Troy voters to decide on primary candidates

Troy Times | Published July 25, 2018

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In the Troy Times' coverage area, for the Aug. 7 primary election, voters will decide upon the candidates for nomination to compete in the Nov. 6 general election for governor, U.S. Senate, the  U.S. House of Representatives and the state Senate, as well as the Oakland County Board of commissioners. Voters will also decide whether to renew and increase a four-year, 1-mill  transportation millage to support the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation. 

Candidates were asked, in 75 words or fewer, to state their top goals if elected. If a candidate went over the word limit, (…) replaces the rest of the answer. (I) indicates the candidate is an incumbent. Profiles do not appear for candidates running unopposed in their party for the primary. The answers are printed verbatim except where material is omitted due to personal attacks or items we know to be false or that are blatant misrepresentations. 

Governor
Four candidates are running for the Republican nomination, three candidates are running for the Democratic nomination, and two candidates are running for the Libertarian nomination to compete for one four-year term in November.

Republican
Brian Calley
Age: 41
Occupation: Lieutenant Governor
Municipality of residence: Portland
For how long: 21 years in Danby Township
Online campaign information: BrianCalley.com
Education: Michigan State, B.A.; Grand Valley State, M.B.A; Harvard, M.P.A.
Previously held elected offices: Lieutenant Governor, State Representative, Ionia County Commissioner
Top goals: I helped lead Michigan’s comeback. I’m the only candidate with a plan to take our comeback to the next level. My detailed plan will: make Michigan the best state in the nation for education; fill more than 800,000 additional new jobs; fix the roads; lower the cost of auto insurance; turn our social services safety net into a springboard for employment; eradicate the opioid epidemic; and strengthen ethics and bring civility to public service.

Republican
Patrick Colbeck
Age: 52
Occupation: Michigan State Senator, Michigan 7th Senate District
Municipality of residence: Canton Township
For how long: No answer given
Online campaign information: colbeckforgovernor.com
Education: University of Michigan, BS, MS
Previously held elected offices: Serving his second term as state senator. First elected in 2010.
Top goals: My campaign is based on Principled Solutions for Michigan. I will make every decision using guiding principles, not the whims of powerful special interests. I have principled solutions for job growth by soundly eliminating the personal income tax, building higher quality roads with no extra taxes, reducing auto insurance rates and maintaining care by getting rid of unnecessary mandates, eliminating the top-down approach in education and promoting more patient driven approaches for quality, affordable healthcare.

Republican
Jim Hines
Age: 63
Occupation: OB/GYN Medical Doctor
Municipality of residence: Saginaw
For how long: 38 years
Online campaign information: www.hines4michigan.com
Education: BA Indiana University; Indiana University Medical School
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: To implement a real auto insurance reform plan with a fee schedule and fraud agency. Fixing the roads with existing resources, using surplus general fund dollars as well as prioritizing in the budget and using better building and pavement technology. In addition, warranties need to be enforced. My roads plan would prioritize spending and inject $1.75 billion in additional road dollars over two years without raising taxes.

Republican
Bill Schuette
Age: 64
Occupation: Attorney General, conservative candidate for governor
Municipality of residence: Midland
For how long: Since he was a child
Online campaign information: No answer given
Education: Schuette attended Georgetown University and University of San Francisco Law School.
Previously held elected offices: He has served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Michigan Senate, and as a Judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Top goals: As Michigan’s next governor, I will make Michigan win again. We will grow our paychecks and population. We will accomplish this by finally cutting auto insurance rates (currently the highest in America), improve low-ranking 3rd grade reading scores, increase vocational training for skilled trade careers, and drive a stake through the Granholm Income Tax hike, which has cost Michigan families $8 billion.

Democrat
Abdul El-Sayed
Age: 33
Occupation: Former Health Commissioner for the City of Detroit
Municipality of residence: Shelby Township
For how long: 8 months (lived in Detroit prior).
Online campaign information: Ab dulforgovernor.com
Education: Bachelor of Science in Political Science & Biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ph.D in Public Health from University of Oxford Medical Doctorate from the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Reform campaign finance laws and increase Government transparency, Stand up to corporate welfare, Implement MichCare: a single-payer, Medicare for All style healthcare plan, Raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, Fight Right to Work, Protect Prevailing Wage, Shut Down Line 5 and protect our Great Lakes, De-DeVos our public education, Provide tuition-free and debt-free post-secondary education to families making under $150K Rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, Provide high-speed broadband internet to every community, Support marijuana legalization

Democrat
Shri Thanedar
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Democrat
Gretchen Whitmer
Age: 46
Occupation: Candidate for Governor
Municipality of residence: East Lansing, MI
For how long: 20+ Years
Online campaign information: gretchenwhitmer.com
Education: Michigan State University, College of Law, Magna Cum Laude
Michigan State University, BA Communications
Previously held elected offices: Senate Democratic Leader, 2010 - 2014; Michigan State Senate, 2006 - 2014; Michigan State Representative, 2000 - 2006
Top goals: Fix our roads the right way, the first time, with high-quality materials and mix so we can get the job done right.
Make sure every Michigander has a quality public education that gets them on a path to a high wage skill.
Make health care more affordable. As Senate Democratic Leader, I negotiated with Republicans to expand health care to more than 680,000 Michiganders. As governor, I’ll take on Republicans who threaten our care.

Libertarian
Bill Gelineau
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Libertarian
John J. Tatar
Did not return questionnaire by press time.


U.S. Senate
Two candidates are running for the Republican nomination, and one candidate is running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one six-year term in November.

Republican
John James
Age: 37
Occupation: President, James Group International
Municipality of residence: Farmington Hills
For how long: 8 Years
Online campaign information: http://JohnJames ForSenate.com
Education: United States Military Academy: Bachelor of Science
Penn State University: Master of Supply Chain Management and Information Systems
University of Michigan: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: I have a passion for service. My core values of faith and family, God and country, service before self are why I want to continue to serve our country. I am a combat veteran and a West Point graduate, who understands national security and a business leader who understands economic opportunity. My top goals will be to secure the borders, to give our veterans the care they deserve, protect Michigan jobs, and rebuild our infrastructure.

Republican
Sandy Pensler
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Democrat
Debbie Stabenow (I)
Running unopposed.


U.S. House of Representatives District 11
Five candidates are running for the Republican nomination, five candidates are running for the Democratic nomination, and one candidate is running for the Libertarian nomination to compete for one two-year term in November.
 
Republican
Kerry Bentivolio
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican
Lena Epstein
Age: 37
Occupation: Co-Owner of Vesco Oil Corporation
Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Hills
For how long: 28 years in total.
Online campaign information: Lenaforcongress.com
Education: Detroit Country Day High School, BA in Economics from Harvard (cum laude), MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Previously held elected offices: None.
Top goals: As a business leader, I understand what it takes to create better opportunities for our families. In congress I will support policies that rein in excessive government spending and promote better paying jobs. As a conservative, I will implement policies that secure our border and stop illegal immigration. A strong, safe U.S. requires a strong well-funded military - as such, I will ensure our nation continues to honor and protect those that serve.

Republican
Klint Kesto
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican
Mike Kowall
Age: 66
Occupation: Michigan Senator, Senate Floor Majority Leader
Municipality of residence: White Lake
For how long: 39 years
Online campaign information: www.mikekowallforcongress.com
Education: Oakland Community College, 6 year Carpentry Apprenticeship
Previously held elected offices: White Lake Township Supervisor, State Representative, State Senator
Top goals: Our infrastructure is crumbling around us; our roads, the water and sewage systems that are underneath our cities, all need to be fixed. We need more skilled trade education to train our kids properly. Employers here in Michigan offer great, high paying jobs but are unable to find qualified applicants. The safety and quality of our Great Lakes is paramount. This is our home, we cannot be giving away our water or misusing our resources.

Republican
Rocky Raczkowski
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Democrat
Tim Greimel
Age: 44
Occupation: Michigan State Representative
Municipality of residence: Auburn Hills
For how long: 8 years
Online campaign information: www.timgre imelforcongress.com
Education: B.A. in Economics, University of Michigan; Master of Public Policy, University of Michigan; Juris Doctor, University of Michigan Law School
Previously held elected offices: Rochester School Board (2001-2008), Oakland County Commission (2007-2012), Michigan House of Representatives (2012-Present).
Top goals: I will strengthen and expand the middle-class by: (1) Protecting Medicare and Social Security from privatization, allowing all Americans to buy into Medicare, and requiring Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices; (2) Investing in career and technical education and making university education more affordable; and (3) Raising the federal minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. I’ve won victories on all these issues in the state legislature, and I’ll do the same in Congress.

Democrat
Suneel Gupta
Age: 39
Occupation: Health care tech entrepreneur
Municipality of residence: Birmingham
For how long: 1 year
Online campaign information: suneelgupta.com
Education: University of Michigan-Dearborn, BBA information systems
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, MBA
Northwestern University Law School, JD
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: We need to fix our healthcare so everyone has access to quality, affordable health care while reducing costs. I’m the candidate in this race with hands-on healthcare experience who will fight against cuts to Medicare. I will fight so every child has a right to a world-class education, regardless of their zip code and I’ll go anywhere and do anything to bring better jobs, better skills, and better wages to MI-11.

Democrat
Fayrouz Saad
Age: 35
Occupation: (most recent) Director of Immigrant Affairs, Detroit Mayor’s Office
Municipality of residence: Northville, MI
For how long: 1 year
Online campaign information: www.fayrouzsaad.com
Education: Harvard Kennedy School, Masters in Public Administration; University of Michigan, B.A. in Psychology and Political Science
Previously held elected offices: none
Top goals: Quality, affordable healthcare for every American. A living wage for all who work. And turning the tide on the Trump administration’s daily assault on our values, our communities, and facts themselves. I’m the only candidate in this race with the local, state and national experience to take on the challenges we face. To preserve the American Dream, we need a new generation of leadership fighting for it in Washington. And I’m ready to fight.

Democrat
Nancy Skinner
Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Democrat
Haley Stevens
Age: 35
Occupation: Digital Manufacturing Executive
Municipality of residence: Grew up in Birmingham, currently live in Rochester Hills
For how long: Two years.
Online campaign information: www.haleystevensforcongress.com
Education: Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees from American University, Seaholm Maple (class of 2001)
Previously held elected offices: First time seeking office
Top goals: Lower health care costs and grow the economy. I remember 2009 -- the auto industry was in crisis. Some wanted to let it go bankrupt. I believed then, as I do today, that Detroit hustles harder. So I went to Washington and hustled, serving as chief of staff for President Obama’s auto rescue that helped save 200,000 jobs. Today we face a health care crisis, and I’m standing up again to fight for Michigan.

Libertarian
Leonard Schwartz
Running unopposed.

 

State Senate District 13
One candidate is running for the Republican nomination, and one candidate is running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one four-year term in November.

Republican
Marty Knollenberg (I)
Running unopposed.

Democrat
Mallory McMorrow
Running unopposed.

 

State House of Representatives District 41
Three candidates are running for the Republican nomination, and one candidate is running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one open, two-year term in November. 

Republican
Ethan Baker
Age: 38
Occupation: Attorney/Small Business Owner
Municipality of residence: Troy
For how long: 9 years
Online campaign information: www.EthanBakerMI.com
Education: Juris Doctorate, Whittier College School of Law, Magna Cum Laude; Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, University of Southern California
Previously held elected offices: Troy City Council, 2015-present
Top goals: Michigan must be competitive! Roads: Prioritize our budget ensuring proper road funding with existing tax dollars and amend Act 51 to increase road funding for Metro Detroit. Economy: We need to make sure we continue with policies that encourage growth and not discourage it and cut our income tax back down to 3.9% as promised. Transparency: Michigan is 50th in the nation for transparency. Reform will restore some faith and trust in our government.

Republican
Ronald Dwyer
Age: 45
Occupation: Independent Insurance Agent / Small Business Owner
Municipality of residence: Troy
For how long: 22 years
Online campaign information: www.RonForMichigan.com
Education: Business/ History
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate 3 Terms
Top goals: As a 27 year independent insurance agent I provide valuable knowledge to fix Michigan’s no-fault insurance. This differentiates me from the other candidates. Troy and Clawson are multi-cultural and my involvement in multi-cultural organizations has given me the appreciation and understanding of all our fellow neighbors. Fixing Michigan’s pressing issues requires reaching across the aisle, which I have done. My campaign has brought potential investment from contacts nationally and internationally, something a representative should do.

Republican
Doug Tietz
Age: 37
Occupation: Owner of a Marketing Firm
Municipality of residence: Troy
For how long: 11 years
Online campaign information: www.VoteDougTietz.com
Education: University of Michigan graduate
Previously held elected offices: Troy City Councilman (2011-2015); Oakland County Commissioner (2016-Present)
Top goals: Roads: Let’s dedicate all tax revenue generated by fuel sales (including revenue generated from state sales taxes on gasoline) to fix our roads, enough excuses. We must prioritize road funding. 
Car Insurance: Let’s root out insurance fraud and over-billing, and finally limit trial lawyers from profiting at taxpayers’ expense. 
Spending and Taxes: Shake up the status quote. It’s time to stop the endless cycle of government spending and tax increases.

Democrat 
Padma Kuppa 
Running unopposed.

 

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 11 
Two candidates are running for the Republican nomination, and one candidate is running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one open two-year term in November.  

Republican
Thomas E. Kuhn
Age: 67
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Troy 
For how long: 17 years 
Online campaign information: N/A 
Education: BA, MA, PhD - Political Science, JD - La 
Previously held offices: Oakland Community College (OCC) Trustee, (12 years - elected 2004 and 2010) Royal Oak City commissioner (12 years - elected 1989, 1993, 1995, 1999) 
Top goals: My top priority is to assure County government is financially responsible and accountable to our citizens. I will work hard to streamline county government, to keep taxes low and to eliminate waste and inefficiency. I support strong law enforcement to protect our families and neighborhoods, improving police dispatch and emergency response. I will work to establish oversight and accountability for our roads. For too long, the county has ignored important road maintenance and improvement needs.

Republican
Glenn Clark 
Age: 53
Occupation: Guardian and caregiver to my 100 year old Granmother; Publisher, North Troy Living Magazine; Presenter, Consumer Education, Consumer Protection Division, Michigan Department of Attorney General. 
Residence: Troy
For how long: 18 years
Online campaign information: fb.me/GlennClarkforOaklandCounty Commissioner
Education: Sterling Heights High School, Macomb Community College, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Previous elected offices: I have never been elected to office but I was appointed by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners to serve out a deceased commissioner’s term in 2008.
Top goals: My desire is to work toward ensuring Oakland County government is financially sustainable for the next decade and beyond. We need to focus on bringing best business practices from the private sector to realize cost savings on core services delivered to Oakland citizens. I would like to be appointed to the economic development and public services committees to further work toward attracting high paying jobs to our county & support our class act Sheriff’s department.

Democrat
Ann Erickson Gault 
Running unopposed.

 

Oakland County Commission District 16 
One candidate is running for the Republican nomination, and two candidates are running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one two-year term in November.  

Republican
Wade Fleming (I) 
Running unopposed.

Democrat
Penny Luebs
Age: 64
Occupation: Clinical Supervisor (Social Worker) at Easter Seals
Municipality of residence: Clawson
For how long: 39 years 
Online campaign information: Penny Luebs for Oakland County Commissioner, facebook
Education: Masters Degree in Social Work, Eastern Michigan University
Previously held elected offices: Mayor, City of Clawson 2007-2017; Councilmember, City of Clawson 2003-2007
Top goals: Fix our roads, restore trust in local government and maintain safe, family friendly cities with great services and events. I’d like to see  government as easily accessible and working in partnership with the community to maintain the character of each neighborhood and local business. Develop long term plans for street and sewer repair and environmental sustainability. 

Democrat
Charles Salgat
Age: 70
Occupation: Inside sales- part time
Municipality of residence: Troy
For how long: 42 years
Online campaign information: Facebook: Elect Chuck Salgat County Commissioner
Education: B.A. History University of Detroit 1970
Previously held elected offices: Precinct Delegate - Troy
Top goals: Work to develop a world class mass transit system in Metro Detroit. Oakland County should lead the way with light rail, buses, quality roads and bicycle and waking
paths.
2. Work with County Commissions throughout the state to get the Enbridge #5 pipeline under the Mackinac Bridge before it ruptures and creates a disaster.
3. Protect and expand our outstanding Parks system.

 

Oakland County Board of Commissioners District 20
One candidate is running for the Republican nomination, and one candidate is running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one two-year term in November.

Republican
Chris Adams
Running unopposed.

Democrat
Gary R. McGillivray (I)
Running unopposed.

 

Oakland County Public Transportation Millage Renewal
If approved, this proposal will renew and increase the .9863 mills formerly authorized to 1.0 mills for the years 2018 through 2021, and allow continued support to the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) for a public transportation system serving the elderly, disabled and general public of Oakland County.

For the purpose of providing funds in support of a public transportation system serving the elderly, disabled, and general public of the County of Oakland, as a renewal and increase of the .9863 mills which expired with the 2017 tax levy, shall the limitation on the amount of taxes imposed on taxable property in the Oakland County Public Transportation Authority area be renewed and increased at 1.0 mills ($1.00 per $1,000 of taxable value) for four (4) years, 2018 through 2021, inclusive? It is estimated that if approved this millage will raise approximately $31 million in the first year.