Thanks to a large number of news stories and candidates filing to run as your elected officials in 2010, here is an update bought to you by Festivus.
District 10 (Status: Leans Democratic)
This Macomb County district covering Sterling Heights, Utica, Clinton Township, and Roseville has attracted a candidate to replace term-limited Democratic Senator Michael Switalski (who is seemingly challenging US Representative Sander Levin in the 10th District). Paul Gieleghem (12/14/2009), currently is chairman of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners and represents District 19 (covering Central Township), has filed for the Democratic primary. Gieleghem, who served in the Michigan House from 1999 to 2005, might see some competition in the Democratic primary, including Representative Fred Miller and former Representative Frank Accavitti. No Republicans have yet filled for this seat, although Representative Tory Rocca and former Representative Sal Rocca might consider this race. Representative Kim Metlzer, another potential Republican candidate, chose to move from this district into the friendlier Republican territory of the 11th District (which shows you how strongly the GOP thinks they can win this seat).
District 11 (Status: Weak Republican)
Speaking of Kim Metlzer, she did file to run (12/16/2009) in the 11th District, which is currently represented by term-limited Republican Alan Sanborn. This northern Macomb County seat is safer GOP territory than the 10th District, which explains why Metzler risked being called a carpetbagger by potential Republican opponents (as discussed earlier at ML), which include former Representatives Leon Drolet, Jack Brandenburg, and Brian Palmer (none of whom have filled yet). No rumored Democratic candidate has emerged yet for this race.
District 12 (Status: Lean Republican)
In the past two weeks, two Republicans have filed to join the race to replace term-limited Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop. Bishop aide Cooper Rizzo (12/11/2009 and Rochester Mayor Pro-Tem Stuard Bikson (12/17/2009) have joined State Representative Jim Marleau in the Republican primary. While the Republican primary field has filled up, no Democratic candidate has yet emerged, although Representative Tim Melton is considering the race.
District 20 (Status: Swing)
As expected by many, Representative Larry DeShazor filed (11/29/2009) to run for the State Senate a little more than a year after being elected. Media in the Kalamazoo area have been covering this race pretty well in these stories here and here. Many experts say that DeShazor is the front-runner in the GOP field, although his opponents Tonya Schuitmaker and Lorence Wenke might disagree. One can only hope that Republican Jack Hoogendyk will emerge once again and join the fun as well. DeShazor’s departure from the State House makes the 61st District an open seat to watch, with Democratic and Republican candidates lining up to run to replace him. Some other stories covering the 20th District race are [http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/12/law_professor_mark_totten_to_s.html here] and [http://statenews.com/index.php/article/2009/12/msu_assistant_prof_hopes_to_win_seat_in_mich_senate here].
District 35 (Status: Leans Republican)
In another primary filling up with contenders, long-time Wexford County Sherriff Gary Finstrom (12/2/2009) has joined Representatives Darwin Booher and Tim Moore in the Republican primary to replace term-limited Senator Michelle McManus in the 35th District. Roger Dunigan is the only declared Democratic candidate. The GOP primary will be a barn burner, with three strong candidates going at each other.
District 2 (Status: Safe Democratic)
Scott Benson (12/11/2009) is the first candidate to file in the 2nd District to replace Democratic Representative LaMar Lemmons Jr. Expect other candidates, including LarMar Lemmons IV, to run in the Democratic primary. No Republican candidate has filed.
District 4 (Status: Safe Democratic)
In a clear sign that State Representative Coleman Young Jr. is running for the 1st State Senate seat, Mary Sheffield (12/7/2009) and Marcus Brice (12/14/2009) have both filed to run for the 4th State House District. Sheffield previously ran in the 2008 Democratic primary for the 7th State House District, where she seventh with 3.4% of the total vote.
District 30 (Status: Swing)
Held by term-limited Republican Tory Rocca, this swing seat covers the northern portion of Sterling Heights and Utica. Republican businessman Jeff Farrington (12/14/2009) will join attorney David Bocek in the Republican primary. The winner will likely face Macomb County Commissioner Ken Lampar in a race that will be sharply contested by both parties.
District 54 (Status: Safe Democratic)
Want to meet a candidate? Democratic candidate Lonnie Scott wants to talk with you about state politics, according to [http://www.annarbor.com/news/54th-district-state-house-candidate-wants-to-bring-politics-to-your-place/ AnnArbor.com]
District 57 (Status: Swing)
An article from the [http://www.lenconnect.com/homepage/x441560415/Candidates-lining-up-for-Spade-s-House-seat Daily Telegram] looks at how the Democratic and Republican primaries are shaping up in the race to replace term-limited Democratic Representative Dudley Spade.
District 60 (Status: Safe Democratic)
With current Democratic Representative Robert Jones running for the open 20th State Senate seat, another candidate has filed to join Kalamazoo City Commissioner Sean McCann in the Democratic primary. Recent Western Michigan University graduate Chris Praedel (12/14/2009) will also run for this [http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/12/recent_graduate_seeks_state_ho.html seat].
No Republican has yet filed for this seat, but depending on the time of day and the weather, [http://jamestyler.org/my-politics/ James Tyler] will likely file as a Democrat/Republican/Green/RonPaulite/Misc candidate.
District 68 (Status: Safe Democratic)
Facing incumbent Democratic Representative Joan Bauer hasn’t kept Republican Kyle Haubrich from filing (12/8/2009). Haubrich, a self-proclaimed [http://www.reteaparty.com/members/haubrick1/ tea bagger], is currently a law student at Cooley Law School (class of 2011). Expect a tough race for Haubrich.
District 71 (Status: Swing)
Another candidate files to replace term-limited Representative Rick Jones, this time Justin Heany (12/10/2009). A teacher at Grand Ledge High School, Heany will join Bob Robinson in the Democratic primary. Whoever emerges from either the Republican or Democratic primaries will face off in a must-watch race to hold this swing district.
District 89 (Status: Safe Republican)
John McNeil (12/15/2009) has filed to run in the Republican primary, joining declared candidate Brandon Hall. Hall has had a rocky few months, being charged with stealing money from an American Cancer Society fundraiser in early November as covered in the [http://www.grandhaventribune.com/paid/297882871761189.bsp Grand Haven Tribune] and the [http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2009/11/grand_haven_school_board_trust.html Muskegon Chronicle].
Hall has pleaded not guilty, but a looming trial is not likely to help his candidacy. Republican businessman David Miller has also announced his candidacy according to an article in the [http://www.grandhaventribune.com/paid/297650893749374.bsp Grand Haven Tribune].
District 92 (Status: Safe Democratic)
With the entrance of candidate Steve Markel (12/3/2009), there are now six candidates in the Democratic primary. This screams for a future post just on the 92nd District. A slightly dated [http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2009/12/no_shortage_of_candidates_runn.html Muskegon Chronicle] story examines the 91st and 92nd District primaries.
District 107 (Status: Leans Republican)
This swing district covering Chippewa, Mackinac, Emmet, and a portion of Cheboygan Counties is a seat that the Republicans are itching to pickup with Democratic Representative Gary McDowell term-limited from running again. Chippewa County Commissioner (District 7) Richard Timmer (12/12/2009) has filed to join Bob Carr in the Democratic primary field. As of now, only Frank Foster, son of a prominent contractor, has filed for the Republican nomination.