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Dems Field Record Slate in Livingston County!

vingston County voters will have the chance to vote for more Democratic candidates this November than at any time in the last half century.

By Tuesday’s deadline for filing for state and local offices, the Livingston County Democratic Party had signed up a record 39 candidates for offices ranging from township trustee to state representative.

The historic field includes:

--A pair of candidates for state representative, Donnie Bettes for 42nd State House and Adam Smiddy for 47th State House.

--Candidates for five of the six county-wide offices, the most since at least the 1964 election cycle. They are: Ragan Lake for county prosecutor; Jordan Genso for county clerk; Dan Luria for county treasurer; Julia Hargenrader for register of deeds, and Andrew Nowicki for county drain commissioner.

--A full slate of nine county commission candidates, meaning 100 percent of the voters in Livingston County will have a choice in that slot on their ballot for the first since 2014. The candidates are: District 1, Bob Sexton of Brighton Township; District 2, Jennifer Garcia of Oceola Township; District 3, John Pallister of Tyrone Township; District 4, Bill Cowan of Unadilla Township; District 5, Glen Miller of Howell Township; District 6, Kasey Helton of Marion Township; District 7, Mirullia Morneault of Genoa Township; District 8, Martin Lake of Hamburg Township, and District 9, Bill Bon of Green Oak Township.

--A slate of 30 candidates for township trustee in 13 of the county’s 16 townships, meaning that more than 80 percent of the county’s voters will have one or more choices for township trustee.

--Candidates for Green Oak supervisor, Gayle Steele, and Howell Township treasurer, Michael Tipton.

“Having a choice among candidates is a key element of democracy. In past years, voters in Livingston County have been dismayed to see so few choices on their ballots. That will not be the case this November. The breadth and depth of local candidates on the ballot this election cycle means voters will be able to vote straight Democratic and have confidence that they are covering key races in the area where they live,” said Judy Daubenmier, party chair.

“And we are incredibly proud of the wide range of valuable experience and skills these talented individuals will bring to the positions they are seeking.”

The field includes medical professionals, engineers, a farmer, teachers, marketing experts, lawyers, an economist, veterans, a home repair specialist, and more. “It includes men, women, young people and older people, people who work with their heads and hands, people who work at jobs where they get their hands dirty, and people with advanced degrees, a true reflection of the diversity in our county,” Daubenmier said.

“The work and life experiences of these candidates will help their local governments evaluate competing bids for government services and building projects, improve communications with residents, and bring fresh eyes to problems that confront our state and local governments day in and day out.

“They all bring the Democratic values of caring about our neighbors and demanding fairness, values that reflect the values of Livingston County.”

Daubenmier also said research shows that having more candidates on the ballot helps increase voter turnout and improves the favorability of the Democratic Party in areas where candidates are not usually on the ballot.

Parts of the county covered by this year’s candidates have not had Democrats run for many years. The 39 candidates is three times the number of candidates fielded by the party the last time township races were on the ballot in 2016.

Here are the township trustee candidates:

--Brighton Township: Jean Thayer-Seitz; Lee Anzicek.

--Deerfield: Allen Newman

--Genoa: Rachel Becker, Matt McClanahan.

--Green Oak: Sarah Lab Pearsall.

--Hamburg: Cindy Michniewicz; Marie Joppich.

--Hartland: Louise Zrull.

--Howell Township: Laurel Castiglione, Judith Minton, Courtney White.

--Iosco Township: Cherie Mollison.

--Marion: Zach Zurek.

--Oceola: Chris Ariss; Sara Steptoe-Campbell

--Putnam: Jim Brady; James Robert.

--Tyrone: Greg Nastwold; Laurie Halbritter.

--Unadilla: Lori Cowan, incumbent.

While the party did not field township candidates in Cohoctah, Conway, or Handy township, anyone interested in running there should contact the party at to discuss write-in options.

(Paid for by Livingston County Democratic Executive Committee, 8028 Grand River, Woodland Plaza Suite 7, Brighton, MI 48114. Labor donated.)

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