Michigan’s Primary Election is Tuesday August 2nd.  Some area municipalities have proposals to fund roads and schools, and there are some hotly contested Calhoun County races to see who makes the final ballot in November.

Election Ballot Previews

Voters can check the races and ballot issues they’ll be voting on Tuesday by going on line.   A search of “view ballots” should bring up the Michigan Voter Information Center.  “Election Magic” is also a great online tool for following elections, but the Calhoun County page hasn’t been updated yet for the current election.


“Election Magic” is also a great online tool for following elections, but the Calhoun County page hadn’t been updated yet for the current election at 2pm Monday.


Calhoun County Races

Calhoun County Clerk-Register Anne Norlander, first elected 28 years ago, could face her toughest challenge, as two other Republicans, Deborah Evans and Corey Williams are also running.

In the race for Water Recourses Commissioner, (formerly called “Drain Commissioner”), four Republicans will square off.   Johnny Cash, Fred Heaton, Jonathan Kittinger and Bing Robinson, will all compete to see who faces incumbent Democrat Christine Kosmowski in November.

A three person field will be narrowed down to two for November’s Circuit Judge election.  Voters will choose either Kate Ambrose, John Sims or Tina Yost. Jim Dyer is on the ballot, but has recently taken a job as a Calhoun County attorney, and won’t be seeking the spot on the bench.

There will be a contested County Commission race in the 4th district, as incumbent Republican Steve Frisbie is being challenged by longtime Democrat-turned-Republican Bill Schroer.  Two democrats also square off in the 4th:  Chuck Adams and Kim-Andrews Bingham.

In the 3rd District, Democrats Nathan Grajek and Jake Smith will face off. The winner will run against Republican Jolene Lussier in November.

County board District 7 has contested races on both the Democrat and Republican sides. Michael Bearman, a Republican, will face challenger Gary Tompkins this week. Joyce Spicer and Shane Williamson, both Democrats, also are running for the 7th District seat. Bearman represents the district, having been elected nearly two years ago.

 School and Municipal Issues

In the Athens Schools, an operating millage renewal is up for a vote, as well as an additional 3.5 mils over five years for building.

Pennfield Schools are seeking a .75 mil increase for an 8.25 million dollar bond issue.  The 30-year, 0.75 mill property tax would mean about $39 more in annual taxes for the owner of a $105,000 home, according to district documents.

Emmett voters will decide on a proposed 11.2 million dollar bond issue for roads. The 13-year tax would levy 2.7 mills next year and would raise about $952,000 next year. The estimated average annual millage rate required to pay back the bond is 3 mills.

Albion voters will consider a 2.5 mil library funding proposal, a slight .25 mil increase over an expiring millage.

Athens Area Schools voters will decide whether to renew an 18-mill operating property tax through 2021. The tax would be levied on non-homestead properties such as commercial and vacant parcels and second homes. Voters also will consider a five-year, 3.5 mill sinking fund tax to help repair school buildings, which would raise $571,634 in its first year.

Clarendon Township voters will consider renewing a 1.25 mill tax for five years for fire protection. It's would raise $43,690 in its first year.

The renewal of a 10-year, 1.5 mill property tax for fire equipment and improvements will be decided by Marshall Township votes. It would raise $194,981 in its first year.

Voters in the Tekonsha Community Schools district will consider renewing an 18 mill property tax for five years that would be levied on non-homestead properties.

Township Races

In Emmett Township, Republican Incumbent Supervisor Tim Hill faces a primary challenge from Michael Bye.  Two republicans seek the nomination for Emmett Township Treasurer: Jacob Hill and Diane Talbot.

Six Republican candidates are running for four trustee seats: Richard Brown, Steve Buller, Pat Dougherty, Tom Gunning, Jesse Jacox and Robert Johnson. Brown and Johnson are newcomers; the rest are incumbents.

Fredonia Township will see a primary race for two trustee seats being pursued by four Republican candidates: Jerry Diver, Ken Huestis, Ben Lark and Michelle Smith.

In Homer Township, Republicans Nancy Frye and Anne Leach are running for treasurer.

There also are two Republicans running for Marengo Township treasurer: Angela Freitel and Carole Tabiadon.

Two Republican candidates are seeking the Sheridan Township supervisor seat: Ken Lauer and Richard Porter.

Kalamazoo Elections

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting faces a challenge in the primary Tuesday from fellow democrat E. Dorphine Payne.  In the Sherriff’s race, Thomas Swafford and Sheriff Richard Fuller on the Democratic ticket and Jeff Heppler and Robert Munn square off on the Republican side.  In the 66th State House race, three republicans and two democrats are facing off.