The race for the 2020 Republican primary for the 47th District state House seat currently held by Hank Vaupel, R-Fowlerville, could be called a race to the right between the two candidates who have thrown their hats into the ring thus far.
One of those candidates is Mike Detmer, who lives in the City of Howell and touts his non-politician status as a reason why voters should elect him. Detmer has 15 years in the automotive industry, 10 years in the lending industry, and is a licensed Realtor.
Detmer is also touting his recent endorsement in the primary from uber-controversial former state senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton.
How controversial is Colbeck? The unsuccessful candidate in the Republican primary in the 2018 gubernatorial campaign was first endorsed and then un-endorsed by Fox News host Sean Hannity after Colbeck made Muslim conspiracy statements Hannity found to be too controversial.
Detmer said the views he shares with Colbeck including fixing auto insurance, building and repairing roads without raising or implementing new taxes, helping businesses grow, and “reducing the overall tax burden on the people of Michigan.”
“I am aware of the mudslinging that took place during the last election cycle with comments regarding the Muslim Brotherhood,” Detmer said. “My (view is) I don’t care what religion you follow, as long as you have a love and respect for this state and this country and its traditions and values.”
The other primary candidate is Bob Bezotte, who currently represents District 6 on the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, which includes all of Marion Township; Putnam Township Precincts 2, 3 & 4; Hamburg Township Precinct 3 ;and the Village of Pinckney. Bezotte was Livingston County Sheriff until he decided to not seek re-election in 2016.
Bezotte came under fire from county Democrats in the general election for some of his Facebook posts in the 2018 general election. In a statement by Judy Daubenmier, head of the Livingston County Democratic Party, the posts were called “racist, sexist, and ageist — plus politically intolerant.”
We’re still waiting to see if any candidates emerge from Fowlerville, which has basically owned the seat in that area for years, including Fred Dillingham, Sue Munsell, Joe Hune (the first to represent the 47th district as we know it), Cindy Denby, and Hank Vaupel, all Republicans. Of course, there was a spell when Paul DeWeese and Dan Gustafson, both Lansing-area Republicans, represented the district, too.
The primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020.
The 47th House District includes the townships of Cohoctah, Conway, Deerfield, Handy, Hartland, Howell, Iosco, Marion, Oceola, Tyrone and Unadilla, plus the city of Howell and the village of Fowlerville.