New faces assured in some state, county races

Sunday Times Newspapers

The race is on for several Downriver House of Representatives and Senate seats in the Nov. 2 election.

Rep. Andrew Kandrevas, D-Southgate, of the 13th District is running against Republican Cynthia Kallgren of Trenton and Libertarian Jesse Church of Riverview. The district includes Riverview, Southgate, Trenton and Wyandotte.

In the 14th District, Democrat Paul Clemente of Lincoln Park is running for the seat formerly held by his cousin, Rep. Edward Clemente, D-Lincoln Park, who was term limited out of office, against Republican Patrick O’Connell of Allen Park. The district comprises Ecorse, Lincoln Park, Melvindale, River Rouge and part of Allen Park.

Paul Clemente helped run Clemente’s Bar, Restaurant and Bowling Alley, the longtime business in his hometown, until it closed in June after the retirement of the owners. O’Connell is employed by State Farm Insurance.

State Rep. Douglas Geiss, D-Taylor, squares off for the 22nd District seat against Republican Darrell McNeill, also of Taylor. The district encompasses the candidates’ hometown and Romulus.

In the 16th District, state Rep. Robert Constan, D-Dearborn Heights, faces Republican Michael Mullins. That district includes parts of Allen Park and Dearborn Heights, as well as all of Garden City and Inkster.

In the state Senate race, incumbent Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit, is being challenged by Republican Bonnie Patrick of Inkster for the 5th District seat, which covers all of northwest Detroit, Dearborn Heights and Inkster. Senate terms are for four years.

The 7th District state Senate race is crowded, as five candidates seek the seat being vacated by term-limited Sen. Bruce Patterson, R-Canton Twp. Also running for the seat are Democrat Kathleen Law, a former state representative; Republican Patrick Colbeck; Libertarian Marlin Brandys; and independents John Stewart, a former state representative, and Michael Kheibari of Northville, who recently entered the race.

The 7th District comprises Belleville, Brownstown Township, Canton Township, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile Township, Huron Township, a part of Northville, Northville Township, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Rockwood, Sumpter Township, Trenton, Van Buren Township and Woodhaven.

The state Senate race in the 8th District will determine who steps in for term-limited Sen. Raymond Basham (D-Taylor) for the next four years. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, will face off with Ken Larkin, R-Lincoln Park. The district includes Allen Park, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, Melvindale, Riverview, Romulus, Southgate, Taylor, Wayne and Wyandotte.

Three different positions are up for grabs in the U.S. House of Representatives. Incumbent John Conyers Jr., D-Detroit, captured about 45,000 of 58,000 total primary votes, but is being challenged by Don Ukrainec, R-Trenton, in a 14th District which includes Allen Park, Dearborn, Detroit, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile Township, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Melvindale, Riverview, Southgate and Trenton.

After defeating incumbent Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Detroit – mother of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick – for the Democratic nomination, Hansen Clarke of Detroit and John Hauler, R-Grosse Pointe Woods, will vie for the 13th District, which includes Detroit, Ecorse, Garden City, Grosse Pointe, Harper Woods, Lincoln Park, River Rouge and Wyandotte.

In the 15th District, which includes Taylor, Brownstown Township, Flat Rock, Huron Township, Rockwood, Romulus, Woodhaven, west Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Sumpter Township, eastern Washtenaw County and all of Monroe County, Republican cardiologist Dr. Rob Steele takes on incumbent John Dingell, D-Dearborn.

The big statewide race to watch, of course, will be for Michigan’s new governor. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, D-Lansing, and entrepreneur Rick Snyder, R-Ann Arbor, both look to step into the shoes of current Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

County government
At the county level, Mario Fundarski, R-Inkster, and Robert Ficano, D-Detroit, were both ran unopposed in the primary election for the four-year Wayne County executive position. Fundarski got 54,600 votes and Ficano had 113,200 during the primary.

Shelly Milton, R-Belleville, and Benny Napoleon, D-Detroit, are both vying to be the next Wayne County sheriff for a partial term ending in 2012.

The Wayne County Commission races for the 13th (Allen Park, Dearborn and Melvindale), 14th (Ecorse, Grosse Ile Township, River Rouge, Riverview, Southgate, Trenton, Woodhaven and Wyandotte) and 15th (Brownstown Township, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Huron Township, Rockwood, Romulus and Taylor) districts are all looking at narrow victory margins based on August primary numbers. Commission terms are two years.

Incumbent Ilona Varga, D-Lincoln Park, will face Republican Keith Steffke in the 5th District, encompassing Lincoln Park and part of Detroit.

Incumbent Gary Woronchak, D-Dearborn, had 5,900 votes and J. Scott Saionz, R-Dearborn, had 5,100 votes in the 13th District, where both were unopposed in the primary.

Incumbent Joseph Palamara, D-Grosse Ile, got 6,900 votes and C.B. Clark, R-Grosse Ile, got 6,600 votes in a 14th District where both also were unopposed.

With incumbent chairman Edward Boike Jr., D-Taylor, not seeking re-election in the 15th District, Jackie Jones, R-Brownstown Township, will face Basham.