Primary preview: 73rd 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 73rd District. It includes East Grand Rapids and runs all the way to the northeast corner of the county, with a mix of rural areas and more populous suburbs.

The 73rd is currently held by Republican Rep. Lynn Afendoulis, but she decided not to seek reelection and is instead running for the U.S. House seat currently held by independent Justin Amash.

Three Republicans are looking for their party’s nomination in the 73rd District primary next week. One of them will take on Bill Saxton, the lone Democrat running.

News 8 asked each about their background and why they are running:

“We’ve got career politicians and special intreats that have been sitting on their hands at the Legislature, really letting them be tied over the last few months instead of actively trying to sit down and work,” attorney John Inhulsen of East Grand Rapids said.

“I decided to run when our governor made it a crime to go out and earn a paycheck,” Oakfield Township farmer and businessman Bryan Posthumus said. “I feel like we need a lot more business experience in Lansing to help get Michigan back to work.”

“I’d really like to see individuals be able to thrive. I believe that we need to get regulations and taxes out of the individual citizen’s life so that they can either start businesses or do a better job of taking care of their own families,” Grand Rapids entrepreneur Robert Regan said.

The 73rd is among 110 primary races for the state House across Michigan that will set up the ultimate contests in November. There are many other primary elections to consider, including for two congressional districts in West Michigan that have been profiled on “To The Point.”

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.

Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons spoke to New 8 about the upcoming election and absentee ballots. You can watch the full interview with her below.

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