While the presidential campaign dominates the daily discussion, voters will decide a plethora of other contests in the upcoming general election.The full column will be posted once the newspaper publishes.
Chief among them is Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow’s bid for re-election to the federal Senate.
While TV advertisements for and against her and Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra have started to run in the past few days, voters most likely won’t see the two debate.
Stabenow, a native of Clare whose name has appeared on the ballot for different local, state and federal offices since 1974, has thus far stymied Hoekstra and organizers of prospective debates. This prompted Tim Skubick, the unofficial dean of the state’s political journalists, to call for a law requiring senatorial candidates to debate.
Elsewhere on the ballot, the 110 members of the lower chamber of the Legislature are up too.
Among them are two races in nearby swing constituencies that could ultimately decide who forms the next majority in the House of Representatives.
In Montcalm County, freshman incumbent Republican Rick Outman is facing off against Democrat Mike Huckleberry, a liberal hack from Greenville who served a single term after losing two consecutive races for Congress against Midland’s Dave Camp.
In the seat covering all of Roscommon, Crawford, Kalkaska, Missaukee and Ogemaw counties, Democratic carpetbagger Lon Johnson is taking on Republican incumbent Bruce Rendon. Johnson, who is directly tied to the Chicago machine of President Barack Obama, hopes populist rhetoric and promises of spending for the sake of spending will make up for his liberal positions on issues such as abortion and gun rights — two areas where a majority of voters in this part of Michigan tend to lean conservative.
— Dennis Lennox