State Rep. Gail Haines (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield) will not only face a Democratic challenger in the November general election, but also a primary fight now that a Republican has filed to run in the GOP primary election against the two-term state lawmaker.
Waterford Township resident Paul J. Greenawalt filed candidacy paperwork with the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Elections Division earlier this month to run for the new 43rd state House of Representatives District seat, which will represent the bulk of Waterford Township, along with Independence Township, Clarkston, and Lake Angelus.
Greenawalt ran for Waterford Township trustee in 2010 and for the state House in 2008, both as a member of the U.S. Taxpayer Party. His run for a partial township trustee term as a member of the United States Taxpayers Party ended with him receiving less than 5 percent of the vote, with Republican Anthony Bartolotta taking 54 percent and Democrat John Paul Torres taking 41 percent.
Greenawalt said he is no longer affiliated with the U.S. Taxpayer Party and his views of the Republican Party have changed.
“But looking more at the landscape, to be able to make a difference and to be able to get anything done in this state, you have to be on a major political party ticket,” he said. “I’m completely on the Republican side.”
He said he supports increased recycling efforts and giving businesses tax breaks to support those, as well as providing tax incentives to home owners with vegetable gardens to bolster food supplies and create exporting opportunities.
In addition, he said he would support legislation similar to the Utah Sound Money Act, which allows for gold and silver as legal currency alongside the U.S. dollar.
He also said he is pro-union and pro-life, as well as a supporter of gun rights and a ban on trans fats in Michigan foods.
Greenawalt, who is married and has two children, added that he would be in favor of including financial responsibility courses as part of the mandatory curriculum for high school students.
Haines has said she will seek re-election to the state House for a third and final term.
“I respect the democratic process,” Haines said. “He has a right to run, and I respect that.”
Waterford Township resident Neil Billington is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the 43rd state House District. He ran in 2010 as a Republican against Haines, and launched an unsuccessful recall effort against the Lake Angelus Republican last year.
State representatives serve two-year terms and are currently paid $71,685 annually.
The primary election is slated for Aug. 7, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 6. Candidates have until May 15 to file candidate paperwork to seek elected office.