Oct 17, 2008

Hamburg Township candidate debate features some interesting races

Just 15 days before an historic election, the Pinckney, Hamburg, Lakeland and Hell Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Candidate Debate at 6 p.m. Monday at the Hamburg Township Hall, 10405 Merrill Road.

The ambitious debate will feature all party candidates, or their representatives, from the U.S. Senate down to township candidates and District Court Judicial candidates. The debate will be moderated by local realtor Rick Beaudin, and the debate will be divided in half hour blocks by races all the way until 10:30 p.m. It will also be broadcast live over Channel 18, Hamburg Township Television. It will be re-broadcasts over Channel 18 periodically beginning October 27 and running November 3. DVD copies can be purchased at the township hall for $15 after completing a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request.

The debate will feature candidates or surrogates for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House races. It will also feature the race for the state House in the open 47th District; the County Commission seat for the 8th District featureing Democrat Dave Buckland and Republican Dennis Dolan; the 53rd District Judicial race featuring Judge Theresa Brennan and Jay Drick; and Hamburg and Putnam Township Boards.

One of the more interesting races is the race for the Hamburg Township Clerk. That seat features Democrat Debby Buckland and Republican Matt Skiba. Skiba unseated long-time Clerk Joanna Hardesty in the August GOP primary in a contentious race. Hardesty is running as a write in campaign, and she will be part of the debate.

Hardesty claims Skiba ran a "false and malicious" campaign designed to mislead voters. There is a massive effort underway from her volunteers, and they have raised a decent amount of money. I have never heard of a write in candidate winning a race, especially after losing to the same person when both of their names were on the ballot. The best thing that could happen for the township would be if Hardesty and Skiba split the vote and Buckland wins the office. They could use some diversity on the board. I have seen Buckland's ability up close, and she is more than qualified to do a good job.

In other debates, the Livingston County Press and Argus is sponsoring a candidate’s debate at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts at Brighton High School, 7878 Brighton Rd.

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