July 27, 2014
Bizon, Helmboldt stand out as 62nd District Candidates
Bizon, Helmboldt stand out as candidates for Michigan’s 62nd District:
Your AUG 5th Primary Vote Can Make a Difference
By Jim Richmond
August 5th primary election votes don’t count for much, do they? Unless you have a marked, stark contrast in leadership, competency, experience and personal strengths of candidates for State House and Senate seats.
You hear so many people exclaim: “I don’t have time and I don’t NEED to vote in the primary.”
Sorry. But to quote the vernacular, not the Elephant’s, not the Donkey’s, but in the pig’s eye.
Who wins in August will matter.
Take the case of the current Michigan State Senator from the 22nd District, who won his House seat primary by just ONE vote in 2002, and has gone on to win every election since and moved up to be an important influence in Michigan politics.
Yes, what happens in August matters.
There are 2 Republicans and 3 Democrats running in the August 5th primary to represent their party come November 4th, to represent the 62nd District, which includes Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Bedford, Convis Township, Pennfield and Springfield.
Terris Todd, Andy Helmboldt and Dave Morgan are the Democrat candidates.
Republicans are fielding Art Kale and Dr. John Bizon.
All have solid civic records.
But two seem to stand out in terms of leadership skills and experience.
If you lean progressive and Democrat, Andy Helmboldt may be the best choice in that group. For Republicans, moderates and conservatives, Dr. John Bizon -- the stronger candidate among their choices.
And if you vote independent, Helmboldt and Bizon have a few but important differences. Most of what they said in recent sit down interviews was about support of good roads and creating jobs. Hardly controversial, partisan positions.
But Helmboldt stresses social equity issues; and Bizon the need to make major changes in the way we educate our children.
Helmboldt is a popular guy around town, and an effective two-term Battle Creek City Commissioner, according to several of his Commissioner colleagues I was able to reach and talk with on background.
He’s taught school, has two young children, shows up at City social and recreational events. He was the top-voter getter among all the at-large candidates in last fall’s city commission election. Helmboldt currently owns and runs a small design and photography business in Battle Creek.
Perhaps most important, you get the impression that Helmboldt is a thoughtful, focused, rather intense and serious young (age 39) guy.
Dr. John Bizon, 63, is running as a Republican candidate, for the first time, because he says “I can make a difference.”
As a successful physician, he probably doesn’t need the $73,000 a year salary that goes along with being a State Representative.
In addition to his medical practice (serving patients and also leading his profession at many levels), Bizon is a former Air Force Colonel with distinguished overseas military service; has a family, and grown children.
There are other differences, of course, between Helmboldt and Bizon that one might expect, party wise, on gun control, the Affordable Care Act and current issues and directions locally and nationally.
But bottom line, they would do a good – perhaps the best jobs – for us from the 62nd District, as our Representative in Lansing.
On average historically, only 1,000 to 1,300 votes decide primary election winners in the 62nd District.
So your vote can and will make a difference.
And perhaps for many years in Michigan’s future.
This is Jim Richmond's personal blog. No money or any other form of compensation determines what is published on this site.