St. Clair ShoresAugust 8, 2012
Roberts on top for 18th District Democrat nomination
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
With the competition all on one side of the ballot, former state Rep. Sarah Roberts rose to the top of the heap for the Democratic nomination for the newly drawn 18th district of the state House.
Roberts brought in 6,529 votes, or 74 percent of the total, easily beating her closest competitor, Macomb County Commissioner Phil DiMaria of Eastpointe, who had 1,340 votes, or 15 percent of the total.
The other two Democrat challengers, John Maynard of Eastpointe and Patrick Biange of St. Clair Shores, each had less than 1,000 votes.
“It just makes me feel really good that I went out there, I knocked on doors, I talked about issues that people were concerned about and that resonated,” Roberts said. “They believe that I can be a strong voice for them and for working people in Lansing.”
She said she believes her experience as a county commissioner and as a state representative before redistricting put St. Clair Shores in the 18th District with Eastpointe resonated with voters.
“All the work that I did in the community to connect people to government and help give them a voice, they remember that and that’s the type of representation that they’re looking for,” she said.
She said the plan for November is the same as it was for August: “Going out door to door and having conversations with people … listening to what their concerns are and talking about the work I want to do on their behalf in Lansing.”
St. Clair Shores City Councilwoman Candice Rusie faced no challengers on the Republican side of the ballot, and so automatically advances to the November general election, but she nevertheless brought in 4,867 votes.
She said she’ll continue working to get her message out from now to November.
“I’m not taking PAC or special interest money, so I’ll have to work extra hard just to make sure people know what I’m about, what my ideas are,” she said. “I want to fight for my district, I want to fight for the people I represent, just like I do in the city.”
Rusie has served on the St. Clair Shores City Council since 2009. She said she believes both she and Roberts “have some work to do in Eastpointe.”
“I would like to thank the people who did vote for me, even though it was uncontested,” Rusie added. “I do appreciate the show of support.”
Total voter turnout in St. Clair Shores was 24.95 percent, with 12,085 total voters.
At the polls the morning of Aug. 7, residents said the two millage proposals on the ballot drew them out.
“I support one and I didn’t support the other,” said Tony La Rosa of St. Clair Shores. “I’m a veteran and I did not support the arts.”
La Rosa said he believed funding for the Detroit Institute of Arts “can come from other sources.”
He said he didn’t particularly care about any single candidate, but wished he didn’t have to cast his votes for just one party.
Like La Rosa, Debbie Schroeder of St. Clair Shores said the county veterans millage renewal and the Detroit Institute of Arts millage proposal were what interested her most on the ballot.
“I think our country’s built on the veterans and we need to do whatever we can to support them,” she said outside City Hall. As for the DIA, “Detroit is vital to all of the suburbs,” she said. “I’m very much an arts supporter.”
Darren and Elahe Gary disagreed.
“I don’t want to pay any more taxes,” Darren Gary said.
“I think property values have gone down, so taxes shouldn’t really go up at this point,” agreed Elahe Gary.
St. Clair Shores voters joined Macomb County in approving the veterans millage with 83 percent of St. Clair Shores voters in support and 59 percent in support of the DIA millage.
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