And now back to our irregularly scheduled blog...
I tend to focus on my home turf of Barry County on this blog since it doesn't get covered elsewhere on-line and because I have little time to cover much else (save for griping about the Governor's race every now and then). But the filing deadline has left us with some interesting races in the other parts of West Michigan that I'd like to talk about:
In the 19th Senate District, incumbent Mark Schauer (D- Bedford Twp.) will be challenged by one of two Republicans. The August 8th primary will be between Elizabeth Fulton (Battle Creek) and Al Cavasin (Concord).
Fulton is a middle school librarian. She doesn't seem to know where she or the voters stand and seems to be suggesting that the people will have to tell her which issues she should run on. This is a nice schtick- playing up her need to do "research" as a librarian but we sense it's a front. As co-owner of Southside Sportsman Club with her husband, it's clear to us she'll likely hammer the popular and moderate Schauer as too liberal and try to play to the militant gun crowd. I get the feeling Cavasin gets the support of the party since he owns a private security company in Jackson and is likely to be better financed than Fulton. Cavasin sounds like another Chamber of Commerce clone who will probably repeat the pre-recorded message of "need more tax cuts, need more tax cuts."
In the 63rd House District it looks like we'll get a rematch between Lorence Wenke (Richland Twp.) and Jerry Vander Roest (Galesburg). Wenke edged out Vander Roest by 90 votes two years ago. Look for a reprise of the "Values" theme as Wenke is known for his principled stance against gay bashing right before the last election which probably is what almost cost him his seat (you should read his speech about that vote). Wenke seems to be going on the offensive early with this gem of a quote:
"What issue will Jerry run on this time?" asked Wenke, a Richland Township resident. "Two years ago he ran on a values platform and then we all found out that he had a criminal record for soliciting a prostitute in Lansing while working as a state employee."
Ouch! This one is nasty and personal and the race has only begun...
The winner of the Republican primary squares off against Democrat Phyllis Smith of Vicksburg.