Three candidates are running for Representative in Congress for the 12th District, which includes Belleville, Van Buren Township and Sumpter Township.
Cynthia Kallgren, 1811 Superior Blvd., Wyandotte, a Republican, is challenging the incumbent, John Dingell, who is seeking his 30th term in Congress. Kallgren, 52, has been married to Scott for 30 years and they have four children Scott, Joye, Hope and David. She has lived her entire life in the Downriver area.
She is owner of a small business, Creative Memories, and former part-time teacher. She studied deaf education and music at MSU and earned a B.A. in social science from EMU. She ran unsuccessfully for State Representative in 2010.
Kallgren said the most important of this state’s challenges is “getting our economy moving again so that jobs and people will return. I want to ensure that we leave to our children and grandchildren a country that is financially stronger and independent. I am pro-jobs and pro-family!”
She is endorsed by Right to Life of Michigan P.A.C. and Citizens for Traditional Values and rated AQ by the NRA.
John D. Dingell, 5208 Royal Vale Ln., Dearborn, a Democrat, is the longest-serving member of the United States House of Representatives in history and serves as the Dean of the House.
He did not return his questionnaire from the Independent, but his credentials are easily accessed.
He serves exclusively as a senior member on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.
In his 58 years in Congress, Dingell, age 86, has authored many laws, including the 1990 Clean Air Act, and the 1957 Civil Rights Act. He was a leader in ushering through the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1965.
He was born July 8, 1926 in Colorado Springs, CO, and much of his childhood was divided between Detroit and Washington, D.C., because his father, also named John, served as Congressman from Michigan’s 15th district.
He is a veteran of World War II. He has worked as a park ranger, a prosecuting attorney for Wayne County and ran his own private law practice. In 1955, after his father died while still serving in Congress, the younger Dingell ran for Congress and won, at the age of 29. He’s been there ever since.
He is a devout Catholic, has four grown children and many grandchildren, and has been married to Debbie Insley Dingell for 30 years.
Richard Secula, 8802 Thorntree Dr., Grosse Ile, a Liberterian, is also running for the seat. Secula, 67, is married to Darlene and they have two children, Shellie and Tarcey. He is Lutheran and was born in Hancock, MI.
Secula has been a millwright at the Ford Motor Co. since 1970 and is in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army Reserves. He attended the U of M and WSU.
Secula served on the Grosse Ile Township Board as a trustee from 1978-80, and was liaison to the planning commission.
U.S. Representative, 11th District
Because of the abrupt resignation of Thaddeus McCotter last summer, voters of the current 11th district, (which includes Belleville and Van Buren) are being asked to elect a Congressperson to serve out McCotter’s term, which is until the end of this year.
Terry Bentivolio, 260 White Pine Trl., Milford, a Republican, is seeking this brief term as well as the full term in the new 11th district which does not include Belleville, Van Buren, or Sumpter.
Bentivolio, age 61, is married to Karen and have two children, Kristin and Kevin, and three grandchildren. He has been living in the 11th district for 30 years. He is a teacher with a BA from St. Mary’s College and a MA from Marygrove College.
He ran unsuccessfully for the state senate in 2010. He belongs to the VFW, American Legion, and Amvets and is a veteran of two foreign wars, Vietnam and Iraqi Freedom.
Bentivolio said he is running for Congress because, “I saw the future of my children and my grandchildren being damaged by the massive amount of spending that Washington was doing. I also personally experienced the inefficiencies in our treatment of our veterans, and to me, they were unacceptable. Something needed to be done, so I decided to run for Congress.”
Bentivolio said his three priorities upon being elected to Congress are: Repealing Obamacare, tax reform and promoting real economic growth, and cutting the deficit.
David A. Curson, 14094 Winding Pond Ln., Van Buren Township, a Democrat, is making his first bid for elective political office.
Curson, 63, is married to Sharon and they have three children, David Jr., Lisa Beard, and Katie Curson, and two grandchildren, Peyton and Parker Beard.
He is executive assistant to the secretary treasurer of the UAW, Dennis Williams. Curson attended Washtenaw County Community College, University of Toledo, EMU and U of M.
He has lived in the Belleville area since 1980. Curson is a Marine Corps veteran and served in the infantry in Viet Nam.
Upon returning from the service in 1970, he went to work at Ford’s Rawsonville Plant, where he became a journeyman Diemaker. He also became an appointed and elected officer in his local union.
“As a Congressman, I will have the privilege to vote during the important lame-duck session in the final days of the 112th U.S. Congress,” Curson said.
“The issues I will vote to enhance and protect are: job creation, affordable health care, Social Security and Medicare, the elimination of unfair tax loopholes used by corporations, oil companies and the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying their fair share, veterans’ affairs, oversight and regulation of Wall Street, and a stop to the relentless attack on the wages and benefits of our first responders, public service employees and teachers, to mention a few.”
He said although this election represents a short time of service in public office, he believes it is an important time and worth the hard work and sacrifices required to achieve election.
John J. Tatar, P.O. Box 510104, Livonia, age 63, is running as a Libertarian.
He is the father of John III and Carrie.
Tatar retired after serving as a teacher for 31 years and he is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves after 31 years. He has BS and MS degrees and Command and General Staff training in the U.S. Army.
He belongs to NESA, NRA, and MEA and enjoys sailing, music (playing his accordion, guitar, banjo, and singing), woodworking, gardening and cooking.
Tatar said he is running for Congress because, whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge, America has been at war for well over 100 years.
“It is time for a change! If we keep on voting for a Democrat or Republican we will continue to receive the same. If we the American people don’t take a stand and pick up our pen to protect our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness while we still can, we will do nothing when our back is against the wall and there is no option left.”
He said his goals include limiting government to the U.S. Constitution, ending the Federal Reserve private banking cartel, repealing the Patriot Act, getting rid of smart meters and cameras on street corners, reducing control and power of corporations and bringing truth back to advertising, among others.
Tatar said he wants to end the wars and bring American troops home and return Public Servants to the duty of being Public Servants.
Marc J. Sosnowski, 8488 Kinloch St., Dearborn Heights, is running on the U.S. Taxpayers ticket. He did not return his questionnaire from the Independent.
State Representative, 21st District
Joe Barnabei, 12426 Hannan Road, Van Buren Township, is running for political office for the first time and is on the Republican ticket. The 21st District serves Canton, Belleville, and Van Buren Township.
Barnabei, age 32, has lived in this district all of his life. He and his wife Wendy have two children, Jacey, 4, and A.J., 2.
He is a recruiting manager for Beacon Hill Technologies’ Michigan operations. He holds dual MBAs with one focused in management and the other focused in healthcare management. He recently held a session at the Bayou Grill to help local people find jobs.
He is an active volunteer for Angels of Hope Foundation and says he helps others whenever he can. He is an American auto enthusiast and has been building cars since a very young age. He also enjoys kayaking the Huron River, snowmobiling, and just about anything he can do with his family.
Barnabei said he is running for office because he loves this state and he wants his kids to share the same passion for Michigan that he has.
“Rebuilding Michigan starts with our economy and that is my area of expertise,” he said. “There is not a magic bullet that will fix our problems and we must look at past experiences, our present situation, and our path for the future and make decisions based on all three variables.
“My ideas are practical and non-partisan and were created by my personal experiences on the assembly line and as an employment professional.”
He said Michigan’s three biggest issues are: lack of skilled labor, education, and industrial diversification.
Barnabei said he is the best choice for State Representative because his area of expertise is the job market; his financial contributors are split between Democrats, Independents, and Republicans because he brings common sense and integrity to the table, not party affiliation; he has kept his campaign positive and factual and focused on integrity; his campaign is funded by the people and he urges everyone to compare Rep. Slavens’ campaign finance report (available on the Secretary of State’s website) and his to determine what is real and what is rhetoric; and the last election cycle, where Rep. Slavens spent about $20 per vote which was twice the amount of any other representative.
“I will not exceed 35 cents per vote and I am happy with what I have accomplished and proud to say I did not sell out,” Barnabei said.
Dian Slavens, 6000 Hidden Ct., Canton, is running for reelection to the State Representative position on the Democratic ticket. She did not return her questionnaire to the Independent.
She and her husband Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Mark Slavens have three children, Damey, Patrick and Molly and on grandson, Evan.
She has lived in Canton for more than 20 years and holds an associate degree in applied science and certification as a respiratory therapist from Oakland Community College.
She is serving her second term as state representative. Before joining the House in 2009, she worked as a respiratory therapist for more than 20 years in Southeast Michigan hospitals.
She was instrumental in passing the statewide ban on smoking in most indoor places in Michigan, including bars and restaurants. She also championed a plan to end taxpayer-funded lifetime health care for lawmakers and voluntarily gave up the expensive perk for herself.
State Representative, 17th District
Bill LaVoy, 725 Saint Anne Lane, Monroe, is running for state representative on the Democratic ticket in the new 17th District, which includes Sumpter Township. He did not return his questionnaire from the Independent.
LaVoy is a lifelong resident of Monroe County. His has stated his priorities as: restore funding for public schools, protect and preserve the Great Lakes, bring business to Michigan to create jobs, and ensure fiscal responsibility.
He is married to Michelle Degraer
and they have two daughters, Grace and Carolyn. His parents are William LaVoy, former Circuit Court Judge, and Carolyn, former principal of Orchard Alternative High School.
LaVoy attended St. Michael’s Grade
School and Monroe Catholic Central High School. He continued his education at the University of Michigan. He was the Executive Director of Monroe Public Access Cable Television (MPACT).
He served on many boards including the City of Monroe Airport Board and the Monroe Cable Television Committee. As a member of the Rotary Club of Monroe he served as President and on the Board of Directors. He also chaired the Major Firms Division of the United Way during the 2011 Campaign.
LaVoy is a life member of the
National Rifle Association and North American Hunting Club. Additionally, he
holds memberships in Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Ducks Unlimited,
Monroe County Rod and Gun Club, Monroe Golf and Country Club and the Michigan Democratic Party. He and his family are members of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
Anne Rossio, 1578 Monroe St., Carleton, is running for state representative as a Republican. Rossio, age 29, has lived in the district for 28 years, 7 months, and this is her first try for elective office.
She is a substitute teacher/law student and expects to get her law degree from WSU in 2013. Before that she was employed at Oakwoods Metropark Nature Center as an Interpreter (naturalist) for five years.
She earned a BS degree in Psychology/Biology at Northern Michigan University. She belongs to the NRA, MCRGO, Monroe Moose, Flat Rock Elks, and volunteers at various capacities at Monroe Public Schools. Hobbies include distance running, mountain biking, and, in the past, dog sled racing.
“I believe I can make a difference in Lansing. I’ve seen more and more people leaving Michigan because they are unable to provide for their families here.
“We need to continue with programs and solutions that have worked to help start to restore and grow our economy while also creating jobs. With all of my teaching experience and involvement with the public schools, education is a top priority for me.”
Wayne County Commission
Robert Stano, 8909 Millington Ct., Belleville, Republican, is running for this position and did not return his questionnaire to the Independent.
Kevin M. McNamara, 45768 Prairiegrass Ct., Van Buren Township, Democrat, is running for reelection and did not return his questionnaire to the Independent, but information on him is easily accessible.
McNamara has served the Belleville, Van Buren, and Sumpter areas as county commissioner for the past six years. He said he collaborated with the Wayne County Road Commission and the Van Buren Township Downtown Development Authority to join the DDA’s resources with federal road funds to reconstruct an unsafe and cumbersome intersection at Belleville Road and Ecorse that began this summer.
McNamara recently was named to the Wayne County Airport Authority Board and he also serves as chair of the youth services committee of the Wayne County Commission, a standing committee that he urged his colleagues to form in 2011 to ensure that youth programs continue to be funded appropriately, especially juvenile services.
He also serves as vice chair of the committee on public services, which oversees the county’s roads and bridges and parks and recreation operations.
McNamara serves as a member of the ways and means committee; public safety committee; technology task force; and the transparency in Wayne County Government taskforce. Additionally, he is a member of the Wayne County Head Start Governing Board.
McNamara is a delegate to SEMCOG, Southeast Michigan’s regional planning agency, where he serves on the executive and finance committees. He is also active on committees which oversee transportation and infrastructure projects.
When District 11 was redrawn, McNamara moved to Van Buren Township, because where he lived in Canton wasn’t in this district.
The districts were redrawn as a result of the 2010 U.S. Census results. The original district’s population grew by 12.9 percent, largely fueled by the growth in Canton and Van Buren.
Keith Butkowvich, 4424 Second St., Wayne, is running for the county commission as a Libertarian. Butkowvich, 28, is unmarried with no children and has lived in the district for five years.
He is a grocery store clerk with a high school diploma from Lamphere High School in Madison Heights.
He never ran for elective office before, but did apply for a vacancy on the Wayne City Council.
He is treasurer of the Wayne County Libertarian Party, a member of the Michigan Libertarian Executive Committee, regular attender of Wayne City Council meetings, and avid baseball and football fan. He loves to travel around the U.S.
Butkowvich said he is running for office because he feels the current governing of the county is not efficient. He said the spending and departments need to be drastically reduced.
“There are also too many anti-business and anti-personal freedom ordinances on the books which need to be reviewed and repealed,” he said. “I’d also want more accountability for all departments, including the county executive.”
His goals include getting government costs reduced and creating more efficiency in county government. He would like to sell both Metro and Willow Run airports to private entities.
“This would create a better management, while actually creating more revenue for Romulus and Van Buren Township,” he said.