Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Recap of the primary

It was a rough primary overall, at least for me. It wasn't a total loss and some folks I wanted to win, but a lot of the candidates I was supporting lost. Most losses don't bother me that much in primaries. Usually I can easily point to good reasons why the results were the way they were. I wasn't happy with the Genoa Races or Oakland judicial race at all. The best folks didn't win there, and at least in the Genoa case, low turnout absolutely killed us. I wasn't that happy with the treasurer's race either, and low turnout didn't help us at all there either. I'll update the districts periodically now that the results are in.

One thing I noticed is that a lot of votes were absentee. There were 10215 votes in the HD-47 primary. I did some work for Cindy this primary. At least 34% of the vote - going into election day - was absentee. I assume that's across the board and applies to HD-42 as well. I don't have the exact numbers. Turnout was very low despite all the contested races. In my Green Oak polling place, I walked in. There was one person ahead of me and one person in line at the other precinct there. At 11:30 AM, I was number 55. My ballot number was about 259. Cards cast - 311.

The lack of absentee program doomed Clark Durant. Durant peaked late and worked hard at the end in Livingston County, but you have to have the AV program going to have a chance against a name like Hoekstra. I think if all of the turnout was Tuesday with no AV's, Durant may have won. The election started in June however and not August. Hoekstra needs to have the AV program ready to go to have a shot against Stabenow.

Mike Rogers won easily against two unknowns. I didn't see much if any of a campaign from Hetrick or Molnar. Hetrick had some signs in the right of way, but it takes more than that to have a strong campaign that would challenge someone like Mike.

Dale Rogers had a waiver wire campaign against Bill Rogers, but did what he could considering the resources in his campaign. I'll give him credit for hitting doors and also showing up the unity breakfast this morning. He took his lumps like a man, as I had to do in a couple of cases with some of the campaigns I was involved in, and I hope he stays active.  I respect those who run actual campaigns. 

Harold Melton I think underestimated Cindy Denby due to her low key demeanor. There's a difference between being low key and weak. Cindy's a very strong incumbent especially due to the constituent relations in that office. If you're going to challenge Cindy, you better be prepared or you'll be overwhelmed, and not even by the campaign resources. Personally, I wish Harold ran for township board in Howell Twp.

Prosecutor was close as expected. Bill Vailliencourt won narrowly over Carolyn Henry. Lyle Dickson had more votes than the difference between the two, and I wonder who would have otherwise receive those votes.

Sheriff wasn't close. Tom Ash defeated Tom Ash. Bob Bezotte won easily, and I think Ash's speech at the Brighton Tea Party, the 11th hour complaint from Alex Duncan (who lost his race in Marion Twp) claiming he got an ass whooping in 1985 as a kid (I later found out Bezotte was out of town that day) and claiming he mentioned it as not politics, and the Dukes of Hazzard stunt by Mike Moorman all cost him.

Margaret Dunleavy won easily as expected. That's a well run office and she does a good job.

I was surprised at the treasurer's race. Brian Wutz ran what I thought was a good campaign and a much more active one. Nash was an appointed incumbent who had much of the established elected officials/commissioners backing but was running an essentially status quo campaign. I thought it was going to be close, and it was a 62-38 loss. It was closer all other countywide incumbent challenges, but it still wasn't close. I hope Brian stays active. He's a good guy who adds a lot to the party.

I was surprised at the margin in the Register of Deeds race, although I'm not surprised Sally Reynolds won. Sally's an underrated campaigner who works despite limited campaign budgets. She was hitting a lot of doors. Carole Bullion was a stronger challenger than her results would indicate. Both are good people and I hope Carole stays active. I hope Carole runs again when the seat opens up.

There are two commissioners who lost re-election. Three were vulnerable. Two are gone. Ron Van Houten survived against Bill Call. Van Houten's a good guy. I don't know Bill Call except that he is or was part of the school board. I was a little surprised Van Houten won because of Call's strength in Fowlerville. Jim Mantey lost to Bill Green. I'm not that surprised there. Mantey was a good commissioner. He was not a good campaigner. People didn't know him. I am slightly surprised at my own district. I will have having a new county commissioner. Jack LaBelle is being replaced by Gary Childs. I don't know him. I know that he owns a bike shop and has many ties in South Lyon. Much of Green Oak is closely tied to South Lyon around the Rushton area. I voted for Jack, whom I knew from the board, and he won't be easy to replace.

Incumbents were the winners generally in the township races with few exceptions. I wasn't happy against with Genoa's case. Don't complain when "downtown Genoa" is on the way.  I was happy to see Linda Rowell win, but Spicher and Woodall would have done a real good job there. Green Oak has a new trustee. James Tuthill will be replacing Wally Qualls. I was hoping Mike Z would win in Hamburg.

Ballot Questions:

Passed - Conway Twp Roads, Deerfield Roads, Hartland Fire renewal, Osceola Roads, Fenton Schools Renewal (in county), Fowlerville fire/library,

Failed - Howell Township Sewer (no surprise there - 80-20 margin)

Outside the county, MI-11 wasn't a surprise to me. Bentivolio in Oakland had about 29,000 votes compared to the 13,800 writeins. In Wayne County, Bentivolio had about 13,800 to the 8400 or so write-ins. I estimated that it would take about 25,000 to have a ghost of a chance and about 30,000+ to have a more realistic chance. There were about 22,000 write ins. Most were probably for Cassis. That's damn good, but shows how difficult it is. Interestingly, Bill Roberts the LaRouche guy, only lost Oakland by 2000 against the establishment candidate Syed Taj, Taj did better in Wayne County where he's from, winning by 4000 there. I wonder if the dems are kicking themselves for not running someone stronger like Dian Slavens, Tim Melton, or Mike Duggan.

MI-13 - John Conyers won easily.

MI-14 - Gary Peters is the first whitey in Congress to represent a part of Detroit since either Sander Levin or Curtis Hertel to have part of the city in their district. Hansen Clark won the Wayne County portion of the district 51-33 with others taking the rest. 33% is still good for a white dude in Oakland County who most importantly doesn't live there. Oakland came through big for Peters. Clarke actually got third in Oakland, behind Brenda Lawrence and Peters. Peters won not surprisingly West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills. Somewhat surprisingly, he won Southfield, Oak Park, and Pontiac. Pontiac and Oak Park wern't close. Southfield was close because Lawrence is the mayor there, and Peters still won. Southfield, Oakland, and Pontiac blacks aren't as adverse of voting for white folks. I am surprised Peters won because Detroit still has most of the district.

I'll update the districts when I get a chance to reflect who the nominees are for the fall.

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