The state of Michigan’s August primary election was held on Tuesday, Aug. 2. Thousands hit the polls at their local precincts, such as the three that are located at Ferndale High School.

The state of Michigan’s August primary election was held on Tuesday, Aug. 2. Thousands hit the polls at their local precincts, such as the three that are located at Ferndale High School.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Candidates in primary move on to November general election

By: Mike Koury | C&G Newspapers | Published August 9, 2022

OAKLAND COUNTY — Voters across Oakland County hit the polls on to decide races in the Aug. 2 primary election.

Thousands cast their ballots to send candidates to the general election, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The main focus will be the race to become the governor of Michigan, which will be between incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who ran unopposed, and Republican candidate Tudor Dixon, who won against Ryan Kelley, Ralph Rebandt, Kevin Rinke and Garrett Soldano.

Another race with national attention was the primary for Michigan’s 11th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. For the Democrats, Haley Stevens defeated Andy Levin, while on the Republican side, Mark Ambrose beat Matthew DenOtter.

Other elections in the Woodward Talk’s coverage area focused on the state Legislature and local offices.

In the 8th District in the Michigan State Senate, Mallory McMorrow beat Marshall Bullock to represent the Democrats and will face Republican Brandon Ronald Simpson, who ran unopposed.

In the 5th District for the Michigan House of Representatives, Democrat Natalie Price beat Reggie Reg Davis, Steele Hughes, Ksenia Milstein and Michelle Wooddell. For the Republicans, Paul Taros defeated Keith Albertie.

For the Michigan House’s 6th District, Democrat Regina Weiss beat Danielle C. Hall, Myya Jones and Mark Murphy. She will face Republican Charles Villerot, who ran unopposed.

Democrat Helena Scott beat Melanie Macey and Grant Rivet in the primary for the Michigan House’s 7th District. There were no candidates on the Republican side of the ballot.

In the 8th District for the Michigan House, Democrat Mike McFall beat Durrel Douglas, Ernest Little, Ryan Nelson and David Soltis, and Republican Robert Noble beat Attie Pollard.

Both candidates in the primary to become the county commissioner of the 19th District for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners ran unopposed and will meet each other in the general election. They were Democrat Charlie Cavell and Republican Joseph C. Pucci.

The election to become the 45th District Court Judge was unique in that the top two vote-getters in the primary would advance to the general election. They were Michelle Friedman Appel and Brenda Richard, with Diana Lynn McClain coming in third.

Anthony Essmaker, the new city clerk for Ferndale, said the turnout was higher in the precincts than they originally anticipated, based on how quickly the absentee ballots came back.

“We got a lot back on the day of, and we had a decent turnout,” he said. “A couple of precincts were over 40%. So that’s pretty good. You know, you always want more than that. We want everybody to vote, but for the primary we were pretty, pretty excited about that and, overall, I think everything went well.”

Essmaker said one of his strategies for the November general election is to try to get as many absentee ballots back as soon as possible before Election Day.

“We got about 684 back on the day of the (primary) election,” he said. “We send those out anywhere up to three days before the election. So we’re trying to encourage everybody to get those back as soon as possible so we have time to process them and get them in there and everything, and nobody’s late or anything like that.”

In looking at the absentee ballots, Huntington Woods City Clerk Heidi Barckholtz stated that the city issued 1,761 absentee ballots, of which 1,578 were returned. While the overall turnout wasn’t as high as the last primary in 2018, Barckholtz said it was more than others in Oakland County.

“In precinct 1, which is our biggest, of the 1,200 (registered voters), 443 voted absentee,” she said. “So there’s never lines, but my workers reported it was a steady flow of people. They never really had downtime at all during the day.”

Essmaker expects the turnout for the Nov. 8 election to be a big one, and he hopes to have the Clerk’s Office making small improvements in the lead-up, such as keeping lines short.

“We’re always trying to get better and that’s kind of how we review every election, is what went well, what went bad and what can we do better?” he said. “We have a list of improvements we’re hoping to make, and, really, what we’re hoping for in November is no lines over 30 minutes long. We’ve heard there’s been some issues in Ferndale with lines in the past, and we’re trying to address that. But, overall, we’re pretty optimistic at this point.”

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