Field of GOP candidates crowded in Aug. 2 primary

Rachelle Smit
Lindsay Kronemayer

There will be a lot of new faces in the State House of Representatives after the Nov. 8 general election, and this area will be no exception.

Both incumbents in this area are being term limited. Including Republicans Steve Johnson of Wayland and Mary Whiteford of South Haven. Johnson completed three, two-year terms after first being elected in the 2016 primary. Whiteford won a special election in 2015 to succeed the expelled Cindy Gamrat and then won three times, in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

Most of this area is covered by the 43rd District after redistricting. Four Republicans will seek the nomination in the Aug. 2 primary, Rachelle Smit of Shelbyville, Nevin Cooper-Keel of Allegan, Lindsay Kronemayer of Dorr and Phillip Joseph of Delton. Among that foursome, Smith is the only one with political experience, having served as Martin Township Clerk having served now for seven years.

Mark Ludwig
Phillip Joseph

The lone Democrat who filed was Mark Ludwig of Fennville, who ran against Whiteford in 2018.

The other district in this area is the 79th, which includes all of Leighton Township. Candidates are Angela Rigas of Alto, Ryan Gallogly of Byron Center and Jeremiah Keeler of Caledonia. Gallogly ran in the 2016 GOP primary against Johnson and was unsuccessful.

Kimberly Kennedy-Barrington of Byron Center is the only Democrat on the ballot.

Incumbent Aric Nesbitt of Lawton will be seeking his second four-year term in the Michigan Senate from the 20th District. He will be challenged in the primary by fellow Republicans Kaleb Hudson of Grand Rapids and Kreutz of Allegan. Kim Jorgensen of Benton Harbor is the Democratic candidate.

Angela Rigas
Aric Nesbitt

The GOP primary for governor will be a wild one, with 10 candidates seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer.

They are Donna Brandenberg, Byron Center; Michael Brown, Stevensville; James Craig, Detroit; Tudor Dixon, Lansing; Perry Johnson, Bloomfield Hills; Ryan Kelly, Allendale; Kevin Rinke, Bloomfield Hills; Garrett Soldano, Mattawan; Michael J. Markay, Jr., Grand Haven, and Ralph Rebandt, Farmington Hills.

There will be no primary contest in the 4th Congressional District. Republican Bill Huizenga, Holland, will take on Democrat Joseph Alfonso, Holland, in the November general

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