Saturday, November 04, 2006

Not just Jenny, Amos, Carmella, and Debbie: Other statewide candidates

Nancy White and Kathy White share more in common with each other than just surnames.

Both are professors - Nancy at CMU, Kathy at Wayne State - and voters in Isabella County will have the opportunity to vote for both of them on Tuesday.

Every two years, voters throughout the state elect two people to the U-M Board of Regents, MSU Board of Trustees, Wayne State Board of Governors, state Board of Education, and state Supreme Court. The top two vote-getters each serve eight-year terms.

U-M Board of of Regents: Democrats hold a 5-3 majority. US Army Major and Wayne State University law professor Kathy White was first elected to the U-M Board in 1998. Our other candidate for Regent, Julia Darlow, also has superb qualifications, having served as the first female president of the Michigan Bar, and as a member of the Marygrove College Board of Trustees, among many other qualifications. Republican incumbent David Brandon, meanwhile, is Dick DeVos’s campaign manager.

MSU Board of Trustees: The incumbents, Dave Porteous and Dee Cook, are both Republicans. The GOP has a 5-3 majority on this board; however, if Democrats Faylene Owen (wife of former East Lansing Mayor and 1998 gubernatorial candidate Larry Owen) and George Perles (the former MSU football coach and athletic director) knock off the incumbents, the Democrats will win control.

WSU Board of Trustees: Democrats have a chance to build on their nice 6-2 advantage on this board, especially with Republican incumbent Elizabeth Hardy stepping down. Incumbent Democrat and attorney Eugene Driker was appointed to the board in December 2002 by John Engler. An advocate for women, healthcare, and affirmative action, Debbie Dingell (the wife of the most senior member of the US House of Representatives) has extensive experience that extends from chairing Gore’s Michigan campaign to serving as Vice Chair of the General Motors Foundation.

Michigan Board of Education: The Democrats hold a 5-3 majority on this board, having lost a seat in 2004 by just a few thousand votes. Reginald Turner, a law partner with Clark Hill PC. Casandra Ulbrich works at Wayne State and has been a grassroots organizer for the Democratic Party for many years. Incumbent Republican Eileen Weiser’s husband was a US Ambassador in Bush’s first term, while the other Republican candidate, Tom McMillin, is a far-right Christian Coalition activist.

Supreme Court: Though officially a nonpartisan position, Supreme Court Justices are nominated at each party’s fall convention. Five incumbent justices are Republican nominees, while Democrats nominated two justices. Democrats have renominated Justice Michael Cavanagh, the longest-serving justice on the court. Grand Rapids attorney Jane Beckering, recently named one of the "100 Best Lawyers in America," was also nominated at the Democratic Convention. Justice Maura Corrigan is running for re-election.

So when you go to the polls Tuesday, remember three things: Vote a straight Democratic ticket; Cavanagh and Beckering for Supreme Court, and NO on Proposal 2!


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