Eastside incumbents win chance to head to general election

By: Kristyne E. Demske | C&G Newspapers | Published August 5, 2020

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ST. CLAIR SHORES/HARRISON TOWNSHIP/EASTPOINTE/GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Incumbent state Rep. Kevin Hertel and Macomb County Commissioner Robert Leonetti will compete to keep their seats in November after winning their respective primary elections.

Hertel beat out Democrat challengers Christopher Jeffery and Patrick Biange with 9,722 votes, or 72.6%, compared with Jeffery’s 15% and Biange’s 12.4% of the vote in the Aug. 4 primary.

“We’re, obviously, thankful for all the support that we received from voters in the primary,” Hertel said.

He said he’s looking forward to the November election and continuing to have conversations with voters across the 18th District about the issues they feel are important. He said he will continue to focus on the environment and clean water, including a clean Lake St. Clair, reducing the cost of prescription drugs and increasing access to health care, making sure schools have adequate funding, and maintaining and improving infrastructure.

“Those are things that I’ve worked on in my time in the House and ... we’re going to continue to have those conversations because it’s so important to the community,” he said.

Hertel is running for his third term in office. If elected, it will be his final term as a state representative due to term limits.

“We look forward to putting in the work to earn everybody’s vote between now and November. It’s an interesting election year and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun,” he said.

On the Republican side of the ticket, Michael Babat beat Christine Timmon by just four votes, according to unofficial results from the Macomb County Elections Department. Babat received 2,775 votes, compared with Timmon’s 2,771 votes. The third Republican candidate, Brian Hakola, received 1,933 votes.

Babat could not be reached for comment by press time.

Macomb County District 3 Commissioner Veronica Klinefelt, D-Eastpointe, did not face any opposition in the primary election, and no Republicans have filed to run against her in November, either.

In District 10 of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, however, County Commissioner Robert Leonetti beat out Carol Grant to win the Democratic nomination for the seat. Leonetti received 4,007 votes, or 52.8%, compared with Grant’s 3,578 votes, or 47.2%.

“It was close,” said Leonetti, who is running for his third two-year term of office. “Carol was a good candidate and it was a close race.”

He said he is grateful for the voters that supported him and he looks forward to the November election, where he will face Barbara Zinner, who ran unopposed on the Republican ticket.

“I’m going to continue to do the things that I’ve done for the district,” which Leonetti explained includes working to keep Lake St. Clair clean, reforming government and keeping government transparent.