Monday, November 06, 2006

On the ballot: Local

Kalamazoo County will see a number of races on the ballot tomorrow.

The most important is the 20th State Senate district race between incumbent Republican Tom George and Democrat State Rep. Alexander Lipsey. This is the most closely contested Senate race in Michigan. It has been marked by huge independent expenditures by liberal gay-rights activist Jon Stryker.

In the 60th State House district, Democrat former Kalamazoo Mayor Robert Jones faces Republican Armando Romero in this heavily Democratic district.

In the 61st State House district, Republican incumbent Jack Hoogendyk faces Democrat Julie Rogers. Jack is a conservative hero and friend of the WMU College Republicans. He has been attacked by the Kalamazoo Gazette. He should win a clear, though not overwhelming victory.

In the 63rd State House district, Republican incumbent Lorence Wenke is safe in his race against Democrat Phyllis Smith.

In the nonpartisan race for Circuit Court Judge for Kalamazoo County, conservative Pam Lightvoet faces liberal Martin Glista. Glista has been endorsed by the county Democratic Party.

Most of the seventeen Kalamazoo County Commission seats are contested, but only a few are expected to be close. The Republicans' best chance of picking up a seat is in the 4th district, where Republican Tom Barrett has waged a vigorous campaign. Barrett has been endorsed by the Kalamazoo Gazette and the WMU College Republicans. Republicans are also trying to oust several other Democrats.

Democrats are attempting to unseat several Republicans on the County Commission. Only two of these races are likely to be close. Republican Bob Brink faces Democrat John Niewenhuis in Oshtemo. Republican Joe VanBruggen faces Democrat Larry Crabtree in Comstock. Brink and VanBruggen may have alienated some Republicans as the only two Republicans to support the recent "gender identity" ordinance.

Kalamazoo County voters will also face a proposed tax increase for the local government transportation system. The local bus system is poorly run and this tax increase deserves to be rejected.

No comments: