Primaries to narrow candidate field for November

STERLING HEIGHTS — In the Sentry’s coverage area, voters in the Aug. 2 primary election will choose party representatives to run in the Nov. 8 general election for the gubernatorial race, as well as numerous races for U.S. Congress and the Michigan Legislature.

Candidates were asked, in 75 words or fewer, to state their top goal(s) if elected. If a candidate went over the word limit, (…) replaces the rest of the answer. The answers are printed verbatim.

 

Governor of Michigan

One candidate is running for the Democratic nomination and six candidates, including a write-in candidate, are running for the Republican nomination to compete for one four-year term in November. The salary for the position is $159,300.

Democrat

Gretchen Whitmer

Running unopposed.

Republican

Tudor M. Dixon

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Ryan D. Kelley

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Ralph Rebandt

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired Pastor

Municipality of residence: Farmington Hills

For how long: 35 years

Online campaign information: ralphrebandtforgovernor.com

Education: B.R.E., M.A.R., M.Div.

Previously and currently held elected offices: No

Top goals: We are in a social and moral crisis. My goal is to bring back our Jude’s-Christian values, and together with truth, transparency, and accountability: ensure constitutional protections; make Michigan an open record state; secure election integrity; provide school choice; reduce taxes and budget; eliminate corporate welfare and reduce government agencies by involving faith based organization’s; and establish a Citizens Round Table.

Republican

Kevin Rinke

Age: 61

Occupation: Retired

Municipality of residence: Bloomfield Hills

For how long: Michigan born and raised. I built my home in Oakland County, was raised in Wayne County and worked in Macomb County.

Online campaign information: https://rinkeformichigan.com/

Education: Bachelor’s in Advertising with a minor in Statistics from Michigan State University

Previously and currently held elected offices: N/A

Top goals: As governor, I aim to make Michigan the best state in America. To do so, we must emulate what other successful states have done. I have called for the elimination of the state income tax by January 1, 2024. I want to create an economic climate that incentivizes businesses and workers to come to Michigan. I want to fix our education system, add vocational training to the common curriculum and get Michigan back on track.


Republican

Garrett Soldano

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

James Craig (Write-in)

Age: 65

Occupation: Served as Chief of Police in Portland, ME; Cincinnati, OH; and Detroit, MI. After eight years as Chief of Police in his hometown of Detroit and 44 years as a dedicated public servant, Craig retired in June 2021. After twenty-eight years with Los Angeles Police Department, the Chief rose through the ranks to Captain Three. 2 1/2 years as a Detroit Police Officer before being laid off.

Municipality of residence: Detroit, Michigan

For how long: Professional experience 44 years

Online campaign information: www.chiefjamescraig.com

Education: Craig graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1977, Obtained an undergraduate degree from West Coast University BS in Business and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in Public Administration, James Craig, started coursework in a Doctorate program UOP; however, he had to stop the program when appointed Police Chief in the city of Detroit.

Previously and currently held elected offices: NONE.

Top goals: James Craig is running for Governor of Michigan with a commitment to fix leadership in state government and institute an effective administration that fosters a collaborative environment to drive the vibrancy of the state’s economy, education, public safety, and communities. I will work to WIN as a write-in candidate.


U.S. House of Representatives District 10

Five candidates are running for the Democratic nomination and two candidates are running for the Republican nomination to compete for one two-year term in November. U.S. representatives earn a salary of $174,000.

Democrat

Huwaida Arraf

Age: 46

Occupation: Civil Rights Attorney

Municipality of residence: Macomb Township

For how long: 3 years

Online campaign information: huwaidaforcongress.com

Education: Juris Doctor

Previously and currently held elected offices: None

Top goals: Getting big money out of politics so that we can make this government and economy work for the masses, not just the wealthy, well-connected few. I will fight to keep abortion legal, pass gun safety laws to protect our communities, guarantee health care, create good jobs that pay a living wage, expand social security, provide a quality education to every child, and make corporate polluters pay to clean our air and water.

Democrat

Carl J. Marlinga

Age: 75

Occupation: Retired Circuit Court Judge

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: 40 years

Online campaign information: www.marlinga4congress.com

Education: Graduate University of Michigan Law School

Previously and currently held elected offices: Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney, 1985 – 2004; Macomb County Probate Judge, 2013-2016; Macomb County Circuit Court Judge, 2017 – February, 2022

Top goals: We must seriously address the price of gasoline and its affect upon overall inflation. We do this in the short term by authorizing a ceiling on profits that oil companies can make; but we also must move the economy to cheaper and cleaner forms of energy, harvesting the power of sun, wind, tides, and geothermal. We can create good paying union jobs by manufacturing the energy efficient products that will save our environment and provide cheap energy.

Democrat

Rhonda Powell

Age: 52

Occupation: Director of Operations

Municipality of residence: Mount Clemens

For how long: 20 years

Online campaign information: www.RhondaPowellforCongress.com

Education: MS Community Service, BA in Human Service

Previously and currently held elected offices: N/A

Top goals: Rhonda Powell is a 4th generation resident of Macomb County, a proven leader and advocate for the marginalized and vulnerable people Washington continues to leave behind. She will fight to ensure pre-K for all children, combat climate change, government accountability, protect reproductive and voting rights, and help working families not just get by, but get ahead.Rhonda Powell is a native of the 10th District that will represent the interest of fellow residents.

Democrat

Angela Rogensues

Age: 41

Occupation: Warren City Council, At Large Member

Municipality of residence: Warren, Michigan

For how long: 10 years

Online campaign information: www.angelaforuscongress.com

Education: Angela holds a Bachelor of Science in Health studies and Psychology from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in Educating Adults from DePaul University.

Previously and currently held elected offices: Warren City Council, At Large Member

Top goals: Angela will fight Republican efforts to limit contraception and other essential reproductive healthcare access. Work to bring good-paying, union manufacturing jobs to the district by rebuilding American supply chains and making more products in Michigan. Angela will also prioritize lowering the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare and expanding benefits to cover vision, hearing, and dental. Stand up to special interests and Republicans trying to cut Social Security and Medicare Benefits.

Democrat

Henry Yanez

Age: 64

Occupation: retired

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: 14 years

Online campaign information: Website – henryyanezforcongress.com, FB Page – facebook.com/citi zenyanez, Twitter – @CitizenYanez

Education: AAS in Fire Science and General Studies from Oakland Community College

Previously and currently held elected offices: I am currently a City Councilman for the City of Sterling Heights. Previously I held the position of State Representative for House District 25, Sterling Heights and Warren, for three terms.

Top goals:

1 – I’ll work for an economy that is fair for everyone by lowering the cost of health care and prescriptions, hold corporations accountable for price gouging during tough economic times and make education more affordable to alleviate student debt.

2 – Affordable healthcare for all is a must, people shouldn’t go bankrupt for getting sick.

3 – Protecting our environment to make sure we leave a healthy, productive planet for future generations.

Republican

John James

Age: 41

Occupation: President, James Group

Municipality of residence: Farmington Hills, Michigan

For how long: 20 years

Online campaign information: JohnJamesMI.com

Education: United States Military Academy, BS; University of Michigan, MBA; Pennsylvania State University, MS Supply Chain Management

Previously and currently held elected offices: None

Top goals: Tackling rising prices, promoting clean water and quality education, repatriating manufacturing.

I will help stop reckless policies in Washington that cause more expensive gas, food and essentials. We must stop relying on foreign goods and bring our critical supply chains back to the U.S. I will prioritize investment in our futures by keeping our water clean and protecting a parent’s right to educate their children where they will be safest and most successful.

Republican

Tony Marcinkewciz

Age: 27

Occupation: Software Engineer

Municipality of residence: Macomb County

For how long: 10 years

Online campaign information: tonyformi10.com

Education: Bachelors Of Science in Information Technology Concentrations in Web and Database Development

Minor in Political Science.

Previously and currently held elected offices: None

Top goals: – Build Back American Small Business

– Lockdown Accountability Hearings

– Stop Inflation

– Lower Gas Prices

– Defund DC


State Senate District 3

Two candidates are running for the Democratic nomination and no candidates are running for the Republican nomination to compete for one four-year term in

November. State senators earn a salary of $71,685.

Democrat

Stephanie Chang

Age: 38

Occupation: State Senator

Municipality of residence: Detroit

For how long: ~17 years

Online campaign information: www.stephaniechang.com

Education: BA in Psychology and Minor in APIA Studies, Master of Social Work, Master of Public Policy, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Previously and currently held elected offices: State Representative (2015-18), State Senator (2019-present)

Top goals: I will continue to work for an economy that works for everyone, quality education for all our kids, preventing flooding in our neighborhoods and ensuring clean air and water, fixing our roads and bridges, housing justice, a strong and fair justice system, gun violence prevention, and protecting reproductive freedom.

Democrat

Toinu Reeves

Age: 46

Occupation: Founder and Managing Director of two Nonprofits: Laescient.org and Socivisus.org; University of Michigan – Graduate Student Instructor – Graduate Employees’ Union Member

Municipality of residence: Detroit

For how long: 46 years

Online campaign information: toinu4statesenate.org

Education: Dartmouth College – AB Economics and Philosophy; Wayne State University – Graduate Mathematics Program; University of Michigan – MA Economics; University of Michigan – PhD Candidate Economics

Previously and currently held elected offices: N/A

Top goals: •Secure Money for Economic Development, Jobs, and Job Training

• Reduce Gun Violence

• Support Veterans and First Responders

• Expand Healthcare Coverage Including Mental Health

• Ensure Equitable Funding for Education

• Develop Prosperous and Diverse Communities

• Return the $600 Million in Excess Property Taxes to Detroit Residents by the City of Detroit following the 2007 crisis

• Ensure each local municipalities receives its fair share of State taxes

• Establish Environmental Justice

 


State Senate District 9

One candidate is running for the Democratic nomination and one candidate is running for the Republican nomination to compete for one four-year term in November. The salary for a state senator is $71,685.

Democrat

Padma Kuppa

Running unopposed.

Republican

Martin Howrylak

Running unopposed.

 


Michigan Senate District 10

One candidate is running for the Democratic nomination and two candidates are running for the Republican nomination to compete for one four-year term in

November. State senators earn a salary of $71,685.

Democrat

Paul Wojno

Running unopposed.

Republican

Joe Hunt

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Paul Smith

Age: 77

Occupation: Retired GM project manager

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: Detroit 1946 to 1966. Sterling Heights since 1977

Online campaign information: No answer given.

Education: Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from GMI in Flint. Masters of Science from CMU.

Previously and currently held elected offices: Sterling Heights City Council 2011 through 2013.

Top goals: To bring the governor under to control of the State Legislature, to reduce taxation and government intrusion into industry, business and people’s private lives.

To end abortion in the state of Michigan.

To impose term limits on ALL elected office, no more time in office than The President.

To ban oppressive local government dictatorships that use petitioning barriers and back room appointment to fill vacancies.

To treat all people as equal with no special favors.


 

State House of Representatives District 57

Two candidates are running in the Democratic primary and one candidate is running in the Republican primary to compete for one two-year term in November. State representatives earn a salary of $71,685.

Democrat

Aisha Farooqi

Age: 38

Occupation: Attorney

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: 21 years

Online campaign information: WWW.FAROOQIFOR57.COM

Education: University of Detroit Mercy-School of Law (JD). University of Michigan-Dearborn (B.A.).

Previously and currently held elected offices: None.

Top goals: 1. Supporting economic development and bringing good-paying jobs to our communities. 2. Improving our infrastructure. 3. Ensuring that our children receive an adequate and equitable public education. 4. Investing in community safety initiatives. 5. Protecting our environment and drinking water.

Democrat

Marcia Squier

Age: 47

Occupation: Valet Training Manager

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: Since 2018

Online campaign information: Hiresquier.com

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree, Psychology Major, Wayne State University, Class of 1997

Previously and currently held elected offices: Chairman & 2nd Vice President: Ingleside-Grossedale Park Association (2013-2018), St. Clair Shores, MI;  Secretary: Kennedy Middle School PTC (2014), Lakeshore Public Schools, St. Clair Shores, MI

Top goals:  Investment in the following 4 areas: Healthcare, Infrastructure, Renewables, Education. As a noncorporate candidate, I have zero conflicts of interest and believe we need to get big money out of politics. I support reproductive rights, the LGBT & BIPOC communities, secular government and common sense gun regulations.

Republican

Thomas E. Kuhn

Running unopposed.


 

State House of Representatives District 58

One candidate is running for the Democratic nomination and two candidates are running for the Republican nomination to compete for one two-year term in November. State representatives earn a salary of $71,685.

Democrat

Nate Shannon

Running unopposed.

Republican

Giovanni Ndrea

Did not return questionnaire by press time.

Republican

Michelle Smith

Age: 38

Occupation: Real Estate Appraiser

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: 2+ (Previously Warren for 7+)

Online campaign information: michelleformichigan.com

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Walsh College

Previously and currently held elected offices: None

Top goals: 1) Fight inflation, gas prices, supply chain concerns with conservative practices like reducing taxes and regulations. 2) Respect personal freedoms including medical decisions. 3) Advocate for parent rights, school choice, student opportunity scholarships, school security officers, updates to graduation standards and additional offerings like trades and cyber security to provide a well-trained workforce that businesses want. 4) Support our police.  5) Fix our roads & water & sewer systems by making it a budget priority.

 


State House of Representatives District 61

One candidate is running for the Democratic nomination and two candidates are running for the Republican nomination to compete for one two-year term in November. State representatives earn a salary of $71,685.

Democrat

Denise Mentzer

Running unopposed.

Republican

Mike Aiello

Age: 66

Occupation: Doctor of Chiropractic

Municipality of residence: Clinton Township

For how long: 20 plus years

Online campaign information: VOTEMIKEAIELLO.COM & Ballotpedia

Education: No answer given

Previously and currently held elected offices: No answer given.

Top goals:

Roll Back Gas Pump Prices:Open the Pipeines

Grow are Economy:Make Mchigan #1 Manufacturing

Rebuild our Power Grids & Infrastructure: No more Power Outages

Reduce ultilty cost to all households

No to all vaccine mandates

Equal Pay Equal Work: I will draft laws that will not discriminate wages verses gender

Protecting our Seniors: Zero Property taxes after 65

Zero Co-Pays on all prescription drugs

Voter Protection: One Person-One Vote

Republican

Austin Negipe

Age: 35

Occupation: Mortgage Loan Officer

Municipality of residence: Clinton Township

For how long: 28 years

Online campaign information: N/A

Education: Bachelors of Economics from Oakland University

Previously and currently held elected offices: N/A

Top goals: I strongly believe in the families of our community. I believe in the Bill of Rights and less government intervention. As a father of two young boys, I will help give our children more opportunities for a bright future. More parental input and less junk ideas in our schools. As an expert in business and finance, I will help bring new industries to our community. I love Macomb County and will proudly represent it.


 

Macomb County Executive

One candidate is running for the Democratic nomination and one candidate is running for the Republican nomination to compete for one four-year term in November. The executive earns a salary of $175,061.

Democrat

Mark A. Hackel

Running unopposed.

Republican

Nicholyn Brandenburg

Running unopposed.

 


 

Macomb County Board of Commissioners District 5

Two candidates are running for the Democratic nomination and three candidates are running for the Republican nomination to compete for one two-year term in November. Commissioners earn a salary of $35,704; the chair earns $91,809.

 

Democrat

Robert Mijac

Age: 51

Occupation: Small Business Owner, Mass Mailing LLC (located in Sterling Heights) and member of Communication Workers of America

Municipality of residence: STERLING HEIGHTS

For how long: 46 years

Online campaign information: www.VOTEMIJAC.com

Education: Master’s in Business (MBA) in Finance, Wayne State University.  BA in Economics, Michigan State University.  Sterling Heights High School and Grissom Jr High.

Previously and currently held elected offices: Macomb County Commissioner (1995 to 2010)(2012 to 2020) from Sterling Heights.

Top goals: Maintain a balanced budget while being a responsible steward of tax dollars.  Prioritize road and sewer infrastructure projects.  Protect senior citizens such as Martha T Berry county hospital and veterans services.

I am pro choice and support the “Reproductive Freedom for All” ballot proposal.  I support equal rights for all.  We must protect fair elections and voter integrity.

 

Democrat

Pashko Ujkic

Age: 41

Occupation: Small Business Owner (Dodge park coney island)

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: 25

Online campaign information: pashkoformacomb.com

Education: Business, Management

Previously and currently held elected offices: New Candidate

Top goals: -Public Safety more funding for a safer Sterling Heights.

-Fixing our Infrastructure which has been long overdue.

-Creating more Programs for our Seniors and Veterans.

-More funding for Mental Health Programs.

-Stopping any unnecessary Tax increases for my Residents.

Republican

Gary Lusk

Age: 63

Occupation: Sales and Marketing Consultant

Municipality of residence: Macomb

For how long: 63 yrs

Online campaign information: https://www.facebook.com/garyluskcountycommissioner

Education: Attended Macomb and Oakland Colleges

Previously and currently held elected offices: Sterling Heights City Council

Top goals: Bring the county operating budget to the residents. Currently the County Executive shares very little information with the elected county commissioners – which support the residents.

I will be completely transparent with district 5.

Republican

Jackie Ryan

Age: 60

Occupation: Self Employed

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: 24 years

Online campaign information: Ryan For Macomb (Facebook)

Education: Accounting and Business Degrees

Previously and currently held elected offices: Precinct Delegate

Top goals: As County Commissioner, my Top Goals are Accountability on Spending. Transparency Regarding the Budget and Responsible Management of the Taxpayers money. Common sense is most required when allocating expenses to each department in Macomb County. Infrastructure, such as roads, water and services can be lowered with better accountability of every penny that is spent. I would set up a communication system to reach out to the residents with information and hear their concerns.

Republican

Don VanSyckel

Age: No answer given.

Occupation: Macomb County Commissioner

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: 37 years

Online campaign information: www.vansyckel.com

Education: BS Electrical Engineering

Previously and currently held elected offices: no previous, current Macomb County Commissioner District 5

Top goals: Wise use of federal ARP monies to maintain and repair roads, underground infrastructure (no more sink holes), and other county properties.  Adjust budgets instead of raising taxes. Promote jobs in Macomb County in part by making Macomb County a desirable place to live and play.  Promote an equal opportunity environment for all residents.  Discuss with constituents what their concerns are.

 


Macomb County Board of Commissioners District 6

One candidate is running for the Democratic nomination and two candidates are running for the Republican nomination to compete for one two-year term in November. Commissioners earn a salary of $35,704; the chair earns $91,809.

Democrat

Carole Chi

Running unopposed.


Republican

Eric Briskey

Age: 53

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: since 2001

Online campaign information: No answer given.

Education: Studied engineering at Wayne State. Studied Business Administration and Construction Management at Macomb Community College.

Previously and currently held elected offices: Currently a precinct delegate.

Top goals: Additional funding for county roads.

Better design and build technologies for those roads.

Continue funding for County public safety.

Look for additional resources for County infrastructure such as drainage, especially in the south end where flooding can be a huge problem.

Most importantly, keep or reduce current tax rates. I believe that there is always room for improvement in our current budget. Look for redundancies in the budget and eliminate them.

Republican

Joseph V. Romano

Age: 80

Occupation: Real Estate Broker

Municipality of residence: Sterling Heights

For how long: 50 years

Online campaign information: None

Education: Macomb Community College

Previously and currently held elected offices: Sterling Heights City Council for 20 years, 5 ½ years as District 6 County Commissioner

Top goals: 1. Public safety is number one.

2. Additional funding for county roads that need repair or replacement now

3. Funding for mental health to help alleviate the opioid crisis.

4. Collaboration with our Lansing officials in order to reduce gas prices.

 



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