Four hopefuls competing in Republican primary for Oakland County House seat
Four Republican candidates are running to fill a House vacancy left last year when GOP state Rep. Andrea Schroeder of Clarkston died from cancer.
The Republican primary for Michigan 43rd House District will be one of four special primary elections on Tuesday to fill state House seats in Metro Detroit and west Michigan after their state representatives were elected to different positions. The 43rd House District includes Lake Angelus, Independence Township, Clarkston and part of Waterford Township.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set the date for the special election to fill Schroeder's seat in December, more than two months after she died. The general election for the seat will be May 3 and those who win election will serve through the end of December, unless they seek and win a full term in November.
Those running to fill the vacant seat in the 43rd District include a health care professional, a retired law enforcement sergeant, a township trustee and a sales director at an assisted living community.
Anthony Bartolotta is a current Waterford Township trustee who retired from the car wash business in December. The 68-year-old said he doesn't plan to take any money from lobbyists for his run and hopes to use his time in Lansing to get needed aid for Waterford.
"I wanted to represent Waterford more," Bartolotta said. "The last four state representatives we had here, the only time I ever saw them was when there was an election.”
While Bartolotta remains on the ballot, he said he has endorsed Heide Warrington of Independence Township.
Warrington is chief nursing officer at a non-profit behavioral health facility in Oakland County called Common Ground. In recent years, the 40-year-old has taken on different Republican leadership roles and became a volunteer district representative for Schroeder when she became ill.
Warrington said she's passionate about protecting seniors, keeping government small and instilling transparency in school curricula. She said she got her start in politics when she led an effort about five years ago to amend the public health code for stroke systems of care.
"I got inspired by the difference I could make as a nurse at that level," she said.
Mike Harris of Independence Township is a retired law enforcement officer for Waterford Township who now works for a private investigation firm. He also leads a security consulting and training business.
On his website, Harris spoke out against big government, the treatment of small businesses during the pandemic and the "watering down" of voter ID requirements.
“I will be a voice to return to sanity and common sense, and return government to its legitimate purposes," he said in his campaign announcement.
Clarkston's Linda Ybarra Bozzone is a director of sales at Sunrise Senior Living, according to her Linkedin page.
On her Facebook page, Bozzone said she's worked in the health care industry for 40 years and has "seen first hand how government mandates have negatively affected seniors and low income families." She said she also supported a freeze on new state hires and parents rights in education.
"Like many of you, I am deeply concerned about our state and the direction it is headed," she said on her page.
Waterford's Kent Douglas, a 40-year-old IT analyst, is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 43rd House District race. Douglas is chairman of Michigan's 11th Congressional District Democratic Party.