Aug. 2 primary guide for Michigan voters

Control of state Legislature at stake

By John Steckroth - Editor

DETROIT - Tuesday’s primary election features contests for open seats on the Wayne County and Macomb County circuit courts, as well as two open U.S. House seats and a chance for voters to set the stage for control of the state House, which Democrats are eager to win after six years of GOP control.

Local 4 and will be your source for live election coverage.

All results will be compiled here.

Congressional Races

Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI 10th District) decided to step down after seven terms representing the 10th District in Michigan’s Thumb, prompting a five-way Republican primary. Miller has held office since 2003.

The primary is expected to be a close race between Paul Mitchell, former CEO of a vocational school company, state Sen. Phil Pavlov of St. Clair Township, state Rep. Tony Forlini of Harrison Township, former state Sen. Alan Sanborn of Shelby Township and David VanAssche of Shelby Township who is a military veteran and was chief mission director of Air Force One.

Michigan’s 1st District will see a fight for the entire Upper Peninsula and the norther section of the Lower Peninsula between GOP candidates and Democrats as Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI 1st District) decided not to run again. Benishek has held office since 2011.

On the GOP side, former state Sen. Jason Allen of Traverse City, current state Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba and retired Marine Corps. Lt. Gen. Jack Bergman of Watersmeet will duke it out for the House seat representing the 1st District. For the Democrats, former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon is running again after losing to Benishek in 2014. Cannon faces former Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson.

State House / State Senate Races

There are 41 of the 110 seats in the Michigan House that are opening because of term limits, a departure and the recent death of a lawmaker.

The state Senate’s 4th District seat was left vacant in April after former Sen. Virgil Smith was jailed for 10 months for shooting up his ex-wife’s car. Nine Detroiters have filed to run, including Ian Conyers, the great-nephew of longtime U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI 13th District), former state Rep. Fred Durhal Jr., James Cole Jr., Carron Pinkins, Vanessa Simpson Olive, Howard Worthy, Patricia Holmes, Ralph Rayner and Helena Scott.

State Rep. Brian Banks (D-Harper Woods) is seeking re-election to a third and final term in the state House as he faces four criminal charges in relation to a loan the lawmaker took out in 2010 from a Detroit area credit union. The state claims he provided false information on an application. Banks is challenged by Democrats Kameshea Amos, Pamela Sossi, Washington Youson, Corey Gilchrist, and Keith Holowell. The winner will face Republican Willian Broman.

Detroit City Council

A special election for a seat on the Detroit City Council has drawn five candidates who will appear on the primary ballot.  The candidates include Janee Ayers, David Bullock, John Cromer, Sigmunt Szczpkowski Jr. and Eric Williams.

Millage and Proposals

Voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties will be asked to renew the zoo for a 10-year renewal of a 0.1 mill property tax.

Wayne County is seeking approval to fund maintenance and improvement of parks with a .246 mill renewal for five years.

Macomb voters are being asked to increase a millage for county veteran services

In Warren there is an effort to give the mayor and future mayors more time to serve. The current law allows for three terms or 12 years and the proposed change would allow mayors to serve five terms for 20 years. Warren is also seeking millage renewals for road repairs, and for police and fire.

In Pontiac, voters are asked to approve a millage to provide services for seniors.

How to Vote

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 2. Voters must have a photo ID or sign an affidavit. Absentee voters have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to return their ballot to the clerk’s office.

To get a look at what your ballot will look like, click here.

For a full list of elections and candidates, click here.

To find out where you'll need to cast your ballot, click here.

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