Saturday, May 05, 2018

2018 Kalamazoo County Commission Races

This post was last updated August 20, 2018.

Democrats won a 6-5 majorities on the Kalamazoo County Commission in 2014 and 2016, which were generally good years for Republicans.  There were three open seats on 2016, and there is one (district 2) this year.

The following post has detailed descriptions of the districts and their political leanings. The numbers given are the percentage the Republican county commission candidate got in 2012, 2014 and 2016, and Ruth Johnson's (2010), Mitt Romney (2012) and Donald Trump (2016) percentages.  Incumbents are marked below with asterisks.

Kalamazoo County Commission Districts.

List of Kalamazoo County Candidates

District 1 [N Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
R12: 13.9 R14: 0 R16: 19 Johnson: 20.3 Romney: 13.5 Trump: 14.9
Democrat: Stephanie Moore*
Republican: Ronald Olson
Stephanie Moore replaced Carolyn Alford in 2014 in this majority minority district.  Moore was a Kalamazoo city commissioner and has been convicted of several crimes over the years.  She allied with Republicans to make Dale Shugars the board chairman for one year and became chair for 2018 herself.

District 2 [SE Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
R12: 0 R14: 29.5 R16: 27.5 Johnson: 33.4 Romney: 28.1 Trump: 25.1
Democrat: Paul Haag
Republican: none
Incumbent Kevin Wordelman, a union organizer at WMU, won this seat vacated by David Buskirk in 2014.  He is retiring this year.

District 3 [SW Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
R12: 31.1 R14: 32.3 R16: 29.7 Johnson: 37.2 Romney: 30.1 Trump: 28
Democrat: Tracy Hall*
Republican: Charley Coss
Hall was elected in 2016, replacing John Taylor.  Hall was previously a candidate for Kalamazoo city commission in 2013.  Coss is running again after losing in 2016.

District 4 [Kalamazoo Twp, Parchment] Safe Democrat
R12: 32.2 R14: 0 R16: 0 Johnson: 41.8 Romney: 31.7 Trump: 30
Democrat: Michael Seals*, Shequita Lewis
Republican: none
Seals defeated fellow democrat commissioner (02-10) Franklin Thompson in 2010.  This year, he barely survived a primary challenge from Shequita Lewis, who was backed by Stephanie Moore.

District 5 [Alamo, N Oshtemo, NW Kalamazoo Twp] Safe Democrat
R12: 44.3 R14: 44.7 R16: 43.7 Johnson: 56.9 Romney: 47.2 Trump: 45.8
Democrat: Julie Rogers*
Republican: Chad Dillon
Rogers won this competiive seat in 2012.  Dillon, a staffer for Congressman Fred Upton, is running again.

District 6 [Cooper, Richland, Ross] Safe Republican
R12: 54 R14: 100 R16: 77 Johnson: 62.9 Romney: 54.7 Trump: 56.4
Democrat: none
Republican: Ron Kendall*
Kendall, a staffer for state rep. Tom Barrett (14-P) of Eaton County, succeeded Jeff Heppler in 2016.  He beat Vince Carahaly, a moderate businessman, and Frank Brooks, a passionate Trump supporter, 39-35-26 in the primary.

District 7 [Comstock, Galesburg, Charleston, Climax, Wakeshma] Safe Republican
R12: 50.9 R14: 54.9 R16: 56.8 Johnson: 59.3 Romney: 50.6 Trump: 56.7
Democrat: none
Republican: Roger Tuinier*
Tuinier, who is a greenhouse owner, barely defeated Leroy Crabtree in 2012.  He beat David Burgess, a Comstock Township Trustee, in 2014, and Pat Clark, a Climax Village Trustee, in 2016.

District 8 [Pavillion, Brady, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde] Safe Republican
R12: 100 R14: 61 R16: 100 Johnson: 63.5 Romney: 55.1 Trump: 60
Democrat: Cody Dekker
Republican: John Gisler*, Kraig Lee
Commissioner John Gisler was elected in 2010 but deferred to fellow commissioner (02-12) David Maturen in the 2012 Republican primary due to redistricting.  Gisler returned in 2014 when Maturen was elected to the state house.  Gisler defeated Kraig Lee, a union democrat in disguise, in the primary this year.

District 9 [Texas, SE Oshtemo] Likely Republican
R12: 53.9 R14: 61.3 R16: 54.6 Johnson: 62.5 Romney: 51.7 Trump: 47.6
Democrat: Christine Morse
Republican: Dale Shugars*
Shugars, a conservative former state senator (94-02) and state rep (90-94), was elected to the commission in 2014, succeeding Brandt Iden.  He was board chairman in 2017 thanks to a deal with democrat Stephanie Moore.

District 10 [W Portage] Lean democrat
R12: 52.8 R14: 49.6 R16: 49.8 Johnson: 58.8 Romney: 49.4 Trump: 45.2
Democrat: Michael Quinn*
Republican: Steve Carra, Nasim Ansari
Quinn was a commissioner 2008-2010.  Following R Phil Stinchcomb (10-12) and D Larry Provancher (95-02, 14-16), Quinn returned.  Carra, a staffer for state rep Steven Johnson (16-P) of Allegan County and secretary of the Kalamazoo GOP, defeated Ansari, a county commissioner (02-12) and Portage city commissioner (13-17) who lost a race for mayor of Portage in 2017, in the primary.

District 11 [E Portage] Tossup
R12: 52.5 R14: 54.2 R16: 52.5 Johnson: 56.5 Romney: 47.5 Trump: 46.9
Democrat: Meredith Place
Republican: Scott McGraw*
McGraw succeed John Zull (00-14).  McGraw formerly worked for the Kalamazoo Homebuilders Association and is now Chairman of the Kalamazoo GOP.  Place is the wife of former commissioner (02-16) and democrat party chairman John Taylor.

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