Saturday, August 13, 2016

Michigan Green candidates from the bottom of the ballot to the top

I concluded yesterday's Hillary Clinton rebuts Trump in Warren, Michigan with "I will give the Green Party its due."  I'll start at the bottom of the partisan ballot by repeating what I wrote in June.The most interesting in terms of practical effect are running for the lowest offices.
Finally, the Libertarians nominated three candidates for Ypsilanti Township Park Commissioner, Elizabeth Ceader, Lawrence W. Johnson, and Kalyn Sterzik.  Of this group, Johnson had previously run for Ypsilanti Township Trustee in 2012 and lost.  He and the rest may have more success this year.  There are currently four Democratic candidates on the August primary ballot for seven slots with no Republican candidates.  Unless another party nominates candidates or an independent files for the office, all three appear likely to be elected, serving as the opposition to the Democrats.
Even if these three are the only Libertarians elected in Michigan this year, 2016 would still be a good year for minor party candidates.
The Greens did nominate two people for these positions, Stuart Collis and Shauna McNally.  While the possibility of all three Libertarians serving has dropped, there will still be three minor party members of the board, at least one of which will be a Libertarian.  I personally think the Greens are a better match for the constituency than the Libertarians, but I have my doubts that they will be able to pull enough votes away from the Democrats, who I expect will all get elected, to pick off more than one of the Libertarians.  Still, this will be an interesting contest to watch for no other reason than seeing what happens when minor parties actually can compete and win.

Follow over the jump for more on the Green candidates as I work my way up the partisan ballot.

Next up, the state educational governing boards.
Sherry A. Wells - State Board of Education
Derek Grigsby - State Board of Education
Latham Redding - U of M Board of Regents
Will Tyler White - MSU Board of Trustees
Margaret Guttshall - WSU Board of Governors
Fran Shor - WSU Board of Governors
Three of these nominees ran two years ago for educational board positions--Sherry Wells for the State Board of Education and Margaret Guttshall and Latham Redding for the WSU Board of Governors, which the latter two also ran for in 2012.  A fourth, Will Tyler White, ran as a Libertarian two years ago for U.S. Congress in the Fourth District.  I find it interesting that he switched parties from the right to the left.  I guess he is more interested in the positions the Greens and Libertarians share on civil liberties, foreign policy, and marijuana decriminalization than the Libertarians' economic positions, which are incompatible with the Greens' leftism.  If so, good for him.

Now the nominees for State Representative.
Dan Finn - State House/4th District
Tiffany Hayden - State House/11th District
Artelia Marie Leak - State House/29th District
Eric Borregard - State House/52nd District
Joseph Stevens - State House/53rd District
John Anthony La Pietra - State House/63rd
Michael Anderson - State House/70th District
Deena Marie Bruderick - State House/83rd District
Cliff Yankovich - State House/86th District
Wade Roberts - State House/109th District
The only candidate in my current neck of the wooks is Artelia Marie Leak, who is running against Tim Gremiel and Garren W. Griffith.  She won't pull enough votes from Gremiel to throw the contest to Griffith.  Likewise, I'm not worried that Joseph Stevens will act as a spoiler in the 53rd District.  That constituency is too Democratic for that to happen.

Another name I recognize is John Anthony La Pietra.  He ran for Attorney General two years ago.  That makes him an experienced candidate.  However, it shouldn't make much difference, as the incumbent is a Republican.  Unless this becomes a wave election that turns this particular contest close, La Pietra won't act as a spoiler, either.

On the other hand, Eric Borregard has the potential to do just that in the 52nd District.  First, he's an experienced candidate, having run for the University of Michigan Board of Regents in 2012 and the Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees in 2014.  Second, this is a close district, although it was represented by moderate Democrats for most of the past ten years; I know, I used to live in it and saw a Republican win in 2010.  A good Green candidate, and Borregard is as close to a good candidate as one gets, could pull votes from the left.  Finally, the Democratic nominee, Donna Lasinski, is another moderate who won a close-fought primary contest against Barbara Ryan Fuller, who ran to her left.  Some who voted for Fuller might just vote for Borregard because Lasinski is too centrist, even though that makes her a good fit for the district overall.  It doesn't help that there is no Libertarian candidate for this seat, so there will be no splitting of the conservative vote unless the U.S. Taxpayers Party nominates someone, which I don't expect will happen.  I'll keep watching this contest.

Speaking of Borregard, he has a video showcasing the Green Party nominees for State and Local offices.

Green Party of Michigan - GP candidates running for public office in Michigan at the state and local level, speaking at the GPMI state nomination convention on July 30, 2016.
Finally, the candidates for Federal office, in this case the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ellis Boal - US House/1st District
Matthew A. Brady - US House/2nd District
Jordan Salvi - US House/4th District
Harley Mikkelson -  US House/5th District
Maria Green - US House/8th District
John V. McDermott - US House/9th District
Benjamin Nofs - US House/10th District
Dylan Calewarts - US House/12th District
Marcia Squier -  US House/14th District
Several of these contests stand out, beginning with the 1st District.  That promises to be a close election and the Green nominee could be a spoiler, especially since he ran two and four years ago, getting about 1% of the vote both times, more than the margin between the Republican and Democratic nominees.  Fortunately, there is also a Libertarian nominee to split the right.  Last time, the Libertarian got 3% of the vote.  If he gets more, then the Green nominee may not matter.

There is no Democratic challenger in the 4th District.  However, the Republican will be facing a Libertarian and likely a U.S. Taxpayers Party nominees in addition to the Green, who will have the left all to himself.  Let's see if he can get enough votes to come in second.

Harley Mikkelson in the 5th District is an experienced candidate, having run for U.S. Senate four years ago and U.S. House of Representatives two years ago.  He shouldn't have much of an effect in this safely Democratic district, as there is also a Libertarian candidate.

The 8th is an interesting case.  There, Melissa Gilbert has dropped out, but her name was still on the ballot.  The Democrats are trying to replace her.  If they succeed, then they will still probably lose.  If they don't, then it comes down to voting for a candidate who won't campaign and can't serve or someone who is active.  That would be interesting to watch.

As for the rest, I expect no effect.  I'm also relieved that the Greens nominated no one for the 7th Congressional District.  That leaves Gretchen Driskell all by herself on the left with the right split among the Republicans, Libertarians, and a likely U.S. Taxpayers Party nominee.  Whew!

Of course, the presidential nominee is Jill Stein, but I'll save her for another post.  I close instead with this video of the Congressional nominees, again from Borregard.

Candidates for U.S. Congress nominated at the Green Party of Michigan's State Convention in East Lansing MI on July 30, 2016. Candidates will appear on the General Election ballot November 8, 2016. Includes short introductions by the candidates in the 1st dist. Ellis Boal, 2nd dist. Matthew Brady, 5th dist. Harley Mikkleson, 8th dist. Maria Green, 9th dist. John McDermott, 10th dist. Ben Nofs, 12th dist. Dylan Calewarts, 14th dist. Marcia Squier.
That's it for the week's political reporting.  Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature.


  1. For a listing of these candidates WITH CONTACT INFORMATION FOR EACH ONE, see

    1. This is the kind of spam I approve of. In fact, I'll help you by linking to it.

  2. The Bureau of Elections list is now "official" -- meaning that the Board of State Canvassers has certified the results of the August 2 primary. Pending recount petitions -- and the results of the Democratic and Republican state conventions this weekend (nominating education-board and state Supreme Court candidates), this is how it will be.

    1. Thanks for that news. I went over to the Secretary of State's candidate page and checked it out. I see the U.S. Taxpayers Party held its convention and nominated candidates. I'll write them up on Friday or Saturday. Tomorrow is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, so that's the topic of the next post.

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    1. Post this on my vaping entry (you can find it). There, it will stay. Here, it gets deleted.