Crawford County voters will help decide two contested state races which cover the area
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Four Republican candidates are vying for the sprawling 35th State Senate District, which includes Crawford County, on the Tuesday, Aug. 7, primary election ballot.
The 35th State Senate District covers Benzie, Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, and Wexford counties.
The term for the seat is for four years.
Three candidates who have backgrounds as politicians are running, as well as one candidate with no political experience.
Ray Franz, 70, lives in Onekama, where he served for 30 years on the village council. His experience includes three terms as a state representative for the 101st House of Representatives District, which covers Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, and Mason counties.
Franz also served as deputy township supervisor. The Vietnam veteran has two grown sons.
Bruce Rendon, 66, lives in Lake City and is married to state Rep. Daire Rendon. The couple have two grown daughters.
Bruce served three terms as the 103rd State House Representative, which covers, Missaukee, Crawford, Kalkaska, Roscommon, and Ogemaw counties.
Bruce is a past-president of the Michigan Association of Home Builders and most recently served as a consultant for the Michigan Association of Timbermen. He also worked as a builder and dairy farmer.
Cary Urka, 58, lives near Brethren and has three young children. His experience includes time in the construction industry.
For the last 30 years, Urka has worked on a family-owned strawberry farm, Urka Farms. He has no elected office experience, but was a 2016 Republican candidate for the 101st District House of Representatives seat.
Curt VanderWall, 56, is the state’s 101st District Representative and lives near Ludington. He and wife Diane have three children, two who still live at home. He also served as a Mason County Commissioner, including time as chairman of the board.
VanderWall owns Turf Care Mole Man of Ludington, a pest control and landscaping business.
The winner of the race will go on to face opponents on the Tuesday, Nov. 7, general election ballot.
Mike Talliard is running for the State Senate seat as a Democrat, while Timothy Coon is running as a Libertarian.
In the race for 103rd House of Representatives Seat, two Democrats are vying for the position on the Aug. 7 primary election ballot. The term is for two years.
Steve Loomis, 60, lives in West Branch and is a retired small business lender who worked throughout northern Michigan. He serves on the Ogemaw County Economic Development Corporation, and has no elected office experience. He and wife Donna have two school-age boys.
Tim Schaiberger, 38, lives in West Branch with his school-age daughter. He serves on the city council and owns his own web and social media business. He is a former executive director of Ogemaw Kids Club and a former substitute teacher.
The winner will go on to face Rep. Daire Rendon on the Nov. 7 primary election ballot. She is seeking her second term.
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.