By Simon Albaugh
Hamtramck, Mich. – Next week, August 4 marks the election for a controversial primary. A huge swath of candidates have named themselves as the next possible State Representative for Hamtramck and Detroit’s District 4 seat in Lansing. Along with that, the vote to approve a millage of $35 million for Hamtramck Public Schools has also drawn intense debate from members of the community.
“This is important because this August election basically determines who will represent this district,” said Hamtramck City Clerk August Gitschlag.
But before the election, it’s important to know who’s on the ballot. That’s why we’ve provided a full list of what’s on the ballot and who’s running.
What Proposals Will We Vote On?
Wayne County Proposal O
Proposal O is an operating Millage Renewal that seeks to continue taxes at $0.95 for each $1,000 of taxable value. It will provide support for Wayne County Services like Medical Needs for the Poor and Criminal Justice Programs.
Wayne County Proposal P
Proposal P is a Parks Millage Renewal that seeks to continue taxes at $0.25 for each $1,000 of taxable value. The Millage will support Wayne County’s upkeep and improvements on parks throughout the 43 communities, including Chandler Park in Detroit.
Hamtramck Public Schools Bond Proposal
The City of Hamtramck is seeking a tax of about $7.00 for each $1,000 in taxable value. The Millage will provide infrastructure updates for Hamtramck Public School buildings including updated bathrooms. The duration of the millage’s taxes will be complete in 2050.
Who’s Running for What?
On the Partisan Section of the Ballot, you’ll see that the voting is organized by Office. For all but one of the offices, you’ll be able to either vote for, or write-in the candidate of your choice. Here’s what offices are up for vote:
United States Senator
For the Democratic Party, there’s incumbent Gary Peters, who has represented Michigan since 2015. Originally a 14th District congressional representative, Peters has represented Hamtramck and its surrounding areas since 2013.
Going up against Peters is Republican John James, a staple in Michigan’s conservative politics. In his last attempt at the Michigan Senate, James was famously endorsed by President Donald Trump, as well as possibly being appointed the United Nations Ambassador after Nikki Haley left the position.
Representative in Congress 14th District
On the Democratic Party side of the Ballot, there’s Incumbent Brenda Lawrence, who has served the 14th District as Congressmember since 2015. Her Democratic Challenger is Terrance Morrison, a repeat challenger for the seat after a 2016 defeat.
On the Republican side, there’s Daryle F Houston II, an attorney and former Wayne County Domestic Violence Assistant Prosecutor. Robert Vance Patrick is also running based on his experience as a construction contractor and one of the central figures that helped reopen the Belle Isle Aquarium.
Representative in State Legislature 4th District
Although there’s too many candidates for this position to go into detail, we will name all the candidates who are running. After the untimely death of Representative Isaac Robinson, the seat is open for both completing Isaac Robinson’s term and for the next term.
Here’s everyone who is running from the Democratic Party: Abraham Aiyash, Anthony Ali, Christopher L. Collins, Delorean Holmes, Frazier H. Kimpson, Darwood Navarro, Michele Oberholtzer, Tonya Myers Phillips, Gregory W. Reyner, Abraham D. Shaw, Tawanna Simpson, Sigmunt John Szczepkowski, Jr., and Shahab Ahmed.
On the Republican Side, Howard Weathington is also running.
Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney
Although no Republicans are running for this position, the race between Incumbent Kym Worthy and challenger Victoria Burton-Harris has become a heated campaign.
Under Kym Worthy’s leadership, a number of important programs have contributed to Wayne County’s Criminal Justice System. One of those programs led to the testing of more than 11,000 rape kits, leading to hundreds of convictions.
Burton-Harris is a criminal justice advocate and attorney working to unseat Prosecutor Worthy as part of a broader push for more progressive policies like ending cash bail and ending the War on Drugs.
Wayne County Sheriff
T.P. Nykoriak is a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, just outside of Hamtramck.
Next, there’s Charles Corney II, who says his focus will be on Jail Reform, and the various police departments’ relationship with the school systems and communities.
Wayne County’s Sheriff position has been held by Benny N. Napoleon since 2009. He also served as Detroit Police Chief from 1998-2001.
Wayne County Clerk
The County Clerk is responsible for a number of things all stemming from the goal of keeping records for the County. There are only two people running for the position; Incumbent Cathy M. Garrett for the Democratic Party and Dylan M. Gomula for the Republican Party.
Cathy M. Garrett has lead the County Clerk’s office since 2008. In 2016, she won the election by more than 98% of the vote.
Gomula, at 27 years old, wants to lead the County Clerk’s Office in order to improve processing time and customer service, as well as making certain services available 24/7.
Wayne County Treasurer
The County Treasurer is responsible for the collection and disbursement of taxes, as well as any investments of the County’s funds. The office has been headed by Treasurer Eric R. Sabree since 2016.
Going up against Sabree are Angelo S. Brown, Beverly Kindle-Walker along with Anthony Wozniak for the Republican side.
Wayne County Register of Deeds
This office oversees the library of land records for the county, providing information on its usage and other factors. The library goes all the way back to 1703, and is currently overseen by Wayne County Register of Deeds Bernard J. Youngblood.
Going up against Youngblood is Ricardo R. Moore and Parker Burns. Moore is looking to make vast changes to the city of Detroit, like an Indoor Aquarium and an indoor amusement park. While Burns, running as a Republican, is looking for pragmatic solutions to problems like processing times and costs.
Wayne County Commissioner 3rd District
The field for Wayne County Commissioner is exclusively Democratic this election year. Up for reelection is Martha G. Scott, who has represented Wayne County’s 3rd District since 2010. Before her most recent position, she’s worked as a State Senator for Michigan’s 2nd District from 2001 to 2010.
Scott’s Challenger, Mohammed Hassan was a City Council Member in Hamtramck before choosing to run for 3rd District County Commissioner.
Delegate to Wayne County Convention
There are currently no candidates who are running to be a Delegate to the County Convention.
On the Nonpartisan Section, the only positions up for vote are two open seats as Judges of the 3rd Circuit Court. This is the largest court circuit in Michigan, with 58 judges and three operating divisions. They have jurisdiction over Civil, Criminal and Family Matters in Wayne County.
The people running to be judges on this court are: Frank Simone, Chandra W. Baker, Deana Beard, Nicholas John Hathaway, Shakira Lynn Hawkins and Mary Beth Kelly.