With just over a month left before the May 15 filing deadline, the race for the new 39th state House District seat is shaping up to be the largest in the area as a total of six candidates so far are seeking the Republican and Democratic parties’ nominations, with two more hopefuls making their intentions of running for the seat known.
Regina Strong, a West Bloomfield Township Democrat, and Republican Kristine Zrinyi of Commerce Township both filed paperwork with the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Elections Division late last month.
Strong, a mother of two daughters, most recently sought elected office in 2010, when she challenged state Rep. Gail Haines (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield). During that election, Haines took 63 percent of the vote, while Strong received 33 percent.
“It has a lot to do with what’s happening in our state,” Strong said of her decision to run for the state House again. “I’ve been really dismayed with all the money that’s been pulled away from the School Aid Fund, and I’m really concerned about the way we’re trying to bring our state back, on the backs of the most vulnerable citizens of our state.”
In addition, she said she is concerned about declining revenues to cities, villages and townships.
“I know we’re all cutting back, but it’s really starting to have a strong impact on our communities,” Strong said, noting that a campaign kick-off event was held recently. “I don’t want us to be concerned about (cutting) police, fire, and teachers.”
On the Republican side, Klint Kesto of West Bloomfield, Nicholas Kennedy of Wixom, and Bubba Urdan of West Bloomfield have announced campaigns or filed to run for the seat. Democrat Pam Jackson, who ran for the state Senate in 2010, is also seeking her party’s nomination.
The new 39th state House District drawn last year as required after the release of 2010 U.S. Census data includes Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Wixom, and the western half of West Bloomfield.
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.
A message left with Zrinyi was not returned prior to press time.