Some primary races Tuesday in both parties had nearly as many candidates as there were suitors on the last installment of The Bachelorette.
But voters should find the next election ballot slightly less confusing now that the Aug. 3 primary is over and Republicans and Democrats have picked their nominees for the Nov. 2 general election.
The primary was an election with a lot of seats with no incumbents, and a few incumbents with several challengers.
Now that the Republicans and Democrats have settled on their candidates for November, they’re turning their attention to state conventions at the end of the month and who their candidates for governor will want for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general.
Republican Rick Snyder’s campaign said there was nothing to announce yet on a possible running mate in his run for governor.
Snyder has endorsed former judge and congressman Bill Schuette as attorney general over term-limited state Sen. Mike Bishop of Rochester. Snyder has also been campaigning with term-limited state Rep. Paul Scott of Grand Blanc, who is seeking the nomination for secretary of state. Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson is also seeking the secretary of state nomination.
Bernero’s campaign didn’t address the question of a running mate. Democrats held a pre-nominating event in the spring and indicated a preference for Jocelyn Benson of Wayne County for secretary of state and Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton for attorney general.
Meanwhile, the gubernatorial campaigns of Snyder and Bernero hit the ground running Wednesday.
Snyder, accused by his Republican primary opponents of ducking debates, stopped at a pancake house in Southfield early Wednesday morning and later issued a challenge to Bernero for three debates.
“It would be best for the citizens of Michigan if we conduct three debates well before ballots are cast,” Snyder wrote in a campaign e-mail. “I have instructed my staff to get into contact with yours to work out the details.”
Bernero responded with the aplomb of a Texas Hold ‘Em player at a high stakes table.
“We accept and raise him seven more,” his campaign said. “The voters deserve the opportunity to see the contrast between the two candidates.”
Stay tuned for the debate schedule.
Here’s a rundown of the aftermath of other political primary outcomes in Oakland County Tuesday:
Republican Rocky Raczkowski of Farmington Hills outpolled challengers Paul Welday, Richard D. Kuhn and Anna Janek Tuesday in his bid to unseat first-term U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, in November.
Raczkowski immediately scheduled a unity breakfast and turned his campaign attention towards Peters after Welday conceded early Wednesday morning.
“Gary Peters doesn’t work for Oakland County, he works for (U.S. House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi,” Raczkowski said, indicating an aggressive effort to unseat Peters.
Peters, meanwhile, issued a statement after it became apparent that Raczkowski would be his opponent in November.
“This election will be a clear choice between Gary Peters, an independent leader who stands up to powerful interests to fight for Oakland County families, or a return to the failed policies that created the recent economic meltdown,” Peters’ said campaign said in part.
“Oakland County residents want practical, independent problem solvers who fight for middle class families, which is why they sent Gary to work for them last year and why they’ll choose him again in November,” the statement concluded.
The 9th congressional district is the only one entirely within Oakland County borders and represents Pontiac, Lake Angelus, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Orchard Lake, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Franklin, Bingham Farms, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Berkley, Royal Oak, Clawson, Troy, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, West Bloomfield Township, Oakland Township, most of Waterford Township and part of Orion Township.
Candidates jumped into legislative races in the primary in advance of congressional and legislative districts being redrawn next year. The party who controls the Legislature controls the drawing of those boundaries that will exist for the next decade.
In Oakland County, though, incumbents survived challengers from their own parties. Republicans and Democrats picked their nominees to fill out spots in open seats and any change in power between the two parties won’t be known until after the Nov. 2 election.
State Sen. John Pappageorge of Troy, the only incumbent state senator of five senate districts, easily survived two Republican challengers.
There were no incumbents upset in the county’s 14 state House races.
The biggest change will be on the 25-member county commission, where there will be at least five new faces next year.
One commissioner died, two lost to primary challengers and two others unsuccessfully ran for higher office.
Longtime Commissioner Sue Ann Douglas of Rochester lost to challenger Jeff Matis in the GOP primary, and Commissioner Kim Capello of Novi lost to challenger Kathy Crawford of Novi, also in the GOP primary.
Two commissioners, David Coulter of Ferndale and Eric Coleman of Southfield, lost in Democratic primaries in bids for higher office.
Coleman lost to Rudy Hobbs for an open state House seat and Coulter lost a six-way primary for a vacant state Senate seat.
Another open commission seat is the one vacant by the death of Republican Commissioner Jeff Potter of South Lyon in June. Six Republicans ran as write-ins and the county is trying to determine if any of them meet a complicated formula to appear on the November ballot.
A possible recount looms in Waterford Township where Democrat John Paul Torres finished just three votes ahead of Donna F. Kelly in the Democratic primary for township trustee.
Other close elections were in both the Democratic and Republican primaries in the open 26th district state Senate seat. On the Republican side, David B. Robertson edged Fran Amos by 129 votes. On the Democratic side, Katherine Houston edged Paula Zelenko by 79 votes. The district includes Waterford, Springfield, Groveland and Brandon townships, plus parts of Genesee County.
Also close was the Republican primary in the 11th district county commission seat representing Auburn Hills and parts of Pontiac and Rochester Hills where Bob Kittle edged out Ron W. Harmon by 76 votes.
And in Clarkston, voters turned down a proposed increase in its maximum allowable millage by just 8 votes. The city intends to disband its police department.
Full Oakland County election results are at www.oakgov.com/clerkrod/division_committee/elections/index.html.
Contact staff writer Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @crummc.