MARQUETTE - In Upper Peninsula regional elections Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, easily won a primary challenge, while the slate for the fall general elections shaped up in state Senate and House races.
In the 1st Congressional District, Benishek faced challenger Alan Arcand of Iron River in the Republican primary. Benishek won with 49,435 votes to 21,462 for Arcand. Benishek will face Democrat Jerry Cannon of Traverse City in November. The term is two years.
"As a former doctor from the U.P. I never thought I would run for Congress, but representing northern Michigan has been a privilege and I am honored to have the support of so many around this great district," Benishek said Tuesday night. "I want to thank everyone for their support and for giving me the honor of running again this fall to continue working for them and their families."
Marquette attorney Karl Numinen, left, and Marquette County Board Chairman Gerald Corkin look over primary election totals as county employees compile the results in the county clerk's office Tuesday evening. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
In state Senate districts in the U.P., there are two seats up. The term is four years.
In the 38th District, Democrats Christopher Germain of Escanaba and Chris LaMarche of Gladstone faced-off. Germain narrowly won the race. The vote total was Germain, 5,435; LaMarche, 5,291. Germain will face incumbent Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba in the Nov. 4 general election. The term of office is four years.
In the 37th District, incumbent Howard Walker, R-Traverse City, is not seeking re-election. Republicans Greg MacMaster of Kewadin and Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City squared-off in the primary, with Schmidt winning. Schmidt had 19,032 votes while MacMaster received 15,286.
Also in the 37th District, Democrats Phil Bellfry of Sault Ste. Marie and Jimmy Schmidt of Central Lake squared-off to meet Republican Schmidt in the general election. Bellfry won with 4,614 votes to 4,325 for Schmidt.
In the U.P.'s four state representative districts, there was a contested race in one. The term of office is two years.
The 107th District saw incumbent Frank Foster, R-Petoskey, facing a primary challenge from Lee Chatfield of Levering. Foster lost the race with 5,487 votes to 6,533 for Chatfield. Chatfield will face Democrat Jim Page of Sault Ste. Marie in the general election.
In the 108th District, Democrat Grant Carlson of Iron Mountain was to battle Justin Zirkle of Rapid River in the primary. Zirkle withdrew from the race before Tuesday's elections so Carlson will now challenge incumbent Republican Ed McBroom of Vulcan in the fall general election.
There was one statewide ballot proposal on the ballot.
Proposal 14-1 passed easily. The vote totaled 858,934 yes and 381,091 no. The measure is an amending act to reduce state use tax and replace with a local community stabilization share to modernize the tax system to help small businesses expand and create jobs. The proposal eliminates the personal property tax on businesses.
John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org