Familiar names already on list for Lapeer County races


TRI-CITY AREA — Just under two weeks remain for public office candidates to file for upcoming elections.

April 19 is the deadline for partisan and non-partisan candidates to file the proper paperwork with county clerks or the state’s Bureau of Elections for the August primary election. That task must be completed by 4 p.m. that day according to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.

In Lapeer County, many familiar names have already thrown their hat in the ring for various contests, according to a candidate listing from the Lapeer County Clerk’s office current as of April 4. All candidates as of that time were Republican.

Gary Howell, Lapeer County’s current state representative in the 82nd District, has set his sights on a county commission seat. He’s running in District 2 against incumbent Gary Roy, the commission’s current chairperson.

Howell cannot seek reelection as state rep due to term limits.

The second district includes Goodland, Burnside, North Branch, Burlington, Rich and a portion of Deerfield township.

There will be a second Howell on the ballot too. Gary’s son, John, has filed to run for a seat on the Lapeer County Road Commission. Howell, who’s currently Arcadia Township supervisor, is the only challenger to current board member Les Nichols who’s seeking reelection to the three-member commission.

Ian Kempf, who stepped down from the commission last year after 20 years of service, is looking to reclaim his former job. He’s one of three candidates seeking a two-year term. The others are Katie Jostock-Poniatowski of Attica and Truman Mast of Imlay City. On his candidate filing, Kempf listed an Attica address.

Kempf previously represented the seventh district but due to redistricting is running in the fifth district which includes half of Attica, Imlay and Arcadia townships and the city of Imlay City.

Bryan Zender, Kempf’s successor in the seventh district, is seeking reelection and as of April 4 was not being challenged. District Seven now includes Almont and Dryden townships.

Residents in the western half of Attica Township will be voting with their neighbors in Metamora and a portion of Lapeer Township for the sixth district commission seat. Three Republicans—David Eady of Metamora, William Hamilton of Lapeer and Gregory Wise of Metamora—have filed for the election. Eady previously served on the board.

Those seeking one of several state representative seats in newly drawn districts will be asked to file at the state level.

According to the St. Clair County Clerk’s office, only a handful of candidates have filed for county commission seats.

In District 1, former commissioner Steve Simasko is the only candidate to have filed as of April 5. The Republican stepped down from his post some years ago and Greg McConnell, who currently holds the job, was appointed as his successor. The first district encompasses the village of Capac and Mussey and Lynn townships, among others.

In District 6, Bill Gilmer is challenging incumbent Dave Rushing. Both are Republicans. The district includes Berlin Twp.