Off-Year Elections Bring Promise to the Districts of Michigan

Story by Yashowanto Ghosh, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of

The off-year elections held on Tuesday, November 3, saw a whopping 14.46 percent voter turnout in Kent County.  That’s 14.46 percent of the registered voters and well under ten percent of all eligible voters.

In the only city race that was actually contested, Dave Allen defeated Bryan Blakely to represent the 3rd Ward on the City Commission.

Dave LaGrand won the Democratic primary for state representative from the 75th District and will run against Blake Edmonds (R) in March for the seat vacated by Brandon Dillon (D) when he was elected Chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party.

The other primary races for the Michigan State House drew national attention, making NBC News and the New York Times: almost two months earlier, Cindy Gamrat (R) of the 80th District in Allegan County and Todd Courser (R) of the 82nd District in Lapeer County had been ousted for having an extra-marital affair; both contested and lost the Republican primaries for their respective former constituencies. Gamrat lost to Mary Whiteford, who will face Democrat David Gernant in the general election, and Courser lost to Gary Howell, who will take on Democrat Guerrero DeLuca.

Incumbent Amna Seibold defeated Bill Templin to remain in office as mayor of East Grand Rapids. In other mayoral elections, City Councilwoman Nancy DeBoer edged out interim Mayor Bob Vande Vusse in Holland; Kimberly Sims won a four-way race in Muskegon Heights; Bobby Hopewell was re-elected over challenger Kris Mbah by a landslide in Kalamazoo; Mark Northrup defeated John O’Brien in Hudsonville.

A $175 million bonding proposal for Grand Rapids Public Schools passed, as did a $64.86 million bonding proposal for Kentwood Public Schools, a millage for Wyoming Public Schools, and both a $55.24 million bonding proposal and an operating millage renewal for Kenowa Hills Public Schools. The one for Kentwood Public Schools and the new one for Kenowa Hills Public Schools had both failed in May.

Elsewhere in the USA, Kentucky and Mississippi held elections for the Governor’s mansion on November 3. In Mississippi, incumbent Phil Bryant (R) received over 66 percent of the vote against Democrat Robert Gray and Shawn O’Hara of the Reform Party.  In Kentucky, where two-term incumbent Steve Beshear (D) was not eligible to run due to term limits, Republican Matt Bevin defeated Democrat Jack Conway. In Louisiana, where two-term incumbent Bobby Jindal (R) is also ineligible for re-election due to term limits, Republican David Vitter will square off against Democrat John Bel Edwards for the governor’s office on November 21.

About the Writer…

Yashowanto GhoshYashowanto Ghosh is a senior with a major in communication and minors in journalism and writing. Jasho is also an alumnus of Aquinas (B.A. German ’11).

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