Record number of dems running for office in Grand Traverse County, but local GOP ‘not worried’

Apr 22, 2020

A polling place in Grand Traverse County.
Credit Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

More Democrats are running for office in Grand Traverse County than ever before, says the local Democratic chair.

Democrats will run for seats in county government, including board of commissioners and township trustee, according to a press release.

“There is a lot of energy … for change, transparency and a different form of government than what everybody seems to be used to,” says Grand Traverse County Democrat Party Chair Chris Cracchiolo.

Grand Traverse County, which typically elects Republicans to local, state and national offices, is changing demographically and becoming more Democratic, Cracchiolo says.

In 2018 two Democrats won seats on the Grand Traverse County commission and Democrat Dan O’Neil came within 350 votes of unseating Republican incumbent Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) for state house.

This time around Democrats will run for six spots on the county commission, 11 more are running for various township trustees and one Democrat is running for county sheriff.

Grand Traverse County GOP Chair Hader Kazim admits the county is changing but says it is still a Republican stronghold and will remain so in 2020.

“There are certain pockets within Grand Traverse County that have no doubt undergone demographic change,” Kazim says. “The county as a whole remains predominantly Republican.”