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Tuesday primary begins the process of filling an empty state senate seat

Tomorrow, primary voters in Genesee County will narrow down the field of candidates to fill an open state senate seat.

There are seven candidates on the 27th state senate district primary ballot, though one has dropped out of the race.

On the Democratic side, State representatives Woodrow Stanley and Jim Ananich are facing off against Genesee County Commissioner Ted Henry and GM auto worker Chris Del Morone.

At a recent public forum, Stanley echoed the comments of his fellow Democratic candidates in hoping for a change at the state capitol.

“First off…let’s have some real bipartisanship. I don’t think all the brilliant answers are Democratic or Republican. I think they’re somewhere in that gray are in the middle,” said Stanley.

But the Democrats running for the open senate seat did complain about the way Governor Rick Snyder and legislative Republicans have been running things at the state capitol.

At that same League of Women Voters event in Flint last month, Jim Ananich spoke about the way Right to Work legislation which passed last year and how it’s wrong for Michigan.

“I think we need to find solutions to empower workers not…not look for tricks to take money out of their pockets…which is exactly what Right to Work will do,” said Ananich.

Two candidates are seeking the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s primary.

Customer service rep Adam Ford is facing off against real estate professional Robert Daunt for the GOP nod. Both men have previously run for legislative seats, but lost.

At the League of Women Voters forum, Ford said if he was elected, he would push to abolish the state senate and the state income tax. 

“I think we need a renegade Republican,” said Ford.  

Voters decide in May who will serve out the unexpired term of former state senator John Gleason, who was recently elected Genesee County Clerk.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.