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Shelby Township, Utica voters have high turnout for primary election

By: Kara Szymanski, Joshua Gordon | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 13, 2018

SHELBY TOWNSHIP/UTICA — Republican Bill Schuette and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer will compete in November to be the next governor of Michigan after both easily won their primary elections Aug. 7.

Schuette took just over 50 percent of the votes in the Republican primary, or 454,549 votes, while Whitmer accounted for just over 54 percent of the votes in the Democratic primary with 479,556 votes.

In Shelby Township, both candidates also were the favorites, with Schuette taking 5,924 votes and Whitmer totaling 3,962 votes. In Utica, Schuette won with 275 votes and Whitmer pulled ahead with 253 votes.

Shelby Township Clerk Stanley Grot said everything ran smoothly throughout the day, and even though there were more voters than usual for a primary election, his staff was ready.

“It was a long night because so many people voted, but we had no problems whatsoever,” Grot said. “We were ready because I am always prepared and I trained my own workers. This one caught a lot of people by surprise because of the turnout, but I knew it would be a huge turnout because of the quality of candidates on both sides.”

In total, Shelby Township saw 32.3 percent of registered voters turn out to vote, while Utica had a 28.5 percent voter turnout. For comparison, for the 2014 midterm primary election, Shelby Township saw a 19.7 percent voter turnout and Utica had a 14.2 percent turnout.

Utica Clerk Beth Ricketts said all three of the city’s precincts used new equipment for this election, but even with a higher turnout, there were no problems. The city was prepared with extra ballots for more voters, but Ricketts said she hopes to see even more people come out in November.

Democratic nominee Kimberly Bizon will compete against incumbent Paul Mitchell, R-Dryden, in November to be the U.S. representative in District 10 for the next two years.

Bizon won the primary for the Democratic nomination in the U.S. House of Representatives District 10 race, defeating Frank Accavitti Jr. and Michael McCarthy by taking 41.1 percent of the vote. In total, Bizon won 21,938 votes, while Accavitti totaled 17,048 votes and McCarthy had 14,347 votes.

Mitchell, running unopposed, received 81,793 votes.

The 10th District consists of the northern portion of Macomb County, including Shelby Township, Macomb Township and Harrison Township, as well as five other counties up into the Thumb region of the state.

Peter Lucido won in a landslide for the state Senate District 8 seat, accounting for nearly 72 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, or 24,261 votes. Lucido will face off against Democrat Paul Francis in November, who won the Democratic primary with 46.6 percent of the vote, or 10,113 votes.

For the state House of Representatives District 30 seat, John Spica won the Democratic race against Wisam Naoum by taking 3,389 votes, or nearly 54 percent of the vote, to Naoum’s 2,922 voters, or approximately 46 percent of the vote. Spica will face incumbent Diana Farrington, who ran unopposed for the Republican nomination and received 7,115 votes, in November.

Republican James Carabelli and Democrat Ken Reid ran unopposed for the Macomb County Commissioner District 6 seat. Republican Don Brown and Democrat Michael LaBuhn also ran unopposed for the Macomb County Commissioner District 7 seat.

For more coverage of the Aug. 7 primary election, visit www.can

Staff Writer Kara Szymanski contributed to this story.