Stage set for face off in Senate, House races in November

MANISTEE COUNTY — Four vied for the Republican nomination in the 35th District of the Michigan Senate, one will move on to November.

Ray Franz, Bruce Rendon, Cary Urka and Curt VanderWall were on the ticket for the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s primary.

VANDERWALL

VANDERWALL

VanderWall will go to face Democrat Mike Taillard and Libertarian Timothy Coon in the general election on Nov. 6.

Franz earned 6,267 votes (23 percent) throughout the district, Rendon 9,832 (24 percent), Urka 1,307 (3 percent) and VanderWall 19,716 (49 percent).

In Manistee County, Franz earned 1,683 votes, Rendon 134, Urka 172 and VanderWall 1,633.

“I’m excited and honored,” VanderWall said. “I know that we have a ton of work to do to move on and become senator here in November. We’ll continue doing the same thing we’ve done to win the primary. We’re going to be out at all the events and knocking on doors to really find out what is on constituents’ minds. We want to find out what’s bothering them and what we need to work on besides auto no-fault insurance, education and infrastructure.”

VanderWall said he is excited for the opportunity and invites voters to reach out to him if they have issues they want addressed.

The 35th Senate District includes Benzie, Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon and Wexford counties.

The seat is currently held by Sen. Darwin Booher, of Evart, who could not run for re-election due to term limits.

In the 101st District for the Michigan House of Representatives, Carolyn Cater and Jack O’Malley were

O'MALLEY

O’MALLEY

on the ballot for the Republican nomination, while Edward Hoogterp and Kathy Wiejaczka were on the ballot on the Democratic side.

O’Malley took the Republican nomination, while Wiejaczka will be on the Democratic ticket in November.

“I’m honored,” O’Malley said of his win. “I think our system in America is great. Getting to cast a ballot is pretty important thing. I’m honored so may folks said ‘Jack, we want you.’ That humbles me.”

O’Malley said looking ahead, there is a lot of work to do, because he must speak to a wider audience.

“It’s not just the Republican primary,” he said  “I hope to show everybody that I’m the guy. I’m ready to listen, ready to work and I’ll represent everybody. I’ll always vote my conscience, but I’ll listen. When you listen, you learn things. We all have to lower the noise that is out there. I say to people, I have wanted to figure out common sense solutions to our every day issues. We need to work together.”

Wiejaczka said she is happy about the election results, and that Hoogterp ran a classy campaign, lending his support to her campaign after conceding.

“Our campaign spreads messages of positivity and hope and service. I’m a nurse, that’s what I’ve done

WIEJACZKA

WIEJACZKA

for 39 years; build relationships and community, and that’s what our campaign has been about since January, and that what we’re going to spread till November,” she said. “Health care, living wages, and funding for public education. We knocked on nearly 5,000 doors, and that’s what people worried about.”

She also said she is thankful to the over 100 volunteers across four counties who helped to spread her message.

“It’s not the Kathy Show,” she continued. “We have an opportunity to flip the seat from blue to red and get things done in Lansing. We talk about divisiveness out there; I’m not about any of it. When people talk to me in a way that is divisive, I tell them that’s why I’m running. We’re all Americans. I’ve been at the table when important discussions are made. I know what it takes to work with diverse groups of people and do it with civility and get work done. That’s what I offer.”

Wiejaczka said her campaign’s motto is “people first for the 101st.”

“We’re not in the pockets of anyone,” she said.

Across the district, Cater garnered 2,212 votes (15 percent) total, while O’Malley earned 12,396 (85 percent); Hoogterp has 1,225 (11 percent) and Wiejaczka 10,172 (89 percent).

In Manistee County, residents supported Cater with 469 votes, 3,019 for O’Malley, 248 for Hoogterp and 2,026 for Wiejaczka.

The 101st District includes Benzie, Leelanau, Manistee and Mason counties. The seat is currently held by Rep. Curt Vanderwall, of Ludington.

All results are unofficial until reviewed by the board of canvassers.

Managing Editor Michelle Graves contributed to this report.

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