Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 4, 2010

Benishek holding thin lead over Allen

DETROIT (AP) — Crystal Falls physician Dan Benishek held a paper-thin lead early today over state Sen. Jason Allen in the Republican nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak in Michigan's 1st Congressional District.

With 99 percent of the vote counted, Benishek led Allen by 39 votes, 27,097 to 27,058. Two precincts in Bay County had yet to report vote totals by 1 a.m.

Among the remaining Republican candidates, Tom Stillings had 5,416 votes, Linda Goldthorpe 4,978, Don Hooper 3,965 and Patrick Donlon 2,490.

State Rep. Gary McDowell of Rudyard was the lone Democrat in the race to succeed Stupak.

The GOP side of the ticket was crowded even before the 18-year congressman decided to retire. Benishek was one of the Republicans who got in early, driven by his anger over the federal health care changes. Allen, who is term-limited in the senate, joined the race after Stupak announced his retirement, moving from Traverse City to Alanson so he'd be within the district, which encompasses the Upper Peninsula and much of the northern Lower Peninsula.

In the 2nd District GOP race to succeed Republican Pete Hoekstra of Holland, who failed to win the party's nomination for governor, Bill Huizenga had 24,862 votes with 94 percent of the 373 precincts tallied. He was followed by Jay Riemersma with 24,390 ; Wayne Kuipers, 21,529; Bill Cooper, 17,359; Field Reichardt, 4,257; Ted Schendel, 2,301, and Chris Larson, 2,196.

Hope College history professor Fred Johnson of Holland defeated Lake County Commissioner Nicolette McClure of Idlewild to win the Democratic primary in the 2nd District.

In the 3rd District, all the GOP candidates except Air Force veteran Bob Overbeek of Wyoming are from Grand Rapids. They included state Rep. Justin Amash, state Sen. Bill Hardiman, former Kent County Commissioner Steve Heacock and attorney Louise "Ellie" Johnson. Ehlers endorsed Heacock.

Both Democratic candidates also are from Grand Rapids: attorney Pat Miles and former Kent County Commissioner Paul Mayhue.

In southern Michigan's 7th District, former U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg of Tipton won the Republican primary to set up a November rematch with the man who ousted him from Congress two years ago. Walberg will face Democrat Mark Schauer of Battle Creek who beat the first-term Walberg by about 7,500 votes in 2008.

Republicans have been eyeing Schauer ever since he won in the GOP-leaning district that covers an area stretching from Eaton County just west of Lansing south through Battle Creek, Jackson, Hillsdale and Adrian.

"I'm looking forward to a spirited campaign of ideas about what direction we should take to get our economy back on track," Schauer said in a statement. "Voters will have a clear choice this November."

Another first-term Democrat, Gary Peters of Oakland County's Bloomfield Township, was unopposed in his primary in the suburban Detroit 9th District, but five candidates lined up on the Republican side: businessman and Army Reserve officer Rocky Raczkowski of Farmington Hills; Paul Welday, former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, whom Peters unseated two years ago; beauty consultant Anna Janek of Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township; and former circuit court judge Richard Kuhn of Waterford.

In other races:

n Kande Ngalamulume pulled out of the race for the 8th District Democratic nomination, but remained the sole name on the ballot. Former educator Lance Enderle of East Lansing was running as a write-in candidate in the mid-Michigan district, but in order to win he needed to receive more votes than Ngalamulume and a minimum number of votes required by state election law.

n Four Republicans were facing off in southeastern Michigan's 15th District for the right to face Dearborn Democrat John Dingell. They were Tony Amorose, a middle school teacher from Dearborn Heights; database systems project manager Jack Lynch of Ypsilanti; Dearborn lawyer Majed Moughni; and Rob Steele, a cardiologist from Washtenaw County's Superior Township.

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