July 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm


Our editorial: Primary choices for Legislature from Macomb

Term-limits has left several seats open; voters should fill them with lawmakers committed to reform

Every legislative seat is on the ballot in this yearís election, which means Macomb voters must make choices in 10 state representative districts and four state Senate districts.

Term limits prevent Rep. Harold Haugh, D-Roseville, Jon Switalski, D-Warren and Peter Lund, R-Shelby Township, from seeking reelection.

The issues facing Michigan are complex and include improving roads, continuing to balance the budget and enhancing efforts to make the state more business-friendly. Voters should support candidates committed to those priorities.

Here are our recommendations for the contested Macomb legislative races on the Aug. 5 ballot:

State Senate

District 10 (Sterling Heights, Macomb Township, part of Clinton Township): Incumbent Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights, faces a challenge from Jake Alexander of Macomb Township in the primary. Rocca has done a good job as a legislator, supporting most efforts to reform government operations and create a more business friendly environment. He should get the nomination.

Democrat Kenneth Paul Jenkins, Macomb Township, is unopposed in the primary.

State Representative

District 22 (Roseville and part of Warren): Republican Art Blundell and Jeff Bonnell, both of Roseville, are vying to succeed Haugh. Blundell, an engineer, is a solid fiscal conservative and should be the nominee.

On the Democratic side, John Chirkun of Roseville is the preferred choice because of his service on the Roseville City Council and his conservative stance on taxes. His opponent is Gary McMenamin of Warren.

District 24 (Harrison Township and parts of Clinton and Macomb townships): Incumbent Anthony G. Forlini, R-Harrison Township, has earned the right to seek another term. The former township supervisor has become a an influential voice in the Legislature. Heís challenged by Arzo F. Smith of Macomb Township. The winner will face Democrat Philip Kurczewski of Clinton Township, who is unopposed in the primary.

District 28 (Center Line and part of Warren): Two Republicans are vying for the chance to face Democrat Derek E. Miller of Warren in the general election for the seat currently held by the term-limited Switalski.

Our GOP selection is Gordon Dye of Warren, who owns several computer and software retail outlets. His opponent is Beth Foster of Center Line.

District 30 (Utica, parts of Sterling Heights and Shelby Township): Of the two candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, Bo Karpinsky of Sterling Heights, is the better choice. The retired educator will make improving student and school performance his top priority, and also will be an advocate for senior citizens. His opponent is Joseph Bogdan of Utica.

The winner faces Republican incumbent Jeff Farrington of Utica, who is unopposed in the primary.

District 31 (Fraser, Mt. Clemens and part of Clinton Township): Incumbent Marilyn Lane ofFraser faces two Democratic opponents in the primary. Lane has shown the ability to work with all elected officials in an arena where bipartisanship is critical. Lane is preferred over challengers Juliana Goldwater of Clinton Township and Kathy Blanke of Fraser.

Phil Rode of Fraser is unopposed in the Republican primary.

District 36 (Washington and Bruce townships, part of Shelby Township): Stanley Grot of Shelby Township gets the endorsement on the Republican ticket over Peter J. Lucido of Shelby Township. Grotís experience as township clerk has made him aware of the duties of a public servant. The GOP winner faces Democrat Robert Murphy of Romeo, who is unopposed in the primary, in the race to replace the term-limited Lund.