On the Ballot: Who's Running to Represent Birmingham in Washington

Patch is giving voters a look at who's running in the Aug. 7 primary, happening Tuesday.

Birmingham's August primary happens tomorrow, and there's a lot of issues and candidates on the ballot.

As you prepare to go to the polls tomorrow, Patch wants to help you get a final grasp on who's running, what they stand for and what issues are on the table.

U.S. House of Representatives - 11th District

As part of the newly-redistricted 11th congressional district, Birmingham will vote for a new legislator to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. The spot was recently vacated by former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter. For more information, check out . This August, voters will vote for either one Democrat or one Republican.


Kerry Bentivolio

  • Residence: Milford
  • Occuation: Bentivolio was until recently a high school teacher. Before that, he worked as a business owner, homebuilder and auto design engineer.
  • Elected experience: n/a
  • What are your legislative priorities: According to Bentivolio, he is dedicated to "stop spending our children's futures through government borrowing." Bentivolio also wants to promote government accountability and promote transparency. "I also pledge to serve a maximum of six year and to fight for term limits." Bentivolio sais he also wants to provide proper treatment for veterans, particularly mental health care.

Nancy Cassis (write-in)

  • Residence: Novi
  • Occupation: Cassis is a retired teacher and psychologist.
  • Elected experience: n/a
  • What are your legislative priorities: According to Cassis, her priorities are to create job and "reduce burdensome regulations on small business and improve confidence in the economy," repeal the Affordable Care Act or "ObamaCare" and reduce spending and support tax reform. "I will support a balanced budget amendment, will vote favorably on fiscally responsible tax measures and offer constructive solutions."

Rev. Drexel Morton (write-in)

  • Residence: Canton
  • Occupation: Morton is the pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Hartland.
  • Elected experience: n/a
  • What are your legislative priorities: "The legislative bodies are deadlocked right now and we need to be able to be conciliated," . "I think going back to that vision of what the Unites States was when I was a young man, where people could have opposing positions during the day and then they were friends as night."


William Roberts

  • Residence: Redford
  • Occupation: Roberts is a political organizer with the LaRouche Political Action Committee.
  • Elected experience: n/a
  • What are your legislative priorities: "My first priority is to re-establish the full sovereignty of the nation, which would also mean the end of the British Empire, an antiquated and now bankrupt international system of central banks, drug money laundering and inflated financial assets, which have robbed nations of their right to fully develop. Right now, that requires that President Obama be immediatley impeached, preferably before his abuse of the authority of Congress and abuse of other nations leads us into thermonuclear war."

Syed Taj

  • Residence: Canton
  • Occupation: Taj has been a physician for 40 years and was the former chief of medicine at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn.
  • Elected experience: n/a
  • What are your legislative priorities: "The first (priority) is to aid our nation down the path to economic recovery. This involves investing in growing industries in Michigan, lowering the costs of higher education, strengthening the Dodd-Frank Act, tax incentives for small businesses to hire new workers, passing the State Small Business Credit Initiative, and agreeing on a framework for our nation's debt ceiling as part of a larger negotiation on reducing the deficit. I will also introduce legislation to better support our nation's veterans."

U.S. Senate

Michigan will be voting on a new U.S. Senator this November and on Tuesday, voters will decide which of the three Republicans will face off against incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow.


Clark Durant

  • Residence: Grosse Pointe Farms
  • Occupation: Durant is the president of the New Common School Foundation.
  • Elected experience: n/a
  • What are your legislative priorities: "First, remove regulatory and tax barrier to the creation of jobs, new businesses, and the expansion of existing businesses. Unleash energy development and promote economic growth. Second, reduce federal spending and debt. Third, restore constitionally limited government. Social Security can be saved by considering means-tested benefits, changing the retirement age, and giving an option to leave the system."

Gary Glenn

Randy Hekman

  • Residence: Grand Rapids
  • Occupation: Before running for U.S. Senate,Hekman was the founding executive director of the Michigan Family Forum, the executive director of CBH Ministries and the executive pastor at Crossroads Bible Church.
  • Elected experience: Hekman was elected to be a Michigan probate judge in 1975.
  • What are your legislative priorities: "The top priority must be reducing our federal debt. It is the house that is on fire. All other issues pale in significance compared to this. I will work tirelessly to save our nation. I also believe leaders need to lead by example. I am not taking any corporate or trade association PAC money as I consider this a legal bribe. I see my role as a public servant, not a public master. Good leaders serve their people, and I intend to do exactly that."

Pete Hoekstra

  • Residence: Holland
  • Occupation: Hoekstra is a senior advisor at Dickstein Shapiro and was formerly the vice president of marketing at Herman Miller.
  • Elected experience: Hoekstra served nine terms, from 1993-2010, in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Michigan's 2nd District.
  • What are your legislative priorities: "We need to embrace pro-growth policies. This includes tax reform, regulatory reform, domestic energy reform and spending reform that encourages investment and creates jobs. We must make the tough decisions and allow the free market to operate in order for us to leave a better country for the next generation."


Debbie Stabenow

  • Residence: Lansing
  • Occupation: Before running for public office, Stabenow worked with youth in Michigan's public school system.
  • Elected experience: Stabenow has served as a U.S. Senator since 2000. Before that, she served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1996-2000), Michigan State Senate (1991-94), Michigan House of Representatives (1979-90) and the Ingham County Board of Commissioners.
  • What are your legislative priorities: "My top priority is getting our middle-class families back on their feet by focusing on what we do best in Michigan: making things and growing things. I will continue to push for new job opportunities in agriculture, and to advocate for policies that make Michigan a leader in manufacturing and producing advanced batteries and vehicles of the future, and will stand up to countries like China who cheat our trade laws. I will continue to be a champion for our Great Lakes and natural resources." 

Information provided by the Oakland County League of Women Voters. For more, visit the League's Voter Guides.

WMS August 06, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Clark Durant lives in Grosse Pointe Farms, not Holland. He pioneered a private and charter school system in Detroit that has improved the lives of thousands of children in Michigan. If you are truly concerned about our future and want an outsider not beholden to DC, vote for Clark Durant.


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