Editorial: Our choices for Oakland, Macomb House seats

The Detroit News

All seats in the Michigan House of Representatives are up for election this year. Here are our recommendations in Macomb and Oakland counties:

Oakland County

District 26 (Madison Heights and Royal Oak): To replace term-limited Jim Townsend, we support political newcomer Republican Randy LeVasseur of Royal Oak, who owns a real estate law firm. He has sound ideas for easing legacy costs and lowering taxes. He faces a tough contender in Democrat Jim Ellison of Royal Oak, who is currently mayor of Royal Oak.

District 27 (Berkley, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge and Royal Oak Township): Republican Kyle Forrest of Oak Park didn’t return our questionnaire and isn’t running a visible campaign. So our endorsement goes to incumbent Democrat Robert Wittenberg of Oak Park, who is seeking a second term.

District 29 (Auburn Hills, Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake Village, Pontiac and Sylvan Lake): Republican Garren Griffith of Auburn Hills faces Democrat incumbent Tim Greimel of Auburn Hills, who gets our support. While we disagree with Greimel on multiple policy issues, he works hard for his district and serves as House Democratic leader.

District 35 (Lathrup Village, Southfield and Southfield Township): Democrat Jeremy Moss of Southfield is seeking a second term, and he should get it. He has taken on several leadership roles in the House. Republican Robert Brim of Lathrup Village didn’t return our questionnaire.

District 37 (Farmington and Farmington Hills): Incumbent Democrat Christine Greig of Farmington Hills is running for a second term. She should get it, given her record of business experience and community involvement. Republican Mitch Swoboda of Farmington Hills is a precinct delegate and a retired Air Force staff sergeant.

District 38 (Lyon Township, part of Northville, Novi, Novi Township, South Lyon and Walled Lake): Republican Kathy Crawford of Novi is the best choice. She seeks a second term and prioritizes lowering taxes and creating a business-friendly environment. Crawford faces Democrat Amy McCusker of New Hudson, who is vice president of the South Lyon Community Schools Board of Education.

District 39 (Commerce Township, part of West Bloomfield Township and Wixom): Republican Klint Kesto of Commerce Township wants a third term and has earned it. Kesto faces Democrat Michael Stack of Commerce Township, who has served on the Wolverine Lake Village Council.

District 40 (Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills and part of West Bloomfield Township): Republican Michael McCready of Birmingham should be elected to a third term. He’s chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee on higher education, among other leadership roles. He faces Nicole Bedi of Birmingham, a first-time candidate and registered dietitian.

District 41 (Clawson and Troy): Republican incumbent Martin Howrylak of Troy seeks a third term, and is the best choice. Democrat Cyndi Peltonen of Clawson brings a background in business and education.

District 43 (Independence Township, Lake Angelus, Clarkston and part of Waterford Township): Republican Jim Tedder of Clarkston is running for a second term; he gets our nod over Democrat Ted Villella of Waterford, who has a background in instructional technology and runs a consulting company.

District 44 (Highland Township, Milford Township, Springfield Township, part of Waterford Township and White Lake Township): Republican Jim Runestad of White Lake should get a second term. The former Oakland County commissioner is active on several committees. Democrat Mark Venie of Davisburg, a technical writer, is running for the second time against Runestad.

District 45 (part of Oakland Charter Township, Rochester and Rochester Hills): We support Republican incumbent Michael Webber of Rochester Hills for a second term. Ted Golden, a dermatologist from Rochester Hills, has run unsuccessfully for office several times.

District 46 (Addison Township, Brandon Township, part of Oakland Charter Township, Orion Township and Oxford Township): There wasn’t much competition to replace term-limited GOP incumbent Brad Jacobsen. But Republican John Reilly of Oakland, who describes himself as a small businessman, is our choice over David Lillis of Lake Orion.

Macomb County

District 18 (St. Clair Shores and Eastpointe): Republican and small-businesswoman Renata Polonaise did not respond to our questionnaire. Democrat Kevin Hertel, son of former state House Speaker Curtis Hertel, seems to have the gravitas to serve in Lansing.

District 22 (Roseville and part of Warren): Incumbent Democrat John Chirkun of Roseville is the preferred choice because of his service on the Roseville City Council and his conservative position on taxes. Republican Jeff Bonnell, a populist, ran unopposed in the primary.

District 24 (Harrison Township and parts of Clinton and Macomb townships): Voters should choose rising conservative Steve Marino, the Republican, in the race against Democrat Dana Camphous-Peterson of Harrison Township.

District 25 (Sterling Heights and part of Warren): Though incumbent Democrat HenryYanez desires higher taxes on corporations, he pledges to work toward a balanced budget. He faces Republican Steve Naumovski.

District 28 (Center Line and part of Warren): Voters must choose who will serve the remainder of Derek Miller’s vacated seat after he was appointed county treasurer, and the two-year term that will begin in January. Republican Antoine Davison did not answer our survey, but Democratic Warren councilman Patrick Green seems to have the necessary political experience.

District 30 (Utica, parts of Sterling Heights and Shelby Township): Republican Diana Farrington, wife of term-limited Rep. Jeff Farrington, a mortgage auditor, is preferred over Michael Notte, Democrat and son of late Sterling Heights Mayor Richard Notte.

District 31 (Fraser, Mount Clemens and part of Clinton Township): Republican librarian Lisa Valerio-Nowc of Clinton Township is our choice over Democrat Clinton Township Treasurer Bill Sowerby.

District 32 (Extending from Kenockee to Ira Township): Chesterfield Township’s Pamela Hornberger, a Republican, will bring some useful education experience to Lansing. Democrat Paul Manley did not respond to our questionnaire.

District 33 (Richmond and Macomb townships): Voters will be served well in Republican Richmond City Council member Jeff Yaroch over Democrat Yani Warda of Utica.

District 36 (Washington and Bruce townships, part of Shelby Township): Incumbent Republican Peter Lucido has served his district well in Lansing and should be returned over Democrat Diane Young of Shelby Township.

Next up

Look for our Wayne County House choices on Thursday. If you’ve missed any of our endorsements so far, find them at detroitnews.com/opinion.