Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 Kalamazoo County Commission Election Preview

This post was last updated August 8, 2012.

Republicans won a 10-7 majority on the Kalamazoo County Commission in 2010. Redistricting will shrink the commission to 11 seats, changing the district boundaries. The new map is likely to yield a 7-4 Republican majority. Incumbents are marked below with asterisks. The following post has detailed descriptions of the districts and their political leanings.

Kalamazoo County Commission Districts.

District 1 [N Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
Democrats: Carolyn Alford*
Republicans: Al Thompson
Incumbents Alford defeated fellow incumbent Barnard and newcomer Worden in the minority-majority district. Alford has held office since 2006, Barnard since 2002.

District 2 [SE Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
Democrats: David Buskirk*
Republicans: none
Jack Urban deferred to fellow incumbent David Buskirk, who is unopposed. Buskirk is the board vice-chairman and has had this seat since 1992.

District 3 [SW Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
Democrats: John Taylor*
Republicans: Tony Dugal
Taylor, who was first elected in 2002 by 13 votes, is safe here.

District 4 [Kalamazoo Twp, Parchment] Safe Democrat
Democrats: Michael Seals*
Republicans: Dennis Weber
Seals, who defeated fellow democrat Franklin Thompson in 2010, is safe.

District 5 [Alamo, N Oshtemo, NW Kalamazoo Twp] Leans Republican
Democrats: Julie Rogers
Republicans: David Worthams
This open seat is about 55% Republican. Both Worthams and Rogers have lost two previous close races, but did better than expected.

District 6 [Cooper, Richland, Ross] Safe Republican
Democrats: Tom Novak
Republicans: Jeff Heppler*
Heppler has been on the board since 2002. Pominville was appointed in 2012 to replace Deb Buchholtz, who resigned. Heppler defeated Pominville and newcomer Neal Turluck. Novak applied to the seat claiming to be an independent and received the votes of all the democrats.

District 7 [Comstock, Galesburg, Charleston, Climax, Wakeshma] Likely Republican
Democrats: Leroy Crabtree
Republicans: Roger Tuinier
Republican Ann Nieuwenhuis is running for Comstock Township Supervisor. Tuinier, who is a greenhouse owner, defeated Danielle Gray in the primary. Leroy Crabtree defeated Republican incumbent Joe VanBruggen 50.7-49.3 in 2006. He was defeated by Nieuwenhuis in 2008 54.5-45.5, and lost a rematch in 2010 61.9-38.1. The district adds four solidly Republican precincts.

District 8 [Pavillion, Brady, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde] Safe Republican
Democrats: none
Republicans: David Maturen*
Conservative John Gisler deferred to moderate board chairman David Maturen, who has been on the board since 2002.

District 9 [Texas, SE Oshtemo] Safe Republican
Democrats: Robert Kildea
Republicans: Brandt Iden*
Tim Rogowski deferred to Brandt Iden, who was elected in 2010. Rogowski is running for Texas Township Board.

District 10 [W Portage] Safe Republican
Democrats: Connor Farrell
Republicans: Phil Stinchcomb*
Conservative Republican Phil Stinchcomb defeated democrat Michael Quinn 56.4-43.6 in 2010. The district adds several Republican precincts. Stinchcomb defeated 21-year-old Charles Bogren in the primary.

District 11 [E Portage] Safe Republican
Democrats: Jamie Jager
Republicans: John Zull*
Zull has been on the board since 2000. Jager was nominated as a write-in.

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