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Primary election narrows candidate pool for fall

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Kent County has 250 voting precincts.

Kent County has 250 voting precincts. /Denise Cross

Republican candidates outnumbered Democrats in West Michigan in the August 3 primary electon but, as always, only one from each party was chosen once the votes were counted.


Republican candidate Pete Hoekstra was the leading vote getter in the race for the governor's seat in Kent County, beating out Rick Snyder, Mike Bouchard, Mike Cox and Tom George, but statewide he lost to Snyder. Snyder will face Democratic Party winner Virg Bernero, who outran Andy Dillon, in the fall.

U.S. House of Representatives

For the U.S. House of Representatives 3rd Congressional District seat vacated by Vern Ehlers, the top Republican vote getter was Justin Amash, garnering 30,832 votes and beating Steve Heacock (21,991), Bill Hardiman (20,254), Bob Overbeek (3,627) and Louise E. Johnson (2,559). On the Democratic Party ticket, Pat Miles defeated Paul Mayhue 12,365-5,633.

State Senate

For Michigan's 29th District State Senate seat, Dave Hildenbrand won the Republican primary with 18,002 votes, beating out Judith Kapteyn (1,069) and Lori Wiersma (10,150). Democrats picked David LaGrand garnering 6,370 votes over Robert Dean's 4,566. The 29th District seat race is for a 4-year term and covers part of Kent County, including Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Lowell and Cascade, Grattan, Lowell, and Vergennes townships.

State House of Representatives

In the 75th District State Representative race, Republicans chose Bing Goei (5,141) over Jordan Bush (3,915). Democrat Brandon Dillon was unopposed.

In the 76th District, Republican Marc A. Tonnemacher and Democrat Roy Schmidt both ran unopposed and will face of again in the fall.

Kent County Commission (map)

In the 11th District Democrat Russell Duffin ran unopposed and will square off against Republican top vote getter Jim Saalfield (3,309), who beat Eileen McNeil (2,035) and Eric Paul Kirby (487).

In the 14th District race, Democratic candidate Carol M. Hennessy and Republican candidate Jerri A. Schmidt ran unopposed and will appear again on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Both Candidates in the 15th District, Democrat Dick Bulkowski and Republican Casey J. O'Neill, ran unopposed and will face each other in the fall.

The 16th District race saw Republican Eric M. Baxter run unopposed, while the Democratic Party's top vote getter was incumbent Jim Talen (980), who beat Michael Scruggs (274).

In the 17th District, Republican Theodore Nikodem ran unopposed and will run against Democrat Candace Chivis (792), who beat Jim Vaughn (644), in the fall.

Democratic candidate Richard Thomas Tormala ran unopposed in the 18th District, while Republicans chose Dan Koorndyk (1,934) over Shaula Johnston (851).

In the 19th District, Democrat Bob Synk ran unopposed. Republican Shana Shroll (1,961) beat out Jason Budd (890) and Tom Baranoski (727).

Disclosure: Election results were culled from Access Kent ( and Election Magic (

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 Bill Hardiman is the term-limited incumbent for the 29th District State Senate seat, there is no Democratic incumbent.

Good catch, I'm not sure what I was thinking there.