Before I get to the rest of ballot, there are no primaries for Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Board of Education, the education boards of trustees/regents for MSU, UM, and Wayne State, or Supreme Court. These are decided in state conventions. Convention nominations are elected by state delegates. State delegates are elected at county conventions by precinct delegates. Preinct delegates are elected in the August primary. The filing deadline for those are May 6th and interested parties file at the County Clerk's office. In Livingston County, that's at the courthouse in downtown Howell.
For the offices:
Rick Snyder (R - Superior Twp)
Mark Schauer (D - Battle Creek)
Anybody but Schauer. Gun grabbing, partial birth abortion, Granholm's taxes, Obamacare, and Cap and trade.
Terri Lynn Land (R-Byron Township)
Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township)
We have an actual shot here and the pundits are finally starting to figure this out. I met Land in 2002. She was not supposed to be the nominee and ended up winning due to hard work on the campaign trail. Land will work hard and give us a chance. As for Peters, that boy will do whatever Reid tells him to do.
Congress - 8th District (MI-08)
GOP - Bryan Barnett (R-Rochester Hills), Mike Bishop (R-Rochester), and Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills)
Dem - Ken Darga (D-Lansing), Eric Schertzing (D-East Lansing), Jeffrey Hank (D-East Lansing), Susan Grettenberger (D-Lansing)
This district leans slightly Republican because of Livingston County and North Oakland County. However, all of Ingham County is in the district, and anything with Lansing, East Lansing, and Meridian Twp isn't completely safe. Schertzing has won countywide in Ingham County, but how many people know who the treasurer is? It's an important position, but behind the scenes more than a prosecutor. In a 3 and 4 way primary, a lot of things can happen.
State Senate - 22nd District (SD-22)
GOP - Joe Hune (R-Hamburg Twp)
Dem - Shari Pollesch (D-Hartland Township)
Redistricting did make this seat more difficult as it swaps the swing areas of Shiawassee County and slightly Republican parts of Ingham County for most of Western Washtenaw County. Shiawassee County voted for Obama twice, but it's also friendly territory for Joe Hune. About 2/3 of this district is still Livingston County, and the most democrat parts of Washtenaw stay with Rebekah Warren. This is still safe. Chelsea and Scio Township can not carry a district for Pollesch. Even McCain won this district, and Joe's not going to be outworked.
42nd District (HD-42)
GOP - Nick Fiani (R-Genoa Twp), Rich Perlberg (R-Brighton Twp), Dale Rogers (R-Putnam Twp), Lana Theis (R-Brighton Twp)
Dem - Timothy Johnson (D-Genoa Twp)
I'm not worried about the general here. Johnson already put his foot in his mouth with his guilty white leftist comments as well as his anti-2nd Amendment comments (guns for me, not for you). I think even a certain recalled Hamburg Township official would win this district without much of a problem. That may be a little cocky, but I'm usually cautious in my predictions. If I'm Nick, Rich, Dale, or Lana, I'd keep the dem talking. Beyond all of that, Johnson is a Wayne County guy who just moved here in 2012. While we're open to transplants including Wayne County transplants (like most of my family), many of us, including the transplants, don't want people to turn our county into the county the transplants left, especially Wayne County. People left Wayne County for a reason.
The main battle will be in the primary. The primary will be interesting. All bring their own backgrounds to the election. Nick Fiani is the president of the Brighton School Board. Rich Perlberg was the publisher for the local paper for years. Dale Rogers is a teacher. Lana Theis is Brighton Township treasurer and past GOP Chair.
47th District (HD-47)
GOP - Phil Campbell (R-Howell), Wendy Day (R-Marion Twp), Harold Melton (R-Howell Twp), Ted Ring (R-Hartland Twp), Dr Hank Vaupel (R-Handy Twp)
Dem - Jordan Genso (D-Marion Twp)
This is on paper one of the five safest districts in the state. The biggest problem for Jordan Genso is that there are only 3 places in this district that even voted for Carl Levin (who won nearly 2-1 statewide) against a sacrificial lamb candidate. Howell, Handy Twp, and Unadilla Twp. Stabenow in 2012 only won Howell against a weak nominee (due to lazy campaign). With a five way primary however, the potential is there for a disaster if (and a big if) a candidate emerges heavily wounded compounded with other candidate supporters skipping the race. That's Genso's ghost of a chance. I don't expect Jordan to beat himself, unlike Johnson who frankly already has beaten himself. This is a 60%+ district in almost all years, so when I mean ghost of a chance, I'm referring to Scott Brown level.
The primary will be big here. Phil Campbell is Mayor of Howell, Wendy Day is a tea party activist and former Howell School Board member. Harold Melton is an activist and retired construction worker. Ted Ring is a former teacher and business owner. Dr Hank Vaupel is a veterinarian and Handy Twp Supervisor.
Right now, there are the following contests. In Livingston County, it takes a disaster for a democrat to win any partisan contest. That does not mean that Republicans don't need to work. Lazy candidates contribute to a disaster. If our candidates are smart, work hard, and do not beat themselves, they will win. Some areas are safer than others. Our job is to not beat ourselves and to continue to do good work. The dems are bragging about finding 9 people to put $100 in (or 20 signatures) to run for the commissioner spots. Congratulations. They did what anybody should be able to do. That doesn't mean they have good candidates. It means they have names on the ballot. That's it.
District 1 (City of Brighton, most of Brighton Twp)
GOP - Kate Lawrence (R-Brighton)
Dem - Bruce Schneider (D-Brighton Twp)
This is a rematch. Lawrence won with 67% in 2012. The only way a dem wins here is by a massive win in the City of Brighton. Brighton Twp doesn't vote for dems, and Lawrence was Mayor of Brighton City. She's a matchup nightmare for any dem.
District 2 (Deefield, Oceola, small part of Hartland)
GOP - Bill Green (R-Deerfield Twp)
Dem - Jeanette DiFlorio (D-?)
This is also a rematch. Green won with 65% in 2012. Deefield and Oceola don't vote for dems.
District 3 (Tyrone, most of Hartland)
GOP - Dave Domas (R-Tyrone Twp)
Dem - Ronda Trouse (D-?)
Tyrone's moved a bit to the right in the past 20 years. Stabenow won it years ago (96?), but lost it bad to Hoekstra who was a bad candidate (fundraising and inactivity). Levin lost it to Hoogendyk and he's done the best of any dem in the county since Frank Kelley (who was the last dem to win the county). Hartland doesn't vote for dems.
District 4 (Conway, Handy, Iosco, Unadilla, part of Putnam)
GOP - Ron Van Houten (R-Iosco Twp) Doug Helzerman (R-Handy Twp)
Dem - Donald Pushies (D-Conway Twp)
This district has a large number of independents. Conway's a 60%+ area at the top of the ticket, but had a dem township supervisor not all that long ago. Handy Twp likes their locals and while it's fairly strongly Republican, it fluctuates heavily based on candidate quality. Hune got 80% there before, but Stabenow also got 46% against Hoekstra, 6% ahead of Obama. Iosco is a more conservative version of Handy Twp in voting habits unless the GOP'er has strong ties to Handy Twp. Unadilla will still vote for some dems, although it's now Republican at the top of the ticket. The part of Putnam in the district leans democrat. Romney did very well in the district, but Hoekstra barely won it. The dems have what is likely an MEA connected candidate here. There's a couple of names that would really concern me here, but they didn't run. I don't see the MEA selling here, but we have to take this race seriously. The SW part of ths district sometimes goes dem, but they prefer their locals there. Pushies is 20 miles from there.
District 5 (Cohoctah, Howell, Howell Twp)
GOP - Don Parker (R-Howell)
Dem - Mike Tipton (D-Howell Twp)
Mike "34%" Tipton wants a rematch. Tipton couldn't crack 35% in a special election where there were no straight ticket voters hurting him. We were worried about Tipton last time since we were somewhat blind to his chances in a special election. We're not blind now. This time, we know what he's about. This time, it's a regular off year election. He's got a big mouth and will throw a lot of bombs, and we'll be ready for him. His big city style doesn't work in Livingston County.
District 6 (Marion Twp, most of Putnam Twp, small part of Hamburg)
GOP - Steve Williams (R-Marion Twp), Steven Hart (R-Marion Twp?)
Dem - Lesa Doa (D-Marion Twp)
Steve Williams has a primary against Steven Hart. I don't know anything about Hart except that I think he may be a Pinckney cop. Interesting primary. Hopefully it doesn't get nasty.
Lesa Doa is Jordan Genso's wife. Genso is running in the 47th. This district could get interesting depending on matchups but it's a major geographic mismatch for Doa. Genso's geographic base is Hartland. For the 47th, that's not a big deal as Hartland's in the district (Joe Hune lives in Hamburg, but he's a Fowlerville guy) Here, Hartland is not in the district, so Genso's base can't help her. I went to school with one of the Doas. Their base would be in the Brighton area, particularly the Brighton part of Genoa Township. Why is that important? The only way any democrat wins in Livingston County is with a large number of crossover voters. Steve Williams doesn't make a lot of mistakes or put his foot in his mouth. 15-20 years from now in an open seat matchup, this matchup would concern me much more than it does now if Jordan and Lesa stay in Marion Twp. The southwestern part of the county is quite independent and more apt to split their ticket, but it's also very geographic provincial. They'll vote for Hune/Donahue. This isn't a completely safe district due to Putnam's independent streak, but Steve Williams is a good candidate here.
District 7 (Genoa Twp)
GOP - Carol Griffith (R-Genoa Twp)
Dem - Jim Delcamp (D-Genoa Twp)
Safe R. Genoa Township doesn't vote democrat, unless it's a closet dem running as a Republican (not referring to Carol). I'll safe that story for another day. Carol's a very good commissioner and shouldn't have any troubles. This is one of the three most Republican district's in the county. Delcamp's run several times for office and hasn't been successful.
District 8 (most of Hamburg, small part of Green Oak)
GOP - Dennis Dolan (R-Hamburg)
Dem - Jim Katakowski (D-Hamburg)
This is a rematch. Dolan won last time with 58%, basically running with the top of the ticket. This could be a tough district if we have a bad matchup, but I'm not worried about a rematch here as long as we are prepared. We will be.
District 9 (Most of Green Oak, part of Brighton Twp)
GOP - Gary Childs (R-Green Oak)
Dem - Barry McBride (D-Green Oak)
Green Oak's heavily independent, but has moved our way some since the 70's. McBride ran a few years back against Jack LaBelle. This is the first time Childs faced a dem, although he beat Jack LaBelle which shows a lot of strength in his own right.
Conway Twp Treasurer:
GOP - Debbie Grubb (R-Conway Twp)
Dem - None that I know of. (Called Clerk's office earlier today)
Conway's heavily independent but conservative.
When I say "Safe R", it means Safe R barring a disaster. It doesn't not mean that we should get arrogant and do nothing but have a name out on the ballot. That's an easy way to lose. We have the facts on our side. We have a good track record in this county. We don't want to turn into Wayne County.
The field is set. It's time to get to work.