State races on the ballots in Dickinson, Iron counties

Incumbent Republican state lawmakers will face Democratic challengers in Tuesday’s election in both Dickinson and Iron counties.

State Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, who is seeking a third two-year term in the Michigan House, is opposed by Democratic candidate Renee Richer of Gladstone. LaFave represents the 108th District, which covers Dickinson, Delta and Menominee counties. He chairs the Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee.

Richer is a businesswoman and professor, operating The Farmhouse bed-and-breakfast while commuting to her teaching job at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She has a doctorate in biology from Harvard University.

State Rep. Gregory Markkanen, R-Hancock, is seeking his second term in the 110th District. He is opposed by Democratic candidate Janet Metsa of Portage Township and Green Party candidate Rick Sauermilch of Ironwood.

The district includes Keweenaw, Baraga, Houghton, Iron, Ontonagon and Gogebic counties, plus Ishpeming and Powell townships in Marquette County. Markkanen is majority vice chairman of the Insurance Committee in the House.

Metsa has a private consulting practice specializing in air and water environmental issues and in 2005 established Vesitech Inc. to explore the development and commercialization of water treatment technologies.

Sauermilch has campaigned to shut down the Line 5 oil pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac.

At the federal level, incumbent U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, is challenged by Democratic candidate Dana Ferguson of Negaunee and Libertarian candidate Ben Boren of Charlevoix.

Bergman, a retired Marine lieutenant general, is seeking his third term in the 1st Congressional District, which includes the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Michigan. He serves on the House Armed Services and Veteran Affairs committees and has positioned himself as an ally of President Donald Trump.

Ferguson, a former production manager at lumber company Bell Forest, supports a single-payer approach to health care and environmental provisions to combat climate change.

Boren is campaigning to shrink the scope and size of the federal government.


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