Elections take shape as filing deadline passes

By J. PATRICK PEPPER
Times-Herald Newspapers

The field of candidates for federal, state and local offices came into focus last week with the passage of the May 11 filing deadline for candidates.

There were no filing day bombshells, with all nonterm-limited incumbents filing for re-election and the vast majority of candidates registered as Democrats in this historic Democratic stronghold.

At the federal level, incumbent U.S. Reps. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) and John Conyers (D-Detroit) will seek re-election for a two-year term to their respective 15th and 14th District seats.

Republicans Majed Moughni of Dearborn, Rob Steel and John Lynch of Ypsilanti, Tony Amorose of Southgate and John Materyn of Brownstown Township will face off in a primary battle to challenge Dingell in the general election.

Conyers also faces no Democratic challengers and will run in the general election against the winner of a primary between Republicans Pauline Montie of Southgate and Don Ukrainec of Trenton.

Also seeking re-election is 11th District U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Livonia). His only opponent is Democrat Natalie Mosher, who resides in Canton Township.

The most crowded races on local ballots are for two-year terms as state representative in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights’ combined four house districts. Probably the widest open is for the seat of 17th District Rep. Andy Dillon (D-Redford), the term-limited House speaker who currently is running for governor.

Democrats Phil Cavanagh, R. Miles Handy III, Jessica Larkin, Thomas O’Connor and Frank Tomcsik will square off in an August primary for the right to face the race’s sole republican, Mike Adams, in the November general election. All of the 17th District candidates hail from Redford.

Dearborn City Council President Pro-Tem Suzanne Sareini is the lone Republican in the running for the 15th District seat, which is open because current Rep. Gino Polidori (D-Dearborn) is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. Vying for the democratic nomination is George Darany, Linda Tafelski, Stephen Dobkowski Jr., and Alex Shami, all of Dearborn.

In the 16th District, incumbent Bob Constan (D-Dearborn Heights) will face off against Inkster resident Michael Green in a Democratic primary. Michael Mullins of Allen Park is the only Republican who filed for the seat.

In the 11th district, which includes a portion of northeast Dearborn, incumbent David Nathan will look to win a second term against Democrats Lynette Bowens and Deborah Davis and Republican Leonard Meier. All of the candidates are from Detroit, except Dearborn resident Meier.

Running for state senator in the 3rd District are Democrats Isaac Robinson of Dearborn and Detroiters Morris Hood and Mohamed Okdie. The only Republican in the race is Dearborn resident Doug Mitchell. Current 3rd District Sen. Irma Clark-Coleman can’t run for re-election because of term limits.

In the 5th District, state Sen. Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit) will face a primary challenge from fellow Democrat James Penn Jr. Patrick Bonnie is the only Republican candidate who filed for the seat.

At the county level, 9th District Democrat Diane Webb (D-Garden City) will seek re-election to another two-year term on the Wayne County Commission. But first she will have to get past a primary field that includes Christopher Cavanagh, Thomas O’Connor and Michael Todd. The winner will face Republican Mark Cochran of Redford Township in the general election.

Gary Woronchak (D-Dearborn) will also seek re-election to the commission, facing Republican Scott Saionz for the 13th District seat. Both men are from Dearborn.

In nonpartisan races, the Dearborn Heights City Council will look to add a new face from a field comprising Ned Apigian, Kathy Abdel-Hak and Robert Yahrmatter. The seat currently is held by Roy Pilot, who was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Bob Brown’s resignation and has decided not to seek election.

Judge William Hultgren is running unopposed to retain his 19th District Court seat.