Former state Rep. Lorence Wenke announces state Senate bid
Wenke is a good example that being more moderate doesn't necessarily make you more electable. Let's review his recent electoral track record.
Wenke ran for state senate in 2010, losing to Tonya in the primary.
Incredibly, Wenke did not win a single precinct of his former district. He didn't get as much as 40% in any of them. Perhaps this shouldn't be so surprising though, as Wenke lost the Kalamazoo County portion of his old district in 2004 and 2006, the last two times he ran for election. Both times he was saved by the Calhoun County portion of the district. He survived by fewer than 100 votes in 2004 after voting against an initiative to correctly define marriage, and won by a few points in 2006. In both cases he beat former Rep. Jerry VanderRoest, outspending him by huge margins. Evidently he remains unpopular in his own district, and was overwhelmed by a candidate who could match him dollar-for-dollar.Was his problem just in the primary? Wenke then ran for Gull Lake School Board in 2011. The results:
Wenke did win six precincts (K Twp 1, Kalamazoo City 3, 8, 14, 17, 23) in the 60 district. He tied Tonya in four others, Cooper 5, K Twp 2, Kalamazoo City 5, 19.
Laura Burr: 39.4%
Loyal Eldridge: 36.8%
Lorence Wenke: 13.7%
Paul Foust: 10.0%
The candidate Wenke beat was a college student.
A year later, Wenke ran for school board again.
Lin Marklin: 58.4%
Lorence Wenke: 41.6%
The voters don't like Lorence Wenke. They haven't since at least 2006.
But now he's running for state senate again. If he can't beat obscure school board members, how is he going to beat Margaret O'Brien or Sean McCann? He won't. But he will waste another couple hundred grand in the process. If he runs a negative campaign like he did in 2010, he could hurt Margaret's chances in the general.
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