Recently we had the big announcements of Steve Williams dropping out of the race with Bill Rogers jumping in. That leads to this.
Our two state house seats will be open. Chris Ward and Joe Hune are term limited out. Valde Garcia in the state senate is also term limited out, but state senate seats are only open in gubenatorial election years.
The 47th District is Joe Hune's district. The 66th District is Chris Ward's district. The 47th has been competitive in the past during the primary while the 66th has not had a primary under its current boundaries (02-onward). Joe won by 2 votes in the 02 primary.
Some nickname the 47th the "Howell" district and the 66th the "Brighton" district, but it's not that simple. Some with Brighton addresses live in the 47th and a lot of people with Howell addresses live in the 66th. That's due the rather crazy shape of the districts. The 47th is shaped almost like a "C" with the rest of the county in the 66th District.
In the 47th we have:
Conway Township (North of Fowlerville)
Handy Township (including Fowlerville)
Iosco Township (between Fowlerville and Gregory)
Conhoctah Township (between Howell and Byron)
City of Howell
Unadilla Township (including Gregory)
Putnam Township (including Pinckney and Hell)
Hamburg Township (all of it - Brighton, Lakeland, Pinckney, and Hamburg portions)
Tyrone Township (near Fenton)
Deerfield Township (near Argentine)
and Hartland Township
In the 66th we have
City of Brighton
Green Oak Township (Between Brighton and South Lyon)
Genoa Township (Between Howell and Brighton)
Marion Township (Between Howell and Pinckney)
and Oceola Township (Between Howell and Hartland)
The 66th also covers Milford Township in Oakland County
From a partisan standpoint, both districts have some competitive areas (Putnam Twp, Unadilla, City of Brighton, City of Howell, a couple of precincts in Hamburg and Green Oak) but are solidly republican districts. Bush won over 60% in both of them. The real competition is in the primary barring a Don Sherwood style of disaster.
In the 47th, there is mostly rumors. I think the frontrunner, if she runs, would be Cindy Denby. Cindy is the Handy Township supervisor. She's also Joe Hune's Chief of Staff up in Lansing. The reason I'd consider her the frontrunner (if she runs) is because of the experience factor, geography factor, and the fact that Joe's been a solid less government conservative. Joe didn't vote for either the tax increases, tax shifts, or the fee increases when 15 republicans including a former speaker caved to Granholm. As far as the geography factor, that worked to Joe's advantage. The Fowlerville candidate had an extremely high turnout, great organization, and got 3-1+ margins in his area - and he wasn't the only candidate to campaign out there. Joe then did well enough in Hamburg and Putnam to win.
I've heard for a couple of years that that county commissioners Don Parker and Dave Domas are considering a run. Both candidates have won tough primaries in the past and can not be counted out. Domas also was a state rep candidate in 02. If they run, I expect them to be serious candidates.
In the 66th, we have two public announcements so far. County commissioner and businessman Bill Rogers (Mike's Brother) and Chiropractor and businessman Jason Corosanite. Bill Rogers has only been in one semi-competitive race from which I can remember. That was in 02 against Democrat Irene Cahill. The final numbers wern't close, but Cahill worked hard enough to place a scare in some GOP circles. I doubt Bill forgot that, and I don't expect him to take the primary lightly. As this is my district, I'm looking to see what Bill and Jason plan on doing if they are elected. I'm particulary interested in their tax views and budgetary reforms. I've heard rumors of one, maybe two more candidates considering a run there.
Assuming Bill Rogers stays in, that also opens up a county commissioner seat, District 7. I've heard a rumor of a well known individual who might run, but I haven't confirmed one way or the other. District 7, Bill's current district, covers all of the City of Brighton, Southeastern Genoa Township (Brighton area), and Northwestern Genoa Township (Howell area). While the city of Brighton can be competitive, the parts of Genoa in this district are some of the most republican areas in the country (70%+), let alone county.
The only way I see any of these three seats being competitive outside of the party is if the candidates turn out to be real bums. I don't take anything for granted, as incumbent Don Sherwood lost a 60% Bush district by 6% due to being a piece of trash.