By Pat Maurer
Tuesday will be an interesting day for voters.
At the State level, Democrats Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Garlin D. Gilchrist II are facing a challenge in a particularly “muddy” campaign from Republicans Tudor M. Dixon and Shane Hernandez. The Libertarian candidates are Mary Buzuma and Brian Ellison; U.S. Taxpayers are Donna Brandenburg and Melissa Carone; Green candidates are Kevin Hogan and Destiny Clayton and Natural Law challengers are Daryl M. Simpson and Doug Dern.
Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is facing Republican Elaine Karamo; Libertarian Gregory Scott Stampfle; U.S. Taxpayers Christine C. Schwartz and Green candidate Larry James Hutchinson, Jr.
Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel is facing Republican Matthew DePerno, Libertarian Joseph W. McHugh Jr., and U.S. Taxpayers Gerald T. Van Sickle.
Republican U.S. Congressman John Moolenaar is facing a challenge for re-election from Democrat Jerry Hilliard and Libertarian Nathan Hewer.
Candidates in the race for 34th District State Senator include Democrat Christine Gerace, Republican Roger Hauck and for U.S. Taxpayers Becky McDonald.
Vying to fill term -limited Republican Jason Wentworth’s seat in the State Legislature for the 100th District are Democrat Tom Bailey and Republican Tom Kunse.
Democrat Kenneth A. Kish is facing Republican Mike Hoadley for a two-year term in the 99th District.
The Clare County Commission will now have nine commissioners and nine districts rather than the traditional seven and the district borders have been redrawn, leading to some confusion on the absentee ballots for Tuesday’s General Election.
Only two of the nine districts will have more than one candidate seeking the seat on the ballot.
District 5 includes Winterfield, Summerfield, Frost, Franklin and all of Hamilton except the southwest corner. The 5th District two-year term on the County BOC is sought by Democrat Sandra Bristol and Republican David A. Hoefling.
District 9 includes the City of Clare. For the new 9th District on the County Commission, Republican Incumbent Rickie G. Fancon is facing a challenge from Democrat Tom Koch.
Running to fill seats on the Mid Michigan College Board of Trustees are Nathan C. Weisenburger and Jane Zdrojewski running for two six-year terms; Monita Oles running for the partial term ending 12-21-26; and Karl Hauser and Michael W. Jankoviak facing off to fill the partial term ending on 12-31-24.
On the Clare City Council, Incumbent Patrick A. Humphrey and John Myers are running for two seats, one vacated by Nick Loomis who is not running for re-election.
Daniel Sullivan is unopposed for Harrison City Mayor, and three seats on the Council are sought by six candidates – Jason Blackledge, Phillip R. Duggan, Mick Haley, Angela J. Kellogg, Michael William Lenning and Dustin L. Marshall.
Tracey L. Coker Jackson will face Linda D. Williams for Farwell Village President.
Running for three four-year terms as trustees on the Village board are six candidates: Shawn Burger, Allen Brewer, Marvin Frayer, Gina Hamilton, Jeff Linton, Victoria Williams and Keri Wonsey.
There are no candidates on the ballot for a partial term ending 11-20-24 on the Village ballot.
For Clare Public Schools three seats are available with four candidates on the ballot: Incumbents Ben Browning, Loren Lee Cole and John Miller face one challenger – Kelly Luplow.
Two six-year-terms on the Harrison Board of Education are sought by six candidates – Kendra K. Durga, Tori Loafman, Brian K. Noel, Roger J. Peterson, Chelsea Roland, and Carrie Whitaker.
At the township level only one seat, that of Freeman Township Clerk, is contested with Republican Cindy LaFave and NPA Brenda Blain both seeking the partial term ending 11-20-24.
Proposals on the ballot:
Three statewide proposals will be on voters’ ballots Along with those, voters will also determine the renewal of each of Clare County’s school districts’ 18 mill non-homestead millage for each school district, and one road proposal for residents in Winterfield Township.
Renewal of the non-homestead school millage:
In each of the three school districts in Clare County, the non-homestead operating millage – up to 18 mills — is expiring.
Each proposal differs only in the name of the district – Clare Public Schools, Farwell Area Schools and Harrison Community School. The tax is only on property that is not a primary residence or other property exempted by law (agricultural).
Winterfield Township Proposal, the only other local proposal on the ballot, is a renewal of 2.0000 mills ($2.00 per $1,000 of taxable value) for the period of 2023 through 2026 inclusive for road improvements within Winterfield Township.
At the State level voters will decide on the following three.
Michigan Proposal 22-1: Transparency and Term Limits
This is a proposal to amend the state constitution to require annual public financial disclosure reports by legislators and other state officers, and to change the state legislators’ term limit to 12 total years in legislature in either the house or senate or a combination of the two.
Michigan Proposal 22-2: Promote the Vote 2022
This proposal seeks to amend the state constitution to add provisions regarding elections. This proposed constitutional amendment would: • Recognize fundamental right to vote without harassing conduct. • Require military or overseas ballots be counted if postmarked by election day. • Provide voter right to verify identity with photo ID or signed statement. • Provide voter right to single application to vote absentee in all elections. • Require state-funded absentee ballot drop boxes, and postage for absentee applications and ballots. • Provide that only election officials may conduct post-election audits. • Require nine days of early in-person voting. • Allow donations to fund elections, which must be disclosed. • Require canvass boards certify election results based only on the official records of votes cast.
Michigan Proposal 22-3: Reproductive Freedom for All
This has been a very controversial proposal to amend the state constitution to establish new individual rights to reproductive freedom, including the right to make all decisions about pregnancy and abortion; allow the state to regulate abortion in some cases; and forbid prosecution of individuals exercising the established right. This proposed constitutional amendment would: • Establish new individual rights to reproductive freedom, including the right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility. • Allow Michigan to regulate abortion after fetal viability, but not prohibit if medically needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health. • Forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right; prohibit prosecution of an individual, or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment. • Invalidate state laws conflicting with this amendment.