A former congressman is claiming victory in a race to be the top elected official in Bay County.
Jim Barcia (BAR'-sha) told supporters Tuesday night that he's won the Democratic nomination for county executive, defeating longtime incumbent Thomas Hickner. With no one running on the Republican side, Barcia has a clear path in the fall election.
Hickner tells The Bay City Times that he appreciates his supporters and will cooperate with Barcia during the year-end transition. He's been in charge of county government for nearly 24 years.

A lawmaker facing charges for allegedly submitting fraudulent pay stubs to secure a $3,000 loan in 2010 has won the Democratic primary for his Michigan House seat.
State Rep. Brian Banks of Harper Woods defeated five other candidates Tuesday and moves on to the November general election.
Banks was charged by Attorney General Bill Schuette's office in June. An investigator's affidavit says Banks sought a personal loan from a credit union.

A transgender woman has finished last in a race for township trustee in Kent County.
Gidget Groendyk ran in the Republican primary Tuesday in Sparta Township, a conservative community north of Grand Rapids. If elected, she had pledged to try to increase protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.
There were six Republican candidates for four seats on the township board. With no Democrats running, the winners will be unopposed in November.

A federal judge has ruled in favor of two former Michigan House aides who say they were illegally fired before a sex scandal broke in the Capitol. Judge Gordon Quist says Keith Allard and Ben Graham were engaged in protected activity under a whistleblower law when they reported wrongdoing by lawmakers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. 

Their lawsuit against the House can go forward. The aides were fired last July, shortly before an affair by Courser and Gamrat became public.

Wikimedia | Tom Arthur | CC BY 2.0

Three Republican candidates challenge longtime Kent County Sheriff Lawrence Stelma in Tuesday’s primary election.

Challengers include Timothy Lewis, a sheriff’s deputy and former county law enforcement union president.

Lewis filed to run for sheriff in 2012 but withdrew after Stelma decided to seek another term.

Three Democrat candidates are also on the Tuesday ballot against current Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler.

The sheriff seat has two Republican primary challengers.

Several contested state primary seats appear on west Michigan ballots on Tuesday.

Five Republican and two Democrat candidates will face off in Tuesday’s primary for Michigan’s 72nd District role.

The candidates include Noto’s Old World Italian owner Tony Noto, longtime Kentwood City Commissioner Robert Coughlin and former Kent County commissioner Bill Hirsch.

The 72nd seat is open due to legislative term limits. Current GOP Representative Ken Yonker completes his third and final term this year.

Cheyna Roth

During his speech at the Republican National Convention, Indiana Governor Mike Pence joked that most people probably don’t know him. 

Wikimedia | Tom Arthur | CC BY 2.0

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has taken the first step to appeal a court decision that lifted the state’s ban on voters using the straight-ticket option to vote for an entire party’s slate of candidates on the November ballot.

Schuette’s office filed a notice with the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is in the works.

The state’s legal team is working on a motion to block the judge’s order in time to get ballots printed in the fashion that Republicans would prefer – without the straight-ticket option for voters.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence will make campaign stops in two Michigan cities on Thursday.

Local organizers say the Indiana governor will be in the Grand Rapids area on Thursday for a town hall-type event.

Pence will also make an appearance in southeast Michigan.

The state GOP announced the Indiana governor’s visit on Monday evening.

The trip marks Pence's first public appearances in Michigan since being named to the ticket earlier this month.

GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump will also be in the Midwest this week.


Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit, and former Governor Jennifer Granholm are on the speakers list for the Democratic National Convention.

The three politicians are supporting presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, and some say they also want to promote the needs of their cities.

Duggan said in a statement that a continuing partnership with Clinton will help continue Detroit’s progress.