Betsy Coffia

David Cassleman

Democrats have struggled to find candidates to run for office in Grand Traverse County. 

In recent elections, Democrats let most seats on the county Board of Commissioners go unchallenged. 

Betsy Coffia for State Representative

Democrat Betsy Coffia is again rejecting fundraising contributions from political action committees and the Democratic Party during her campaign to become Grand Traverse County’s next state representative. Coffia is an outspoken advocate for campaign finance reform.

“This is an easy talking point,” Coffia told IPR News Radio in an interview earlier this month, “ … but it’s a very different thing to walk the walk.”

An extended interview with Coffia is available at the bottom of the story.

Coffia, who won 47 percent of the district’s vote in 2014, is only accepting fundraising dollars from individual donors. She says Michigan is in a state of severe political crisis because of the influence of large political spenders.

“What it really comes down to is a state government where we have elected officials who are more accountable to their special interest donors and their party bosses … than they are to the voters,” Coffia says.

Election Results - November 2014

Nov 5, 2014
Aaron Selbig

CORRECTION: Earlier copy stated Franz victory margin was less than one tenth of a percentage point when it is actually less than one percentage point. We apologize for the error.

UPDATE: 11/05 6:00 AM

Republican Ray Franz has won a third term in Lansing by less than one percent of the vote. Franz had about 320 more votes than Democrat Tom Stobie in the race for Michigan's 101st House District.

The race for Grand Traverse County’s state house seat is open for the first time since 2008.

So far the campaign has been a relatively polite affair, but the two candidates are appealing to voters in totally different ways.


Linda Stephan

Betsy Coffia has entered the race to represent Grand Traverse County in the state House starting in 2015. The democrat made the announcement Monday night in Traverse City before a crowd of 40 supporters.

“365 days from today, we go to the polls,” she said. “I am so honored and excited and honored to have each of you here as I announce my candidacy for the 104th state House of Representatives for Grand Traverse County.”