2016-09-15 / Local News

Full slate of forums set by League, although some lacking candidates

Forums begin next week

The first forum planned by the League of Women Voters Leelanau County (LWVLC) will have a full slate of candidates.

Four others, scheduled to follow, may not.

The first event, set for 7 p.m. next Wednesday, Sept. 21, will be co-sponsored by the League and the Leelanau Horticultural Society. Invited are candidates for three offices.

The 101st seat in the state House of Representatives: Democrat candidate Dan Scripps of Northport and Republican nominee Curt VanderWall of Ludington have confirmed they will participate, said Marian Kromkowski, LWVLC president.

Also taking part will be Leelanau County Prosecutor Joseph T. Hubbell, a Republican. He has opposition from Suttons Bay attorney Jeffrey Slocombe, who is running without party affiliation.

Also confirming participation is county Treasurer John A. Gallagher III, the Republican nominee, and Democratic challenger Jennifer Zywicki.

The forum will be moderated by District Court Judge Michael S. Stepka.

Four other forums planned by the League through Oct. 6, are expected to have at least one candidate missing from each. All of them are co-sponsored by the Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

The second forum, set for Sept. 29 at the Elmwood Township fire hall includes both the Republican and Democratic candidates for the District 7 county commissioner’s seat.

Melinda C. Lautner, the Republican nominee, will be there along with Democratic candidate John O’Neill. District 7 is comprised of Solon and Kasson townships.

District 1 commissioner Tony Ansorge will have no opposition in November but has asked to participate.

Carolyn Rentenbach, Democratic nominee for the District 6 seat representing Cleveland, Empire and Glen Arbor Townships has agreed to participate in the forum.

However, Republican nominee Casey Noonan has declined the League’s invitation.

Neither does it look like there will be a full slate for the Oct. 4 forum to be held at the Leelanau Township fire hall in Northport.

Democratic candidates for the District 4 and 5 commissioner seats — Ty Wessell and Patricia Soutas-Little, respectively — will be participating.

However, as of Tuesday, Kromkowski said that the Republican candidate for the District 4 seat, Tom VanPelt, had an apparent schedule conflict but could possibly make the forum if the date were changed.

District 4 is comprised of northern Suttons Bay and Leelanau townships.

Patricia Soutas-Little, the Democratic nominee for the District 5 seat, representing Leland and Centerville townships, will also be participating.

As of last week the Republican nominee, Dale Schaub, had not yet confirmed attendance, Kromkowski said.

It will be all Democrats at the Oct. 6 forum, which is focused on the District 2 and 3 commissioner’s races.

Republican District 2 commissioner nominee Will Bunek and District 3 commissioner nominee Debra Rushton have declined the League’s invitation. Both are Republicans.

Democratic nominees for the District 2 and 3 seats, Dana Getsinger and Dean Robb, will be participating.

District 2 represents residents in northern Elmwood and southern Bingham townships.

The District 3 seat covers northern Bingham and southern Suttons Bay townships.

“We have a little time before this, so maybe we can convince someone to reconsider,” Kromkowski said. “It’s an opportunity for candidates to reach voters. I hope the candidates won’t give this up.”

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It use to be the LWVLC was

It use to be the LWVLC was non-partisan. That is no longer the case! If I was a candidate, I would respectfully decline as it has become apparent this organization has an agenda!