Friday, July 19, 2013

Schuitmaker Starts the Dominoes

This article in the Gazette summarizes the conventional wisdom (among those of us in the know) about the state of local politics.

Who will run? Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker's decision key to Kalamazoo County's state politics in 2014

Senator Tonya Schuitmaker is expected to run for reelection, but has not yet announced in which district.  She represents the (old) 20th district, which entirely contains the new 20th district.  However, her home is in the new 26th district, which also contains her old state house district.

It isn't really a secret where she is going to run.  A commenter points out
Another crack reporting job by the Kalamazoo Gazette. Where's Tonya having most of her fundraisers? South Kent county, the south side of Holland (Allegan County), Allegan & Van Buren counties. This is the worst kept secret in the local political area. She's running in the 26th. McCann & O'Brien will face off in the 20th. The players are shaking out in O'Brien's old district in regards to who will replace her.

The best hope for the GOP in the 20th was for Tonya to run. Taking her out of the mix makes the district more of a toss-up.
Tonya will likely face a contested primary against state rep. Bob Genetski of Allegan County.
  • The democrat nominee for the 20th district will be state rep Sean McCann, who has represented the 60th district in the state house for four years.  It is unlikely that he will face a serious primary challenge.
  • The Republican nominee will be state rep. Margaret O'Brien, who has represented the 61st district.  It is unclear whether she will face a serious primary.  It is possible that former state rep. Lorence Wenke, who has last his three races by large margins, will run again.
  • The democrats' anointed candidate for the 60th state house district is county commissioner David Buskirk.  It remains to be seen whether they can clear the field or whether he will face a serious challenge in the primary.
  • There will likely be a contested primary for the Republican nomination in the 61st district.  County commissioners Phil Stinchcomb and Brandt Iden are the most likely candidates.
  • The 63rd state house district is open, as Speaker Jase Bolger is term-limited.  There will likely be several candidates.
  • The various open county commission seats may see contested races as well.
There will be plenty of races to keep local political junkies busy.

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