Voting in Birmingham: Who's Running for U.S. Congress, Senate This November

Before you head to the polls on Nov. 6, Patch is reminding you what's on the ballot in Michigan, Oakland County and Birmingham.

The Nov. 6 general election is a little more than a week away, and Patch is looking to help Birmingham residents prepare with a quick reminder of what's on the ballot and what they need to know before they vote.

The November ballot promises to be a long one. Besides picking either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama for the Commander in Chief job, voters will decide on a slate of state proposals as well consider candidates for various levels of representation in Washington, Lansing and Pontiac.

In addition, Birmingham voters will be deciding on a city charter amendment and voting for two members of the Birmingham Board of Education.

Birmingham Patch has been covering this election all year, however sometimes you just need a quick refresher before you head to the polls. Today, we're taking a look at the candidates looking to represent Birmingham and Metro Detroit in Washington, including all third party candidates.

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.

Kerry Bentivolio

  • Residence: Milford
  • Party: Republican
  • 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.

Syed Taj

  • Residence: Canton
  • Party: Democrat
  • 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."

John Tatar

  • Residence: Livonia 
  • Party: Libertarian
  • Occupation: Former teacher of home construction, American history and government.
  • Elected experience: N/A
  • What are your legislative priorities: "Remove Federal Reserve Charter from Washington up for renewal 2013. Return the control of the money to Congress where it was Constitutionally mandated-not the private banking cartel that has destroyed the economy, stealing the heritage and future generation's wealth into the hands of the few. Repeal the Patriot Act, the NDAA and the Obama sick care. Remove all troops from foreign shores, eliminate Homeland Security. Take control of the Congressional Industrial War Complex/CIA."

Steven Paul Duke

  • Residence: Jonesville
  • Party: Green
  • Occupation: Piano player
  • Elected experience: N/A
  • What are your legislative priorities: "Please see the Green Party Platform and remember What Harry Truman said 'A party platform is a
    contract with the people.'"

Daniel Johnson, the Natural Law candidate from East Lansing, did not respond to a League of Women Voters survey.

U.S. Senate

Michigan will be voting on a new U.S. Senator this November.

Pete Hoekstra

  • Residence: Holland
  • Party: Republican
  • 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
  • Party: Democratic
  • 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." 

Scotty Boman

  • Residence: Detroit
  • Party: Libertarian
  • Occupation: Boman is a science and math professor at Macomb Community College and in the Wayne County Community College District.
  • Elected experience: Boman was the chair of the Libertarian Party of Michigan in 2006.
  • What are your legislative priorities: "I’d only support legislation that is consistent with the Constitutionally enumerated powers. I’d introduce
    legislation to do the following, or cosponsor the same if introduced by a colleague: Repeal the detainee provisions of the NDAA of 2012. Audit and retire the Federal Reserve System. Defund undeclared wars, and phase out the occupation of foreign countries by the U.S. military. End deficit spending. Reduce taxes. Repeal Federal drug laws. End warrantless domestic surveillance."

Richard A. Matkin

  • Residence: Hazel Park
  • Party: U.S. Taxpayers
  • Occupation: Retired U.S. army member
  • Elected experience: N/A
  • What are your legislative priorities: "Make the persuit of knowledge (education) in all communities our number one issue. A wise and educated society will advance the quality of life in all sections of our economy. Education will also help make strong families, families able to build a safer environment to live work and play at every age and income level. I want to give every American the freedom to excel!"

Harley Mikkelson

  • Residence: Caro
  • Party: Green
  • Occupation: Mikkelson is a retired U.S. Post Office employee, farm worker, factory worker and telephone company worker.
  • Elected experience: N/A
  • What are your legislative priorities: "Our national priority should be to create a sustainable economy with increased opportunities for everyone. Education is the key to providing increased opportunity for people; I would propose increased funding for preschool through college education. To create a sustainable economy I would propose legislation which would encourage conservation, local food production and processing, and more compact livable cities and towns."

John Litle, the Natural Law candidate from Ann Arbor, did not respond to a League of Women Voters survey.

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

For more

  • Voting in Birmingham: What's On the Local Ballot This November
  • Voting in Birmingham: What's On the County Ballot This November
  • Voting in Birmingham: Who's Running for State Office This November
  • Voting in Birmingham: Who's Running for Judge This November
  • Voting in Birmingham: What Are the State Proposals on the November Ballot


For all of Birmingham Patch's coverage of the 2012 November general election, visit Birmingham's 2012 General Election Guide.


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