It was a mixed bag in Livingston County. We lost on Prop 2 which sucked and will really suck when you see the courts interpret what the definition of "discourage" means. Cliff Taylor also lost the county. Jay Drick didn't unseat Brennan.
Partisan races were big wins, if not by the margins I prefer. We unseated a democrat incumbent and did not lose any seats. We were McCain's 3rd best county (Allan, you forgot Missaukee County up North) by percentage. McCain pulled out, so our counties and state were on our own without any other support. Jack Hoogendyk was thrown to the wolves completely, and still at least won my county.
No democrats took any open seats in the county, nor did they defeat any incumbents, although one republican incumbent lost to another republican in Unadilla township. The Republicans successfully defended all their seats.The democrats only hold two positions of a partisan nature. They were both incumbents. Kevin Dobis and Lori Cowan in Putnam and Unadilla Townships. Putnam's local politics isn't really as partisan as much as it is between "Keeping Putnam Rural" or a more developmental approach.
The bad news is top the ticket is much closer. Overall it was 55.79% for McCain and 42.51% for Obama. That's a lot lower than the 62%+ win for Bush in 2004. This was a statewide problem for many reasons, not the least of which was McCain staffer announcing that he pulled out. This is usually the 3rd, 4th, or 5th most GOP county in the state (The other being Hillsdale or Allegan). This year, it was third.
The silver lining is that Mike Rogers, and newcomers Bill Rogers and Cindy Denby ran ahead of the ticket. Mike Rogers got 66.50% which was better than his 2006 numbers. Dave Domas soundly defeated Michael Moore's friend. I am surprised that Scott Lucas had a higher percentage than Donna Anderson did in their races. Lucas ran an anemic campaign, and Anderson worked for what she had. Over in Handy Township, there were enough partisans for Frazier to win the trustee spot held by Robert Redinger. Redinger had a lot of support among people in both parties, and he had an independent streak backing Denby for State Rep.
In Hamburg, we dodged a bullet. I thought the democrats would have taken the clerk's spot. The results there:
Matt Skiba (R) - 4766 - 41.63%
Debby Buckland (D) - 4444 - 38.82%
Write-ins (Hardesty) - 2239 - 19.56%
The question is this. Would Hardesty's votes go to Skiba otherwise, or Buckland? I don't know. Pat Evon for treasurer got 54.47% over Linda Taylor's 44.68%. That was ahead of the top of the ticket as McCain was held to 51% in Hamburg. The Hamburg County Commissioner seat was also close. Dave Buckland got 46% against Dennis Dolan's 53%. The new team in Hamburg of Hohl (unopposed), Skiba, and Evon, along with trustees have to show the population there that the local GOP does a good job, or there could be more troubles.
Putnam Township Supervisor was close, as always. The independent there took 18%, and Ron Rau won reelection with 44.32%. Green Oak was about as close as the top of the ticket. McCain got 54.68%, and Mark St Charles got 53.78% against Matt Evans who got a respectable 45.34%.
I can go down the list with the rest of them, but I'll say this. Countywide, I consider a 55.79% win a big loss. Period. Same thing I said about the 2006% election. In order for a Republican to win statewide, 64-65% is minimum. Anything less at the top of the ticket is most likely a loss.
Now what should the Livingston County Republican Party do at home? I think we need to build on the advertising campaign. We don't brag enough. The county runs well. We take that for granted here. We shouldn't. We need to let people who moved here recently that it is our officials, republican, who built this and maintained it properly. This county has a high bond rating, lowest millage rate, lower taxes, and lets us keep more money in our pockets and not in the hands of big government. We need to combat those who move from democrat areas and bring partisanship with them. This is how to do it. Let them know that they moved to a well run county. This is how it is done, and why republicans run it better than the democrat areas they came from and it will be gone if the same people that win there win here.
If you want to look at democrat run societies, look at Detroit and it's 62 mills in property taxes, or better yet, look at who started turning Detroit government into what it is today. It wasn't the blacks that started it either. It was white "progressive" democrats in the 1960's. The riots happened under white democrat rule. High taxes, more bureaucracy, less efficiency, and more problems.
We need to go back to less government and more freedom. For the most part, Livingston County does that. That's one of the things that makes this county work.