Michigan Democrats hope to win back seats in the state House of Representatives this election. To do that, they’ll need to win districts like northern Michigan’s 101st, which was last won by a Democrat a decade ago.
The 101st runs along Lake Michigan from Ludington to Northport. Republican Rep. Curt VanderWall holds the seat now, but has decided to run for the state Senate. That leaves an opening for the two Democrats in the race, Kathy Wiejaczka and Edward Hoogterp.
"I’m running because I want the state of Michigan to pass laws that protect the environment and that help people lead good, prosperous lives,” Hoogterp said in an interview with IPR News Radio.
Hoogterp is the Benzie County Drain Commissioner, a part-time environmental consultant and a retired journalist.
He says he wants to increase school funding, invest in infrastructure and find ways to keep young families from leaving the area.
“I’m going to concentrate on problems and solutions, as opposed to labels and personalities,” says Hoogterp.
On the Democratic side, Kathy Wiejaczka of Empire is also running. The registered nurse recently retired from the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District.
Two Republicans will be on the primary ballot this August. Longtime WTCM-FM radio host Jack O'Malley announced his candidacy in March. O'Malley lives in Lake Ann.
Carolyn Cater of Ludington is also running.