Two of the four races for Washtenaw County districts in the Michigan House of Representatives will have challenges in the Aug. 7, 2012 primary, as last-minute filings before the May 15 4 p.m. deadline added candidates to the field.
Incumbent Democrat Jeff Irwin of District 53 will face Democratic challenger Thomas Partridge on Aug. 7. Partridge, who has unsuccessfully run for various public offices in the past, is a frequent public commentary at meetings of the Ann Arbor city council, Washtenaw County board of commissioners and other public entities. Also filing for that office is Republican John Spisak, who does not face a challenge in the primary. The district represents most of Ann Arbor, and has long been a Democratic stronghold.
In District 52, covering western portions of Washtenaw County, incumbent Republican Mark Ouimet is unchallenged in the primary, but will face Democrat Gretchen Driskell in the Nov. 6 general election. Driskell is currently mayor of Saline, and is also unopposed in the Aug. 7 primary.
Incumbent Democrat David Rutledge of District 54 – on the county’s east side – is unopposed in the primary, as is his Republican challenger for the general election, Bill Emmerich of Ypsilanti Township. Rutledge also is a resident of Ypsilanti Township.
There are no incumbents running in District 55, where two Democrats – Adam Zemke of Ann Arbor and Andrea Brown-Harrison of Pittsfield Township – will compete in the Aug. 7 primary. The sole Republican candidate is Owen Diaz, former mayor of Milan. Redistricting has shifted the political makeup of that district, making it more heavily Democratic. The seat is currently held by Republican Rick Olson, who is not seeking re-election.
State representatives serve two-year terms. More information about the candidates is available on the Washtenaw County elections website.