April 20, 2020
By Jon King / firstname.lastname@example.org
A full slate of nine Democratic candidates is running for seats on the Livingston County Commission in the 2020 election.
According to a release from the Livingston County Democratic Party, the nine candidates include a farmer, teachers, a banker, a lawyer, a home repair specialist, a stay-at-home mom with expertise in parks and recreation, a health care worker, and a band leader. The top priorities for the slate include improved transportation, expanded services for seniors, protecting Livingston County’s water and environment, better roads, and bringing new viewpoints to the county board.
In District 1, which covers the northern two-thirds of Brighton Township and all of the city of Brighton, Bob Sexton, a county resident for more than 20 years is running against Republican incumbent Kate Lawrence. Sexton, a teacher at Fowlerville High School, was president of the Fowlerville Education Association and helped negotiate teacher contracts.
Jennifer Garcia is running in District 2, which includes Deerfield Township, Oceola Township, and the southwest corner of Hartland Township. Garcia, a physical education teacher in Ann Arbor Public Schools, is a member of the Michigan Education Association, and has been a building representative and caucus chair for the union, and is active in a statewide professional organization called SHAPE-MI that advocates for health and physical education. Garcia says that Livingston County lacks balance and choice on the ballot. “I hope to provide opportunity for voters who are seeking change or want to see checks and balances at the county level. She also favors making streets safer for walkers and bikers. Garcia is facing Republicans James Bruney and Carol Sue Reader. Incumbent Republican Bill Green has not filed and is thought not to be seeking re-election.
District 3 includes Tyrone Township and all but the southwest corner of Hartland Township. Democrat John Pallister, who runs his family’s farm, Pallister Farms in Fenton, is running against Incumbent Republican Wes Nakagiri. A county resident for 23 years, Pallister is a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Fenton and was a former Fish and Water Board member for Dunham Lakes Property Owners Association.
Bill Cowan has filed for District 4, which district includes all of Conway, Handy, Iosco, and Unadilla Townships, plus the southwest corner of Putnam Township. Cowan served on the board of the Livingston Land Conservancy for five years and is still an active member. He also has been a band leader in Livingston County for 29 years. His current band, Billy Mack and the Juke Joint Johnnies, has been playing in the area for 17 years. He’ll go up against Incumbent Republican Doug Helzerman.
In District 5, which covers all of Cohoctah and Howell Townships, plus the city of Howell, Glen Miller is seeking a seat currently left vacant with the resignation of former Commissioner Don Parker. Miller is owner of a home remodeling company and is a member of the Howell Township Planning Commission, the Michigan Association of Planners, and the National Rifle Association. Also running in District 5 are Republicans Mike Randall, Jay Drick and Lee Ann Blazejewski. Miller, Randall, Drick and Blazejewski are also candidates for the partial term that is on the August 4th primary ballot. That was necessitated after the Livingston County Board of Commissioners could not agree on an appointee to replace Parker.
District 6 will feature Democrat Kasey Helton, an admissions triage associate at Michigan Medicine, facing off against Republican Mitchell Zajac. Incumbent Republican Bob Bezotte is not running for re-election as he is seeking to replace 47th State House Representative Hank Vaupel, who is term-limited. Helton, who has worked for Michigan Medicine since 2010, is a 1995 graduate of Howell High School who previously ran for District 6 seat in 2018 as a newcomer to politics, and is, “proud of the fact that she moved the needle against the Republican incumbent in that race.” District 6 covers all of Marion Township, Putnam Township except the southwest corner, plus the northwest corner of Hamburg Township.
Mirullia Morneault is the candidate for District 7, which covers all of Genoa Township. A stay-at-home mother and active community volunteer, Morneault worked for nine years as a parks and recreation professional for cities in Ohio and is currently a trustee of the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Foundation. She says that while the demographics of the county are changing, county government is not. “A large portion of our population is aging into the senior range, and with that comes needs like adequate public transportation and access to community health and wellness programs,” adding that the area is also attracting a lot of new young families and professionals. “We need to ensure that Livingston County remains a desirable area to live, with beautiful public spaces, community activities, thriving local businesses, and a safe community.” She will be facing Incumbent Republican Carol Griffith.
In District 8, which includes all but the northwest corner of Hamburg Township plus the western edge of Green Oak Township, Martin Lake is running for the seat which is vacant following the death of Republican Incumbent Dennis Dolan. Lake is a former commercial lender who is currently in sales. He is active with his neighborhood association and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and entrepreneurship from Georgia Southern University. His wife is Ragan Lake, who is also the Democratic candidate for Livingston County Prosecutor. Also running for District 8 are Republicans Tabitha Dolan, Rick Kneiper and Jay Gross.
District 9 includes all but the western edge of Green Oak Township plus the southern third of Brighton Township and will feature Democrat Bill Bon, a recently retired labor attorney and one-time President of UAW Local 122 at Chrysler’s Twinsburg, Ohio, stamping plant. He’ll be facing Republican Brenda Plank. Incumbent Commissioner Gary Childs, who switched parties to become a Democrat, says he is not running for re-election.
You’ll find additional details about all nine candidates below.