Friday, August 15, 2008

We have some more November contests

The Argus reports that six write-in candidates received enough votes in the primary to get on the ballot.

Dave Buckland is probably their strongest candidate based on candidate experience and previous showings. He got the nomination for the County Commission district and had a respectable showing in 2006. It was a 55-45 district and 800 vote margin in 2006. This district is Hamburg township minus Hamburg 3. Dolan has seemed to avoid the controversies in Hamburg (as his son won a trustee position there.) However, the dems want this bad as they haven't held a seat since Jake Donohue did it in I believe the early 1990's. My money is on Dolan, but I do not expect the race to be a gimme.

For Hamburg Township Clerk - Debby Buckland will be facing Matt Skiba
For Hamburg Township Treasurer - Linda Taylor will face Pat Evon.
For Hamburg Tristee - Shannon Piper will face Michael Dolan, Bill Hahn, Chuck Menzies and Philip Semprevivo.

The question is whether with the house cleaning in Hamburg, is the infighting over. If the winner was all three incumbents, all winning by 50 votes, then I would have bet on the democrats. That was not the case, and all incumbents are gone. The primary I think made things tougher for the dems. However, do Pat Hohl (unopposed), Matt Skiba, and Pat Evon realize what happened and work to put this behind them? Do the outgoing incumbents provide a smooth transition? If the answer is yes, then I think we hold these seats. If not, then the papers will have a big story about an "upset" in November. Nobody wants to read about their township in the paper every day. Two of the newcomers I think are real strong candidates in Pat Evon and Bill Hahn. I'm not worried about them. One other candidate however concerns me. I won't say who it is in public, but I wasn't that impressed with that individual in the candidate forum. With the current situation, none of these are gimmes, but one of these actually scares me a bit.

Matt Evans got on the ballot the hard way and will face Mark St Charles. The question here is which Matt Evans will show up? The guy who got disqualified on petitions, or the guy that held a legend in Jack LaBelle to under 60% in 2006? Green Oak has a lot of local issues, and that will decide this contest. The Dems keep knocking on the door in Green Oak, but it's been a while since then won here. Green Oak is never an area to take for granted however.

Michael Porath faces Ron Rau for Putnam Supervisor. Putnam always votes on their local politics, and it doesn't matter who is at the top of the ticket. Local Democrats sometimes survive Republican top of the ticket landslides there. I expect the battle there be rural v development. This will probably be the toughest contest for the GOP, as dems do win sometimes in Putnam Township, and they held the super's position as recently as 2004, despite Bush winning big there.

Many will talk about coattails. I'm not a big believer in coattails unless you get 60% at the top of the ticket in your locality, extreme cases. Even then the 1998 massacure of Geoff Fieger didn't caust that many races to flip. In 1990, John Engler won big here in Livingston County, but Richard Austin and Frank Kelley also won - the last two democrats to win here countywide.

In short, we shouldn't panic but we do need to be prepared at home, and make sure our local candidates are supported without depending on John McCain to carry them or Barack Obama to sink the opposition. The Livingston County Republican Party needs to remember the first two works in their name. I think this year, unlike some years, this will happen.

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