Gov. Whitmer in Traverse City to support O'Neil for state house race

Feb 28, 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer at a fundraiser for State House Candidate Dan O'Neil.
Credit Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was in Traverse City Friday to support Democratic State House candidate Dan O'Neil. She spoke to donors at a fundraiser at the Park Place Hotel. 

Whitmer says if Democrats flip the 104th District, which includes Grand Traverse County, they could win a majority in the state house.

"This is one seat that the Democrats depend on to ensure that we're in a position to set the agenda," Whitmer says.

O'Neil, a Traverse City attorney, lost to incumbent Republican Larry Inman by 349 votes in 2018.

Inman is term-limited and will vacate the office in December 2020. He currently faces two corruption charges and was acquitted of a third last year.

Former Grand Traverse County GOP chair John Roth is also running for the 104th.

"We need some honesty and transparency in that seat," Roth said in an interview with IPR last week.

Roth says the district typically votes Republican, and expects that to continue in 2020.

Aside from chairing the local GOP party, Roth was also on the Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Commission for six years and board chair for four of those years. 

 

Roth is also the marina manager at Bowers Harbor Yacht Club in Traverse City.

More candidates could enter the race before the filing deadline on April 21.