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State House Candidates to Meet Tuesday Night Ahead of August Primary

Four Republicans and one Democrat will meet tonight for a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters.

Candidates running for the 40th seat in the Michigan House of Representatives will meet in Birmingham tonight for a special forum hosted by the Oakland County League of Women Voters.

The forum begins at 7 p.m. at and will be hosted by Judy Bateman.

The candidate pool for the house seat is a crowded one, as four Republicans and one Democrat look to replace outgoing Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham), who has to step down this year due to term limits.

All five candidates are looking for a chance to represent Michigan's 40th District, which, , is composed of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, and a portion of West Bloomfield.

All month long, Patch has been speaking with the prospective candidates, learning what they think about job creation, education, state spending and how to make Michigan better.

Going to the forum tonight but want a primer? Here's a look at all five candidates and what they had to say:

  • Party: Republican
  • Residence: Birmingham
  • Occupation/Experience: Lawrence, 52, owns Lawrence Co., a real estate development consulting business, and also serves as the chief financial officer for Michigan Security Network, a Homeland Defense start-up. In November 2011, .
  • History in the race: , noting as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, "I will be guided by the same principles used to preserve Birmingham's educational excellence."
  • Biggest issue facing Michigan: According to Lawrence, Michigan's Teachers Pension fund is a problem that is growing out of control — and "we are all going to have to pay ... If our mission is to make Michigan great, we are operating with one arm tied behind our backs until the pension is fixed," he said.

  • Party: Republican
  • Residence: Bloomfield Township
  • Occupation/Experience: Potts, 70, is currently an attorney practicing in Birmingham. Most recently, he served three terms on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.
  • History in the race: Potts announced he would be running for the soon-to-be vacant seat in January, . Potts brings along current State Rep. Moss — with whom — as his campaign manager.
  • Biggest issue facing Michigan: "The cost of government combined with a devastating decline in property values has created situations that are currently unsustainable," Potts told Patch, adding "We need to rethink Michigan's tax system. I am proposing that the State Income Tax be reduced by twice the amount that Gov. (Rick) Snyder has proposed."

  • Party: Republican
  • Residence: West Bloomfield
  • Occupation/Experience: Wolkinson, 32, is an attorney and small business owner in West Bloomfield and served as Gov. Snyder's policy director in the governor's 2010 campaign.
  • History in the race: after a failed bid for the State House in 2008 (representing the 39th District) and a failed bid for the State Senate in 2002.
  • Biggest issue facing Michigan: Regulations hurting big business has trickled down, Wolkinson said, to young people who have been leaving Michigan in droves and putting its future tax base in jeopardy. "The only way to bring more jobs here is to continue improving our business climate," he said.

Mike McCready

  • Party: Republican
  • Residence: Bloomfield Hills
  • Occupation/Experience: McCready is a principal at the Birmingham-based McCready and Associates. He was elected to the Bloomfield Hills Commission in 2007.
  • History in the race: , noting "we need to keep Michigan on the right track financially."
  • Biggest issue facing Michigan: "I am willing to work with Governor Snyder and anyone in Lansing to help Michigan be a better place for job creators," McCready said in April. "The citizens of Michigan want their government to work, and they don't care who does it or who gets credit for it."

  • Party: Democrat
  • Residence: West Bloomfield
  • Occupation/Experience: Coston, 39, is a certified paralegal, working for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations and Safe School Initiative. Before that, he spent time as a small business owner and public school teacher.
  • History in the race: Coston joined the race earlier this summer and has not before run for public office, though he worked on several campaigns in Michigan 14th congressional district.
  • Biggest issue facing Michigan: Early childhood education and local public schools are a focus of legislation which Coston hopes to champion. He said that he hopes to raise an increase of 10 percent of current funds every year to improve early childhood programs in public schools.
Debbie Thomas July 24, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I go with Mike Mc.
Mike McCeady July 24, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Hi Debbie, thank you for your support!! Mike McCready
Mike McCready July 25, 2012 at 12:35 PM
“Thank you to the League of Women Voters for hosting last night’s forum. I enjoyed speaking with the voters and the moderators about the issues concerning the 40th district. If you would like to learn more about me you can visit my website www.mccreadyforstaterep.com.”

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