HOLLAND — Republican Tudor Dixon of Norton Shores will be on the ballot in November to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer after winning GOP voters' support in Tuesday's statewide primary election.
Dixon, a conservative media personality and businesswoman, emerged as the winner from the field of five candidates, supported by West Michigan's wealthy and well-known DeVos family and a last-minute endorsement from former President Donald Trump.
Many other state and local races and ballot issues were decided Tuesday in the Holland area. Voters in the city of Holland passed a bond proposal to expand Holland Board of Public Works' fiber-optic broadband infrastructure to the whole city, and Republican voters kicked out sitting Republican Ottawa County commissioners in favor of the more conservative Ottawa Impact-backed choices.
Holland broadband bond passes by 213 votes
A bond proposal to lay fiber-optic cable throughout the city of Holland for high-speed internet access passed by a slim margin of just over 200 votes.
The proposal passed with 51.4 percent of the vote, 3,948-3,735, according to unofficial election night vote tallies.
The proposal authorizes Holland Board of Public Works to issue bonds of up to $30 million to build the network, which will be open-access, allowing for private internet service providers to offer internet over the fiber. HBPW may also offer its own internet packages to residents and businesses, as it already does in a limited area of downtown Holland.
The bond will be repaid by a property tax millage, estimated at about 1.12 mills over the next 25 years.
Thank you, Holland voters! Let’s get to work!
Our great @bpwbroadband can now expand our high-speed fiber broadband network city-wide! Our Future is Bright!
Local. Reliable. Efficient. Essential. #ThisIsHolland #OneHolland #OurFutureIsBright #AndWeGetToLiveHere @CityofHolland pic.twitter.com/XsUNPUs8HJ
— Holland’s Mayor Nathan Bocks (@NathanBocks) August 3, 2022
Huizenga unchallenged in Congressional primary
U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Holland Township, had an easy path to the November ballot with no Republican primary challengers. Huizenga represents Michigan's 4th Congressional District under the new districts created in the redistricting process in 2020-21.
The Democratic candidate in the 4th Congressional District, Joseph Alfonso, was disqualified after not collecting enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions. Alfonso filed as a write-in candidate and, if successful in the primary election, his name will appear on the November ballot opposite Huizenga's. Write-in results take longer to tabulate and are not typically immediately available.
State senators for Ottawa, Allegan counties sail through primaries
Incumbent state senators for Ottawa and Allegan counties had little trouble securing their nominations.
Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, and Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, both seeking their second terms in the Michigan Senate, easily defeated primary challengers in districts 31 and 20, respectively.
On the Democratic side of the ballot, Victory will face Kim Nagy in November and Nesbitt will face Kim Jorgensen Gane.
De Boer wins in 86th House District primary
Former Holland mayor Nancy De Boer will be the Republican nominee for the 86th Michigan House District, earning a majority of support from voters in the Holland area and securing the nomination over Seth Getz.
"I am just so grateful for the overwhelming support of the voters," De Boer said Wednesday. "I appreciate that they responded to having a commitment to conservative values, to fully funding our police, protecting life and revitalizing education with more options for high school students."
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press vote tally showed De Boer with 8,581 votes, 62.2 percent of the vote, to Getz's 5,213 votes. The 86th District includes the city of Holland and Park, Holland and Laketown townships.
"I just love this area so much," De Boer said. "For me, this is a calling, not a casual commitment."
Getz, who was a first-time political candidate, praised De Boer's "smart campaign" Wednesday and said he was disappointed in the result but heartened by what he learned talking to voters door-to-door.
"I realized how absolutely wonderful this community is and how great the people are here," Getz said.
De Boer will face off against Democratic candidate Larry Jackson in November.
Jackson released a statement late Tuesday night in response to De Boer's victory in the primary: "Let me be clear: This race is not about personal ideological victories, but about addressing the needs of this community we all call home. As a lifelong public servant, I understand the importance of putting others before self.
"As your next State Representative, I will always put the needs of the community above my own interests. Residents of the newly drawn 86th District are now faced with a clear choice in November. We can either elect a state representative who will continue to chart our future or someone who will do everything they can to take us back decades."
Smit is GOP nominee for 43rd state House
Rachelle Smit has emerged as winner of a four-way Republican primary in Michigan House District 43, which includes most of Allegan County.
Smit, a township clerk in Martin Township and dairy farmer, earned about 50 percent of the vote, unofficial vote tallies show, beating Lindsay Kronemeyer (32 percent), Phillip Joseph (15 percent) and Nevin Cooper-Keel. Smit was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
A lone Democratic candidate in the 43rd District, Mark Ludwig, will also be on the ballot in November.
Ottawa Impact candidates rout GOP incumbents in Ottawa County Commission primaries
In Ottawa County, a major shakeup on the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners occurred Tuesday as most of the board's 10 Republican commissioners have lost their seats to primary challengers.
Ottawa County Commission Republican primary results:
District 1: Gretchen Cosby 3,092 votes (52.2 percent), incumbent Frank Garcia 2,831 votes (47.8 percent)
District 2: Lucy Ebel 1,560 votes (56 percent), incumbent Joe Baumann 1,228 votes (44 percent)
District 4: Jacob Bonnema 3,415 votes (57.3 percent), incumbent Al Dannenberg 2,542 votes, (42.7 percent)
District 5: Joe Moss 5,203 votes (74 percent), incumbent Randy Meppelink 1,827 votes (26 percent)
District 7: Rebekah Curran 3,240 votes (60 percent), Gregory Steigenga 2,158 votes (40 percent)
District 8: Sylvia Rhodea 2,586 votes (71 percent), incumbent Greg DeJong 1,058 votes (29 percent)
District 9: Roger Belknap 3,026 votes (52.7 percent), incumbent Phil Kuyers 2,720 votes (47.3 percent)
District 10: Jenni Shepherd-Kelley 2,150 votes (40.4 percent), incumbent Roger Bergman 2,768 votes (52.1 percent), Thomas Elhart 399 votes (7.5 percent)
District 11: Allison Miedema 4,210 votes (69.2 percent), incumbent Matthew Fenske 1,878 votes (30.8 percent)
Democrat Doug Zylstra in District 3 and Republican Kyle Terpstra in District 6 were the only incumbent commissioners not targeted by Ottawa Impact. Republican candidate Daniela Garcia, not backed by Ottawa Impact, will challenge Zylstra in November to represent Holland (District 3) on the board.
A handful of Democratic candidates will be on the ballot in November in addition to Zylstra: Danielle Smith in District 1, Joe Spaulding in District 2 and Douglas VanBennekom in District 10.
Two Allegan County commissioners unseated
In a Republican primary shaped by the redistricting of the county commission districts last fall, two sitting Allegan County commissioners lost primary bids for reelection in Allegan County.
Allegan County's reapportionment committee reduced the number of county commission districts from seven to five in the new county map, effective as of this election cycle.
As a result, two Republican commissioners, Dean Kapenga and Tom Jessup, found themselves running against each other in the new 3rd district to try to retain their seats. Kapenga, now retired after 29 years at the Allegan County Sheriff's Office, won voters' support.
Another sitting commissioner, Max Thiele, lost to primary challenger Scott Beltman in a three-way race to represent the Allegan area.
Allegan County Commission GOP primary results:
District 1: Jim Storey 3,181 votes, Ron Walters 1,731 votes
District 2: Mark DeYoung 3,969 votes
District 3: Dean Kapenga 1,826 votes, Tom Jessup 908 votes
District 4: Scott Beltman 1,844 votes, Max Thiele 971 votes, Stephen Young 800 votes
District 5: Gale Dugan 2,727 votes
Two Democrats will join the five Republican nominees on the ballot in November: Don Doggendorf in District 3 and Austin Marsman in District 5.
Whiteford victor in close 38th state House District race
Kevin Whiteford won the Republican primary for the 38th state House District by fewer than 200 votes, according to Associated Press vote tallies.
Kevin Whiteford defeated second-place candidate George Lucas, with 4,240 votes to Lucas’s 4,051 votes as of Wednesday morning. Troy Rolling came third in the contest with 2,425 votes.
Whiteford owns Whiteford Wealth Management and Whiteford Properties Inc. and is the husband of State Rep. Mary Whiteford. Mary Whiteford is prevented by term limits from seeking reelection to the statehouse.
The 38th District stretches along the lakeshore from Saugatuck south to the Indiana-Michigan border.
Joey Andrews, of St. Joseph, was victorious in the Democratic primary for the 38th District, earning 54.4 percent of the votes as of vote tallies Wednesday morning.
County clerks report smooth-sailing election
Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski said the election was mostly smooth, other than a website issue believed to be a result of the county’s vendor performing site maintenance.
“We had a couple of glitches, our website went down,” Genetski said. “That’s out of our hands, I certainly don’t blame anyone involved with elections for that.
“Otherwise, we had a whole lot of new clerks working their first elections. I think a lot of them did a really good job. The transmitting from the local clerks to the county seemed to work just fine.”
The last of Allegan County’s results were posted around 2:30 a.m., Genetski said. He said having a large write-in campaign for a congressional seat — Joseph Alfonso in the 4th Congressional District Democratic primary — led to some results taking longer.
“That takes extra time in the precinct to collect, tally, take care of and handle before it can move forward,” Genetski said. “Overall, I’d say (results coming in) were probably about average, maybe even a little better.”
Turnout in Allegan County was 31 percent, which Genetski said is “a little higher than I would expect in a typical partisan primary.” He said a large number of candidates and redistricting could have played a part in the increased turnout.
Justin Roebuck, Ottawa County clerk, said the county had “a pretty good day overall” with Tuesday’s election. He did note a new feature on the county’s voting equipment that caused a little confusion.
“Basically, it’s a message that notifies a voter if one side, or both sides, of their ballot is blank,” Roebuck said. “Before, if you left the backside of the ballot blank, you wouldn’t necessarily get a message. Those messages were causing some confusion in the morning for some folks.”
A couple areas had trouble submitting results to the county wirelessly as well, but Ottawa County was able to post full, unofficial results by 12:30 a.m., which Roebuck said is typical for the county.
Turnout in Ottawa County was 34.1 percent, identical to the turnout in the August 2020 election. Roebuck said around 37,000 of Ottawa County’s 78,835 voters were voted by absentee ballot.
This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Primary election results from the Holland Sentinel