08-01-2018 Republicans fill ballot for the 21st and 26th District Senate seats; Primary County Commi

Republicans fill ballot for the 21st and 26th District Senate seats

By Annette Christie 21st District State Senate – Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties Kim LaSata was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016 and now seeks to be a State Senator for the 21st District which includes Berrien County. She graduated from Lake Michigan Catholic High School, has a Bachelor of Science degree, Cum Laude, from Western Michigan University, and a master’s degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Western Michigan. Kim and her husband have four children and reside in Bainbridge Township. Prior to being elected representative, she was a teacher.

Dave Pagel is three-term State Representative representing portions of Berrien and Cass counties. He and his family have deep ties to the Southwest Michigan community. He is the founder and owner of Dave Pagel Farms and Produce, which sells produce from farms statewide. He has owned and operated the produce portion of the business since 1978 and established the farm and apple orchard in 2004. Over the years they have created hundreds of jobs in our area.

26th District State Senate –includes Van Buren and Allegan counties Aric Nesbitt of Lawton is seeking the Senate seat. The former Representative is currently the state lottery commissioner. He had served three terms as a representative before he term limited in 2016. As a representative, Nesbitt led the effort to balance budgets; lower the state’s debt by $20 billion; eliminate nearly 2,300 government rules and regulations; end lifetime healthcare benefits for politicians; require able-bodied welfare recipients to work; and reduce the tax burden.

Bob Genetski of Saugatuck is also seeking the Senate seat. He is currently the Allegan County Clerk and Register of Deeds. He has a degree in education from Auburn University and a master’s degree in education from Grand Valley State University. He was elected to the Michigan House in 2008 and was re-elected for two more terms. His work experience includes sorting packages and loading trucks, corn de-tasseling, teaching and soccer coach.

Don Wickstra resides in Hamilton. He is a dentist by trade. He and his wife have two adult sons. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Hope College and completed his studies at the Loyola School of Dentistry. Wickstra has served on the Heath Township Planning Commission for 20 years. Wickstra is running to offer voters a choice on the ballot that is different than politics as usual. The same issues that are on political flyers (i.e. fix our roads, lower auto insurance rates, and reform welfare),

should have been fixed long before now with a Republican controlled state government for the last eight years. He believes that by better promoting conservative principles, and by adding an experienced, business-wise and servant-leader perspective to the Republican team, they can find ways to better respond to the real-world concerns. The victorious Republican candidate will face Democrat Garnet Lewis and Libertarian Erwin Haas in the November General Election.

Primary County Commission races… Hodge vs. Hinkelman and Chappell vs. Freestone

By Annette Christie Long-serving County Commissioners in both Berrien and Van Buren counties face opposition for their seat. Berrien County District 2 Jon Hinkelman of Watervliet is seeking his seventh term as the commissioner representing Watervliet City, Watervliet Township (south of I-94), Bainbridge Township, Pipestone Township, Eau Claire Village, and Berrien Township in Berrien County. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners since 2013.

Bill Hodge is currently the Bainbridge Township Supervisor. He is in the second year of a four-year term.

Van Buren County District 4 Richard Freestone of Bangor has been a County Commissioner for 20 years. District 4 includes Bangor Township, Hartford City, Hartford Township, and Keeler Township. Freestone is a lifelong resident and was a teacher in the Bangor School District for 31 years. He also served on the Bangor School Board prior to being elected to the County Commission. He and his wife have two adult children.

Mike Chappell is a resident of Hartford. He and his wife have three children. Chappell graduated from Hartford High School and the University of Northwestern Ohio. He is currently attending Kalamazoo Valley Community College. He is a retired administrator of Hartford Public Schools, a captain of the Hartford Fire Department and is a United States Air Force Veteran.


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