top of page

11-08-2018 Statewide voters vote opposite Berrien and Van Buren voters; Democrats take Governor, S

MICHELE COY of Michele Coy Enterprises was guest speaker at a recent meeting of the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club. Michele is a coach, speaker and personal development and leadership trainer with the John Maxwell Team. She offers a wide range of personal and business coaching as well personal development and leadership training for all ages. Her passion lies in empowering the children of today to be the leaders of tomorrow and empowering women to be leaders not only in their home but within their workplace and community. Personal development training includes one-on-one coaching with individuals to help them get past the place that they are stuck, such as procrastination, and group training using various John Maxwell books. Leadership Training is a combination of one-on-one coaching, lunch and learn presentations, workshops, and playing the Leadership Game. Leadership Training for youth include: reading “Be Kind” to elementary school children and discussing how to be kind with one another, the new iChoose curriculum targeted at youth in grades 6th – 8th that focuses on how our values lead us to make our choices, and personal growth training, learning from our mistakes (or failures), and the Leadership Game for Youth. Paw Paw Lake Rotary meets Wednesday’s at 12:15 p.m. at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet. Pictured are (from the left): Penny Moss, Rotary Member, Michele Coy, and Jordan Ness, Rotary President.

Statewide voters vote opposite Berrien and Van Buren  voters; Democrats take Governor, Secretary of State,  Attorney General… LaSata, Nesbitt, and Wendzel elected

By Annette Christie Democratic voters in the State of Michigan had many reasons to celebrate as race by race they were called with the Democrats on top. Gretchen Whitmer and her running mate Garlin Gelchrist II will be making their home at the Capital come January. At last tallies, Whitmer had 53.01% of the vote to Bill Schuette’s tally of 44.1%. Schuette placed the concession call to Whitmer. Whitmer is a former State Representative from the 69th District, Michigan State Senator from the 23rd District, and Ingham County Prosecutor. She holds degrees from Michigan State University and the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University. She was raised in Grand Rapids and East Lansing. She attended public schools and universities. Secretary of State Democrat Jocelyn Benson was victorious over Mary Treder Lang for the Secretary of State seat. The position serves as the chief motor vehicle administrator and chief election officer for the State and also maintains the state’s official repository of records. The person in this position certifies documents as the Keeper of the Great Seal. Benson is the CEO and President of Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. She is a graduate of Wellesley College Harvard Law School. She has over a decade of experience as a national leader in election law and administration. She and her husband have one child and they reside in Detroit. Attorney General The Attorney General is in charge of prosecuting the laws of the State of Michigan. Republican Tom Leonard was defeated by Democrat Dana Nessel. Nessel is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received her law degree from Wayne State University. She has served as the Assistant Prosecutor in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. She is the President and Founder of the Fair Michigan Foundation, a task force that investigates and prosecutes hate crimes. Upton defeats Longjohn for U.S. House District 6 In the fight for Michigan’s U.S. House District 6 which includes all of Van Buren and Berrien counties as well as Allegan, Kalamazoo, Cass, and St. Joseph counties, it was very close for most of the night. With 90.75% of the precincts reporting, Republican Fred Upton has retained his seat with 49.85% of the vote. Upton, 65, will begin his 17th term as a representative. He was first elected in 1986. A graduate of the University of Michigan, prior to Congress he served under President Ronald Reagan in the Office of Management & Budget. He has served as the Chairman of the House, Energy, and Commerce Committee. His focus remains on legislation to encourage job creation, protect the taxpayers, help the community of Southwest Michigan, and enhance the quality of life. He and his wife Amey have two children. They reside in St. Joseph.

U.S. Senator Long serving Democrat Debbie Stabenow will continue to serve following the battle with Republican John James. This was another nail biter up until it was called. At the point that the election was called, Stabenow had 51.79% of the votes. Debbie Stabenow is starting her fourth term. She holds degrees from Michigan State University. She was the first woman elected to the United States Senate from Michigan. She seeks to help to create jobs in our state. The first bill she passed banned oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes and she authored the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative which has led to cleaning up the waters around the area. She resides in East Lansing. State Senator – 21st District Kim LaSata defeated Ian Haight for the State Senator seat 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. Currently a representative, she worked to raise the personal exemption on Michigan’s personal income tax from $4,000 to $4,900 by 2021, saving $170 per person per year on state income taxes. She voted to reduce and eventually eliminate Michigan’s Personal Income Tax. While she voted for a plan to lower auto insurance rates and provide greater choices for drivers in Michigan, that effort failed due to a lack of votes to pass. LaSata, however, states that she remains committed to delivering a meaningful rate reduction. State Senator – 26th District Former Representative and Lottery Commissioner Aric Nesbitt of Lawton secured the Senate seat for the 26th District. He had served three terms as a representative before term limiting 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. Nesbitt grew up on a six-generation family farm in Van Buren County. Following graduation from Lawton Community Schools, he obtained a degree in economics from Hillsdale College and a master’s degree in international business. He and his wife still reside in Lawton.

State Representative – 79th District Republican Pauline Wendzel defeated Democrat Joey Andrews for the 79th District seat. Wendzel is a lifelong Watervliet resident from a 4th generation Bainbridge Township farming family. She is actively involved in both her alumni, Watervliet High School and Michigan State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Food Industry Marketing. She has served the community as the Programs Director at the North Berrien Historical Museum and is currently the product brand development manager at Coloma Frozen Foods. Wendzel believes in the importance of conservative family values and is dedicated to bringing people together for the improvement of the community. At the top of her agenda is improving the infrastructure, continuing development in education and vocational training along with protecting our rich agricultural heritage while promoting our future. State Representative – 66th District Republican Beth Griffin was victorious in seeking another term as State Representative of the 66th District. Prior to election at the state level she served on the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners. She has also been a teacher. She has a master’s degree from Old Dominion University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University-Purdue University of Ft. Wayne. She and her husband have two children and reside in Mattawan. She and her husband own Premco Financial Corp. Her opponent was Democrat Dan Siebert.

bottom of page