A month has past since the previous story on filings for State Senate and State House seats, and it is time for another update. Here is a brief synopsis on the various races:
District 7 (Status: Swing)
No filings since early September for State Senate races expect in this swing seat being vacated by term-limited Senator Bruce Patterson. Democratic Michael Kheibari (09/18/2009) has filed, and joins Democratic candidate John Stewart (a former Republican) in the race. Expect more people to join this race.
District 26 (Status: Weak Democratic)
Republican Kenneth Rosen (9/21/2009) is running for Democratic Representative Marie Donigan’s open seat. This is a seat that the Republicans need to contest strongly if they have any chance of making gains in the State House.
District 54 (Status: Safe Democratic)
As expected, Representative Alma Smith’s legislative aide Lonie Scott (10/01/2009) filed for this seat vacated by his boss. Scott is not a local candidate, and there will probably be a number of other Democrats filing for this race.
District 55 (Status: Weak Democratic)
This weak Democratic seat is being vacated by term-limited Kathy Angerer, who made winning this seat seem a lot easier than expect. Michael Smith (10/01/2009), a Monroe County resident and a member of the Bedford Board of Education, has deep ties to the AFL-CIO. Expect the Democratic candidate to face Republican candidate York Township Supervisor Joe Zurawski.
District 61 (Status: Weak Republican)
Republican Representative Larry DeShazor won a close battle in 2008 against Democratic candidate Julie Rogers, winning 51% of the vote. Democrats haven’t waited to get another strong candidate to run for the seat, with Thomas Batten (9/14/2009) filing for the seat. Getting a good candidate to run for this seat against a strong Republican Representative helps to provide the ground game to help in the Democratic candidate in both the State House race and in the District 20 State Senate race. Should DeShazor decide to run for the State Senate race, this could be a possible pickup for the Dems.
District 91 (Status: Swing)
This swing Muskegon County district is being vacated by Democratic Representative Mary Valentine, who is running for the State Senate District 34. Republican Ken Punter has already filed for this seat, and is joined by Ben Gillette (9/23/2009), who is closely tied to the Muskegon County Democratic leadership. Don’t expect any other Democratic candidates running for this seat. It remains to be seen whether Gillette can match Valentine’s phenomenal ground game
District 92 (Status: Strong Democratic)
A third Democratic candidate jumps into the race to replace term-limited Doug Bennett. Controversial Democratic County Commissioner Charles Nash (9/9/2009) is running against Larry McNeill and former Representative Marica Hovey-Wright. I’d still expect Hovey-Wright to win this primary, and hence, the seat.
District 105 (Status: Strong Republican)
Dennis Lennox has more competition for this seat, as Triston Cole (9/16/2009) has filed for this seat. Right now it looks like a three-way Republican primary, as Otsego County Commissioner Kenneth Glasser is also running. I’m hoping that Dennis the Menace has an enjoyable primary.
Expect another update in early November.