Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Local Races

Here is the Gazette article on local races this year:

"It won't be a dull primary election for Kalamazoo-area voters.

The Rev. Jerry McNeely, the controversial president of the Kalamazoo Metropolitan Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is running against fellow Democrat and former Kalamazoo Mayor Robert Jones to replace Alexander Lipsey in the state House. There also are two Republican candidates for that seat.

In the 63rd House District, look for a rematch between Rep. Lorence Wenke and former Rep. Jerry VanderRoest in the Republican primary. The two were involved in a mud-slinging campaign two years ago that started out as a fight over gay marriage and ended with heated accusations about VanderRoest's personal life.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk is facing two challengers in the Republican primary, and seven Republicans are competing to replace state Rep. Gary Newell in the 87th District.

Both Newell and Lipsey are leaving the House because of term limits. Lipsey is the Democratic challenger facing state Sen. Tom George, R-Texas Township.

Tuesday was the deadline for candidates to file for the Aug. 8 primary. Offices up for election this year include governor, the U.S. Senate seat held by Debbie Stabenow, state Senate and House and county boards of commissioners.

On the Kalamazoo county board, Democrats Dan McGlinn and Eva Ozier are the two incumbents not seeking re-election to the 17-member board.

Running unopposed for Ozier's seat is Carolyn Alford, who stepped down last year from the Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education. Alford is running as a Democrat. The candidates for McGlinn's seat are Republican Mark Liddle and Democrat Jack Urban.

Of the remaining incumbents, all face challengers in the primary or in November except for Democrat Robert Barnard and Republicans John W. Zull, Deb Buchholz-Hiemstra and M. Jeff Heppler."

The Gazette provides a 51-part rundown of the candidates starting here.

The County Board of Commissioners has voted to ask for a tax increase of $28 million to fund a new juvenile home. A similar request was shot down by county voters as part of a larger $91 million package last year.

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