Michigan voters head to the polls today with the Great Lakes State playing an increasingly key role in the race to decide the nation’s next commander-in-chief. Polls across the state are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., where voters also will choose their candidates in a variety of state and local races.
National election scandals mean more people at the polls this year–and there’s one non-partisan item on the ballot that local elementary school teacher Sara Nemeth says you should look twice at. That’s the Potter Park Zoo Millage, which is up for renewal this year. Without the millage, zoo staff says they wouldn’t be able to do half of their operations. Gate prices alone don’t cut it for the accredited zoo. The millage would cost a person with a property value of $100,000 and a state taxable value of $50,000 around $20.50 per year.
Both Republican candidate Eric Trojanowicz, a retired captain from the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, and Democratic candidate Scott Wriggelsworth, a lieutenant with the East Lansing Police department, say they are the change the Ingham County Sheriff Department needs.
Jeanne Day-Labo spent dozens of hours each week volunteering for MILegalize, an organization aiming to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan. The woman stood on intersections and other high-traffic locations gathering signatures to get a question on November’s ballot. In the end, MILegalize came up short. Although the organization turned in more than 370,000 certified signatures, well above the 252,000 required, the organization failed to collect the signatures within the mandated 180-day window. The activist said she believed Michigan’s laws work against grassroots and volunteer-based organizations.
When it was announced that Stuart Dunnings was charged with 15 criminal counts including soliciting the services of prostitutes, it shook Lansing to its core. Dunnings’ controversial departure from the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office left many, like Lansing resident Nate Enstrom, with a sour taste in their mouth. “I think it shows how important integrity is. What are they doing if they’re not honest and open with their voters?” Enstrom said.
By Griffin Wasik
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter
A $143 million proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system could be finished as soon as 2018. The BRT would run from the Capitol to Meridian Mall via Michigan and Grand River avenues. It would also add a designated bus lane, remove current bus stops, and add traffic signals, according to Meridian Township documents. “The total cost of the BRT is not $133 million,” John R. Veenstra, a Trustee member on the Meridian Township Board of Commissioners, said. “Many people are getting this confused.
The deadline to file for candidacy in Ingham County and Michigan House elections was April 19. The first hurdle will be an Aug. 2 primary, when each race will come down to one candidate in each party. These are the candidates who filed, starting with the race for Ingham County prosecutor. This race opened up when longtime Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III resigned effective July 2 following charges he engaged the services of a prostitute and willful neglect of duty.
By Taylor Reid and Shannon Kelly
MI First Election
After the resignation of Stuart Dunnings III, Ingham County is preparing to elect a new prosecutor. Currently there are four candidates in the running. Patrick O’Keefe, Brian Jackson, and Carol Siemon are registered as Democrats, while Billie O’Berry is running as a Republican. O’Keefe, owner of his private practice O’Keefe Law, said that being a prosecutor is his calling in life. “There are two types of attorneys.
Most college students typically don’t think about running for a political office, at least while they’re still in school. However, Alec Findlay, despite being a senior at Michigan State University and only 23, has decided to run for state representative in the 67th District, which includes Mason, Williamston, Leslie and part of Lansing. “Alec’s work-ethic, intelligence and social skills will serve him and the district well,” said Patrick McAran, friend and supporter of Findlay. “There is much disapproval of the incumbent candidate and it seems it is time for a change.”
Findlay, a Democrat, is running against Tom Cochran, also a Democrat, who is running for this third and final term, due to term limits. Aside from being a full-time political science student, Findlay also works part-time – all while he is building up his campaign.