The Rapidian

Republican congressional nominees, ballot initiatives up for vote in August

The primaries on August 5 will decide who will be on the ballot for the November election. Justin Amash and Brian Ellis are fighting for the Grand Rapids congressional seat.
State primaries open for vote on August 5

State primaries open for vote on August 5 /Daniel Harvell

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Voting matters

Voters can find where their appropriate polling location is using the Grand Rapids precinct map.

There are many precincts in Grand Rapids

There are many precincts in Grand Rapids /The Rapidian

Sibley elementary will serve as a voting facility

Sibley elementary will serve as a voting facility /Scott Trumbo

On August 5 the state primaries will open for voting.

Voters can find where their appropriate polling location is using the Grand Rapids precinct map.

The candidates on this year’s primary have been gaining national attention. Justin Amash has gained plenty of exposure after voting down all plans for a budget compromise during the 2013 shutdown. His reasoning for all votes can be found on his Facebook page. His campaign this year brings up his involvement in voting against any new or extended government programs that may put individuals at risk for surveillance. He believes that government programs like the NSA impede citizen’s fourth amendment rights. Amash is up for reelection this year after serving since 2011.

Amash is facing Brian Ellis for the spot on the Republican ticket. Ellis founded Brooktree Capital Management, which is an investment firm. He has also served on many other boards of various West Michigan education groups. His campaign claims that Amash is an erratic voter, and that he does not closely hold traditional conservative values.

Amash, according to a February poll, has the lead over Ellis by nearly 50%. Amash is being backed by Amway and Michigan's Club For Growth and has recently put out media spots that highlight Ellis’ record on the East Grand Rapids school board. Ellis has released media spots about Amash’s voting congressional voting record.

The winner of the Republican ticket will face Bob Goodrich, a Democrat and president of Goodrich Quality Theaters.

There are two proposals on the line at this year's primary. Proposal 14-1, a state proposal, is trying to establish a small cut in state tax revenue in order to create a Local Stabilization Authority that will purportedly help municipalities create jobs. This will help local government use revenues better than state appointed money. 

The local proposal, entitled Millage for Senior Citizens Services, is a proposed .50 mill to go from 2014 to 2021. This would be an extension on a previous millage of .33 that was used for the same purpose. This millage would be 50 cents on every 1,000 of taxable real-estate.

"For an estimate of future taxes on a property recently purchased, or for a potential purchase, a good rule of thumb for taxable value is 50% of the purchase price or by using the property's Assessed Value/SEV for the taxable value," According the City of Grand Rapids. 

For an estimate of your property value, please use the Grand Rapids Property Tax Estimator.

Within Grand Rapids city there are also State Representative on both levels of legislative duty up for grabs. The Republican nominees for State Representative are Keith Allard, who considers Amash a mentor; Donijo DeJonge a professor at Grand Valley and Stan Milanowski, a former city comptroller. Imcumbent Winnie Brinks is the sole Democratic candidate.

The State Senator race for the 29th district has Democrats Lance Penny and Michael Struggs vying for the spot. David Hildenbrand servres as their Republican challenger. 

The 15th District County Commissioner race includes Republican nominee Theodore Nikodem and incumbent Democrat Jim Talen. 

Elections vary widely for local races, so be sure to check your own location on the Michigan Votes website. All of the candidates and proposals can be found there to serve as an example of what will be on the August 5 ballot. This will also show any additional candidates or ballot measures that may be for one specific area. 

To make sure you are registered and to find your polling location, visit Michigan Vote's Are You Registered page. 

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