger round out the field.
District 84 – Open (D)
Sadly this district seems like a likely Republican pick up as Terry Brown is term limited. Brown won in some dark red territory thanks to his personal popularity. As a result, Republicans flooded into the race. 7 Republicans are running including 2012 Republican nominee Dan Grimshaw and disgraced ex-Rep Kurt Damrow (who beat Brown in 2010). However Dr. Edward Canfield and former Bad Axe schools Superintendent Jim Wencel are leading in terms of fundraising. Canfield raised nearly 70k while Wencel raised over 50k. Most of the other candidates raised less than 10k.
District 90 – Open (R)
Representative Joe Haveman is term-limited out. 5 Republicans are running in this race (although one candidate stopped campaigning for health reason). Of the remanding 4, two stand out. First is Geoff Haveman, a distant cousin of Joe. Geoff is hoping that the name helps him win the primary. The frontrunner, however is Daniela Garcia, a former policy advisor to Pete Hoekstra. Garcia has out-raised the field with over 60k to less than 30k for Haveman.
District 95 – Open (D)
This Saginaw based district is where State Rep Stacy Erwin Oaks represents. There are two candidates in the race. The most likely favorite is Norman Braddock. Braddock is a Saginaw City Councilman and former Saginaw county board member. He has spent years in the private and non-profit sector working on helping the unemployed find work. Meanwhile Vanessa Guerra is young community organizer that started a nonprofit focused on Saginaw’s Hispanic/Latino community. She also currently is in law school. Fundraising for both candidates has been poor and Guerra actually leads 11,000 to 8,000. I think Braddock probably wins but Guerra is definitely somebody to watch for the future.
District 98 – Open (R)
This Midland-based district might be where the battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party takes place. The establishment choice is Karl Ieuter. He helps lead a family owned business called the Ieuter Insurance Group. Meanwhile Gary Glenn is the president of the American Family Association of Michigan. Glenn is a downright scary anti-gay bigot. A Glenn victory terrifies establishment Republicans and should terrify any reasonable individual as well.
The scariest part is that Glenn is leading in fundraising. He has raised over 160k for this race. Ieuter has raised over 150k so he has kept it close.
District 104 – Open (R)
Representative Wayne Schidmt was termed-limited so this district would be open no matter what. This Traverse City based district has 8 Republicans vying for the party nomination. First is Isaiah Wunsch, an cherry and apple farmer that also works for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Beau Vore is a US Air Force veteran. Matt Lundy is the Paulist of the race. Ken Hinton is a former Kingsley Area School Board member and is the current County Administrator of Wexford County (an appointed position). Jamie Callahan sits on the board of the national cherry festival and has the backing of the Chamber of Commerce. Rob Hentschel is a small business owner. Larry Inman served on the Grand Traverse County board of Commissioners including being the chair of the board. Finally Karen Renny is the wife of another Grand Traverse County Commissioner.
Inman has led the fundraising with $40,000. Renny is not too far behind though raising 35k. Callahan Hinton, and Wunsch all raised around 20 to 25k which would allow them potentially stay in the running for the seat.
District 105 – Open (R)
This is the open race to replace Greg MacMasters. All the action for this Northern Michigan seat is on the Republican side. Triston Cole is the Greg MacMasters’ choice in this election even though he ran against MacMaster in 2010. Cole is a small business owner that started his own family farm in 2000. Next is Tony Cutler, the Deputy Mayor of East Jordan. Cutler is still relatively young and became a member of the East Jordan City Council at the age of 20. Finally Michael Vickory is the Tea Party candidate in the race. He is active in the local Tea Party movement.
Fundraising wise, Cutler and Cole are neck and neck. Each raised around 25,000. Vickory trails the field with only $2,000 raised.
District 107 – Frank Foster ( R - Petoskey)
Frank Foster faces a Tea Party challenge. His main sins involve supporting Medicaid expansion and sponsoring a bill to add sexual orientation to the anti-discrimination law. His challenger is teacher Lee Chatfield. Chatfield is one of the top funded Tea Party candidates and has raised over 70k. Foster meanwhile has over 115k for the race.