Tuesday, May 16, 2006

After the filing deadline

The filing deadline for November's races in Michigan just passed. Of course, Dick DeVos will face Governor Jennifer Granholm in the gubernatorial race. Michael Bouchard, Keith Butler, and Jerry Zandstra will compete for the Republican nomination to take on Senator Debbie Stabenow.

None of the congressional races will be competitive in the general election. Democrats had harbored some hopes of making them competitive, but they won't be. The only competitive congressional race will be the primary campaign between Congressman Joe Schwarz and former State Rep. Tim Walberg. Congressional Quarterly summarizes the race:

"One Republican House incumbent in Michigan appears to face serious danger at the polls this year. Unfortunately for the state's Democrats, the threatening challenge comes from another Republican, rather than from one of their candidates.

First-term Rep. Joe Schwarz, a Republican centrist, is being challenged in the 7th District Aug. 8 primary by conservative Tim Walberg, a former state representative who boasts support from the national anti-tax organization Club for Growth. But the survivor of that primary will be heavily favored in November."

" 7th District: The Schwarz-Walberg showdown in the 7th District primary is something of a rematch of the 2004 contest, but with a lot less company. Four other Republicans also were on the ballot in that year's race to succeed retiring six-term Republican Rep. Nick Smith.

That, in fact, is the crux of Walberg's challenge this year. Schwarz was the sole moderate in a field crowded with conservatives, and he won the primary with 28 percent of the vote. Walberg argues that the district's conservative-leaning GOP primary electorate will favor him in a one-on-one match. But Schwarz has rallied support from much of the state and national Republican establishment as the incumbent in the race.

Schwarz has a typical incumbent's advantage in overall fundraising, with $811,000 in receipts as of March 31 to Walberg's $343,000. But Schwarz also has spent much more money already, leaving the two more closely matched -- $334,000 to $304,000 -- in cash on hand.

The winner will almost certainly be favored to hold the seat for the Republicans in a district that in 2004 gave 54 percent to Bush and 58 percent of the general election vote to Schwarz.

CQ rates the 7th District general election as Safe Republican."

You can see evaluations of Schwarz's record on abortion, guns, and overall.

I'll run through the local races later.


Anonymous said...

If Schwarz loses the primary, the obvious Democrat will be Fred Strack. The DNC, including Howard Dean, will descend on the 7th District like bugs to the light and Strack will likely win. Just looking over his website, Strack has a lot more substance than Walberg, has a military background and is an attractive candidate to Moderate GOP'ers not drinking the Conservative Kool-Aid. Walberg has literally nothing to show for from his time in Lansing and only has a few pet issues.

Schwarz is the only hope for keeping the 7th GOP. He will win handily.

The Adrian Insider said...

Read more about the Schwarz vs. Walberg showdown at www.adrianinsider.blogspot.com