BY GLENN PUIT
TRAVERSE CITY — Republican Ray Franz held a lead against his Democratic opponent in the race for the Michigan House of Representatives' 101st District.
With 47 of 75 precincts reporting in the district's four counties, Franz tallied 16,611 votes to Allen O'Shea's 15,818.
The race appeared far from over. Only a third of the votes in Benzie and Manistee counties were counted at press time.
Franz soundly beat O'Shea in Leelanau County. Franz had a 572-vote lead, or 51 percent of the vote, in the county with 13 of 14 precincts reporting.
Franz is a grocer from Onekama who ran on a conservative Republican platform of cutting regulations and government spending.
"Eliminating the Michigan business tax and balancing the budget ... cutting regulations. That's what I ran on," Franz said.
O'Shea is a longtime Manistee County commissioner who criticized Franz's votes on education funding and the environment.
"Obviously, everything is just way too close to call," O'Shea said. "There seems to be issues all over. I'm up in Benzie and up in Manistee, down in Leelanau. I'm really confident my message will come through and we get all the votes counted."