This doesn't seem to have been covered by any other media yet, so I guess it breaks here: Defeated 2006 Republican Representative David Farhat, who lost his State House seat in 2006 to Mary Valentine, has entered the Republican Primary for the 34th State Senate District. The official filing statement is here:
For the Senate Democrats looking to pick up the Muskegon County-based seat, this is great news. Until now only Republican Representative Geoff Hansen, who currently represents District 100, has entered the primary. Despite Farhat's thrashing by Valentine in 2006, expect many to consider Farhat to be leading contender for this seat. To see why, check out the map below the fold:
The 34th District essentially encompasses three state house districts: District 91, 92 and 100 (with Mason County from Dan Scripps's 101st District added on the top). In terms of population, Muskegon County provides two-thirds of the total vote. In 2008 there were 42,836 Baseline Republican voters in this district, and of these, 22,987 (55%) lived in Muskegon County. Given that Farhat is currently chair of the Muskegon County Republican Party, one can expect the Muskegon County organization to work hard to deliver this portion of the district to a candidate that is relatively well known by the GOP voters in the 91st and 92nd State House Districts.
Hansen has been campaigning energetically thus far, but he'll need to start getting his name known among the party faithful of Muskegon County in order to run well in this county. This means money and time need to be spent, something that Democratic candidate Mary Valentine can use to good advantage in the coming months. Given that Valentine did very well against Farhat in 2006 in an uphill battle against an incumbent, I'm guessing that Valentine will be ready for a rematch on a larger scale.