Saturday, May 15, 2010

Area State House Races

All 110 Michigan State House seats are up for election. Thanks to term limits, there are many open seats. Democrats currently control the state house.

2010 Unofficial Primary Candidate Listing
Unofficial Candidates List for August 3, 2010 Primary

Here are profiles of state house races in Southwest Michigan.

59. [St. Joseph, Cass Counties] Safe Republican.
Moderate Republican Matt Lori, elected in 2008, is safe in this heavily Republican district against democrat Carol Higgins, who he defeated in 2008.

60. [Kalamazoo City] Safe Democrat.
Democrat Robert Jones is leaving after two terms to run for state senate. Former Kalamazoo City Commissioner Sean McCann, former WMU student Chris Praedel, and Dustin Harback will compete for the democrat nomination. McCann is heavily favored to win. The Republican nominee will be pastor Jeff Fernandez.

61. [western Kalamazoo County] Safe Republican.
Republican Larry DeShazor is leaving this district to run for the state senate. This district saw close elections in 2006 and 2008, with democrat Julie Rogers narrowly losing to Republicans Jack Hoogendyk and DeShazor. In 2008, democrats made a major push to take this district, spending half a million dollars on the race. Also in 2008, there was a hotly contested Republican primary, with DeShazor narrowly defeating Portage City Council member Margaret O'Brien. This year, O'Brien, a conservative, is unopposed for the Republican nomination, having put together a strong campaign early on that dissuaded any potential Republican rivals from running.

The democrats totally failed to recruit a strong candidate, ending up with unknown Thomas Batten. He is the weakest democrat nominee for this seat in a decade, certainly compared to Julie Rogers, James Housten, or Curtis Bell. There is no sign that democrats will expend effort on this race, and 2010 is likely to be a much more Republican year than 2008. Batten will be opposed by write-in candidate Grant Taylor, brother of John Taylor, who failed to get on the ballot due to not living in the district long enough.

62. [Calhoun County] Likely democrat.
Democrat Kate Segal easily won this swing district over flawed Republican nominee Greg Moore, taking over for retiring Republican Mike Nofs. The Republican nominee this year will be Steven Mobley.

63. [eastern Kalamazoo County, northwestern Calhoun County] Safe Republican.
Republican Jase Bolger, conservative, won this district in 2008, succeeding the retiring Lorence Wenke, who is running for state senate. Bolger won pretty easily in 2008 and should have no trouble against democrat Dave Morgan.

78. [southern Berrien County] Safe Republican.
Republican Sharon Tyler won a close election in 2008, succeeding term-limited Republican Neal Nitz. She faces democrat Cindy Ellis. At this time it does not appear that the race will be highly contested.

79. [northern Berrien County] Safe Republican.
Incumbent Republican John Proos is term-limited and running for state senate. The republicans running to succeed him are Paul Peterson, a local Tea Party leader and staunch conservative, Al Pscholka, the district director for Congressman Fred Upton, and Bruce Gorenflo. The democrat candidates are Mary Brown and Julee Laurent.

80. [VanBuren County] Leans Republican.
Incumbent Republican Tonya Schuitmaker is term-limited and running for state senate. Six Republicans are competing for nomination. They are Douglas Harrington, Shelly Hartmann, Bob Linderman, Aric Nesbitt, William Queen, and Frank Thompson. Harrington is Lawrence Township Supervisor. Nesbitt is a former staffer for Tom George and Tim Walberg. Thompson is a businessman. The democrat nominee will be Thomas Erdmann, a county commissioner.

87. [Barry, Ionia Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent Brian Calley is running for state senate. The three Republican candidates are Michael Bremer, Mike Callton, a businessman, and Steve Fabiano, a businessman.

88. [Allegan County] Safe Republican.
Republican Bob Genetski, a staunch conservative, will have no trouble in Heavily Republican Allegan County. The democrat nominee will be Randy Thompson.

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