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Ellis doubles down on bid to upset Amash

Ellis doubles down on bid to upset Amash

WASHINGTON (Maureen Groppe, Gannett Washington Bureau)— Brian Ellis, the Republican financial consultant hoping to upset GOP Rep. Justin Amash in next month’s primary, has committed $800,000 of his own money to the race, new campaign disclosure reports show.

That puts him among the top 10 self-funders running for the House this year, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington group that tracks political fundraising. But Ellis still had only about half as much cash in the bank as Amash about a month before the Aug. 5 primary.

And Amash has benefited from about $373,000 in independent advertising from the conservative Club for Growth, which wants to see him re-elected.

That compares with the approximately $844,000 that Amash’s own campaign has spent through June and the $1 million that Ellis has spent.

John Decker files candidacy for 73rd District House seat

John Decker files candidacy for 73rd District House seat

CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – John A. Decker, retired auto dealership owner, announced his candidacy in the Aug. 5, 2014 Republican primary for Michigan’s 73rd House District.

The seat is currently held by Peter MacGregor, who has chosen not to seek re-election and is instead vying for a seat in the Michigan Senate.

“I plan to take the knowledge I gained as a responsible businessman to Lansing and represent the 73rd District with the utmost integrity,” said Decker, who has nearly 25 years experience owning General Motors dealerships. “I am fortunate enough to be retired, but I have the desire to give back to the communities that supported me both as a businessman and personally.”

Decker resides in Kent County’s Cannon Township. He has been married for 30 years to his wife, Connie.

Conservative group ads target G.R. businessman in congressional primary

Conservative group ads target G.R. businessman in congressional primary

WASHINGTON (Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press) — The conservative Club for Growth typically only gets involved in a handful of races nationwide each election cycle — and it looks like at least one Michigan primary is on its radar.

The organization’s political action committee today unveiled what it called a “six-figure” TV and radio ad campaign criticizing Brian Ellis, a Grand Rapids businessman and former school board member running in the Republican primary against libertarian firebrand U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Cascade Charter Township.

In the two ads, the Club for Growth says Ellis “raised property taxes, hiked spending and left massive deficits” while a member of the East Grand Rapids School Board. They also accused him, as a member of the Michigan Strategic Fund, of having “wasted ... tax dollars on a golf resort,” as well as businesses producing gourmet mushrooms and pet food.

Property Assessment Meeting

Property Assessment Meeting

The EGR Board of Review will meet on Tuesday, December 10th at 4:00 pm for the purpose of correcting clerical errors and mutual mistakes of fact in the 2013 and 2012 assessment rolls as provided for under MCLA 211.53(b). The board may also consider 2010 through 2013 homestead exemptions where no previous affidavit was filed and denied. For more information, contact the Assessor's Office at 940-4818.

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Republican Senator Mark Jansen says he will not join the race for Congressman Justin Amash’s seat next year.

“I have decided at this time my focus will continue to help Michigan find the road to recovery, from Grand Rapids to Detroit to the Upper Peninsula to our lake shores,” Jansen said. ”Right now I really feel the call to continue helping Michigan’s recovery as my Senate term ends in 13 short months.”

Jansen says he has been “strongly encouraged” to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat for the past two years.  He believes people want the same level of reform achieved in Michigan to happen in Washington.

Jansen represents the northern portion of Kent County.  The U.S. 3rd Congressional District includes Belding, Rockford, Lowell, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Ada and Cascade, Alpine Township, Sparta, Plainfield Township and all of Grand Rapids.

Low turnout for city commission election

Low turnout for city commission election

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—There were no surprises in the November 5 election for East Grand Rapids, despite a low turnout.

All of the candidates running uncontested won.  Phil Skaggs won the Ward 1 city commission seat with 211 votes. Roughly 7.5 percent of registered voters in East Grand Rapids Ward 1 cast ballots. Voters cast six write-in ballots.

City voters went with Claudine E. Duncan for Ward 2 city commissioner; Duncan garnered 169 votes from roughly 6 percent of registered voters in that area. Voters cast five write-in ballots.

  The Ward 3 city commission seat now belongs to Jeffrey Dills, who took 164 votes Tuesday night.  Approximately 6 percent of voters in Ward 3 voted. Voters cast ten write-in ballots.

Voters to pick three city commissioners November 5

Voters to pick three city commissioners November 5

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Voters will head back to the polls Tuesday, November 5 to decide who will be on the city commission.

Three candidates are running unopposed; Phil Skaggs is on the ballot for the 1st Ward commission seat, Claudine E. Duncan is up for the 2nd Ward seat, and Jeffrey Dills is running for the 3rd Ward commission seat.

The polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 8 p.m.  There are six polling locations within the city, which you can find here.   For a sample ballot, click here.