Absentee ballots are going to be released this week. That means is it going to soon be election day - every day until August 7th. The primary election starts in late June, runs all through July, and ends on August 7th. While the most votes are cast on August 7th, it helps to think of election day as the day the votes are counted instead of cast. Over 30% of the voting population votes before primary day.
It's a heavily contested ballot this year in Livingston County. I haven't followed all of the other elections, but there's primaries all across the state in both parties. Here as expected, all the primaries are on the republican side.
Senate - It's a choice between Clark Durant, Gary Glenn, Randy Hekman, and Pete HoekstraI was backing Konetchy until he was off the ballot. I'm now between Durant and Hoekstra. Glenn won't get my vote after some of the stuff I've seen from his supporters over the course of the primary. Hekman seems like a good guy, but what he seems to be advocating can be done by anybody, not just a senator.
US House - I'm sticking with Mike Rogers. I never met Brian Hetrick or know anything about him and he's in my hometown. If you're running for Congress with a Livingston County base, I ought to at least know who you are. I've been active in the party 11 years. I don't vote blind. Vernon Molnar ran for office in Genesee County in 2010, outside of the district.
State House - I'm in the new 42nd, although have previously lived in the 47th. Harold Melton's a nice guy and a conservative, but I've known Cindy for 10 years and she's overall done a good job. Second Amendment and Life issues, I can always count on Cindy. Fiscally she's usually on the right side of things. One bad vote. I'm not going to support firing someone over one bad vote. On constituent service issues, she's one of the best there is. I don't have a vote there anymore. Bill Rogers is challenged from Dale Rogers, a teacher in Novi Schools. I'm backing Bill. I think he's moving the state in the right direction some with spending issues. We aren't there yet, but it's been better since Bill was with appropriations than it was beforehand. Both Bill and Cindy are approachable people. They aren't hard to find. On the dem side, there are no primaries.
Prosecutor - I'm having a real tough time with my decision here and am undecided. I've known Bill Vailliencourt and Lyle Dickson for years. I think Bill's a stand up guy and experienced prosecutor and he is definitely a republican. Lyle's also definitely a republican and he's nobody's yesman which I respect. I have some pro-defense leanings, and Carolyn Henry is a well known and active defense attorney backed by many friends of mines whom I respect. I've liked what she's said when I had a chance to talk to her, although I don't really know her. She's running as a Republican and was an R as trustee, but I don't know how Republican she is. This one's tough. I'll probably be deciding this at the voting booth. This one I really am undecided.
Sheriff - Bob Bezotte has my support. I definitely can't support Tom Ash after his latest stunt. I've never had a problem with Bezotte's department, and his undersheriff Mike Murphy is a stand up guy who doesn't have agendas. I don't know much about CJ Maier except that he's retired MSP.
Clerk - Margaret Dunleavy has my support. I don't know Margo Heinonen, but Margaret runs a good department. I've worked with their elections dept for years. We're in good hands there.
Treasurer - Brian Wutz has my support. The incumbent, Jennifer Nash, was appointed when the last elected treasurer, Dianne Hardy retired. I don't really care for that system and prefer how Morse handled his retirement from the prosecutor's office. Don't run for re-election, back your pick, and let the voters decide without a quasi-incumbent. I like Brian's background as a practicing tax attorney in what is essentially a tax-law related office. He has the credentials for the job and also has the strong attention to detail necessary for this position.
Register of Deeds - I think we'll be in good shape no matter who wins here between Sally Reynolds and Carole Bullion, but I'm voting for Sally. The one thing I can not get past is that I can't think of a reason to fire Sally. If Sally retires in a future election, I could easily support Carole. Both are good people who are qualified for the role, but when things are close to even, I'm apt to stick with the incumbent.
County Commissioner - We have primaries in:
District 2 (Oceola/Deefield) - Jim Mantey is facing a challenge from Bill Green. Jim's a good guy. I don't know Green.
District 4 (Western Tier) - Ron Van Houten vs Bill Call. Van Houten is possibly the most conservative guy on the board. I don't know Bill Call.
District 9 (most of Green Oak/pt Brighton Twp) - Jack LaBelle is facing Gary Childs. I'm voting for Jack. He's an institution with over 40 years of experience and knowledge on the board. On the constituent service side, he'll speak his mind, and is fair to all. I don't know Gary Childs, although I've heard he's active over by South Lyon.
I'll have to do more research on the township races including here in Green Oak.