Primary preview: 61st House District

Elections

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Next week’s primary election will feature a number of seats up for grabs in the Michigan House of Representatives.

One of those open seats is in the 61st District, which includes Portage and townships to the south and west of Kalamazoo.

Term-limited state Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo Township, cannot run again for the seat. Two other Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination.

Local businessman Tom Graham and small business owner Bronwyn Haltom talk to News 8 about why they are in the race.

“I’ve seen a lot of division lately. The world seems to have become a divisive place. I’ve always been a moderate. I’ve always been able to see both sides of the story. I grew up in a Democrat household, my father worked for General Motors, and I just feel like I’m a good fit,” Graham said.

“I grew up here, I love this community and I think we need to focus on the things that matter to the people. I’ve talked to thousands and thousands of voters over the last year and a half of being in this race. People care about jobs, people care about education, especially now and I want to be a representative who is accessible and focuses on these core issues that really matter to our district,” Haltom said.

The winner will take on Democrat Christine Morse in November.

The primary is Aug. 4. The state is seeing high returns for absentee ballots — more than 900,000 so far. The 2016 August primary brought in only about 484,000 absentee ballots. If you want your absentee ballot to be counted, it must be back to your clerk’s office by election day. An election day postmark is not good enough.

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