Chairman’s Corner by Scott McGraw

Well, it’s nally here. We are just days away from the general election that will determine so much for this community, this state and this nation. After more than 500 days of campaigning, we will nd out if Donald Trump will beat Hillary Clinton to serve as president of this great nation. It’s been a campaign for the ages. I can’t remember any other campaign in U.S. history that has been so impassioned, divisive and com- petitive – contrasting the extreme views of each candidate.

A lot is riding on this election – not just the presidency. Of course, there is the argument that the next president will pick two or three (I’ve even heard even four) of the future Supreme Court justices, shaping much of our nation’s legal interpretation for the next generation or two. So much is put on this because the Supreme Court’s role in our government has been heightened by its over-reaching power in recent years.

Even the presidency has become more than what our forefathers thought it should be. I am not in favor of the abuse of executive mandates – whichever party holds presidency.

Beyond that race, we have many races locally that will affect how our government is run here in Ka- lamazoo and Lansing. I see all the effort that candidates are making in our county and I am very proud to be a Republican. All the work that Fred Upton and his team are making, much of it here in Kalamazoo, is stellar. He has a tough race amongst three candidates (with the Libertarian Party) and I am much in favor of returning Fred to Congress. Brandt Iden has an even tougher race and I can say his efforts are extraordinary and I hope he is rewarded by voters returning him to Lansing.

But there are several local races that are going to be very close, including a couple of commission seats and a couple countywide races. Jerry Whitaker and Chad Dillon have been formidable challengers to their opponents in their commission districts. Republicans need to ip one seat to take control of the Kalamazoo County Commission (and not lose any existing seats). We have a very good chance to do that. However, election day could turn from happy to sad if we don’t return County Clerk-Reg- ister Tim Snow and Treasurer Mary Balkema to of ce. I am also feeling con dent that we can win one of the other countywide of ces between Jeff Heppler and Don Smith running for sheriff and prosecutor, respectively. And I am also encouraged by Oshtemo and Comstock township candidates who are working very hard to get elected. Republicans have a shot to pick up several seats in those races.

I have seen local Republicans work together like I’ve never seen before and I am very proud of our party. I’ve seen the state party support the county like it has never done before and I am thankful for this. This is what I will remember from this year’s elections: How we have come together to advance the principals of our party.

But what can we do at this late date? Many candidates and volunteers are still needed to contact voters right up until the close of the polls on Nov. 8. If you would like to help by making phone calls, please call the KGOP of ce at (269) 323-0067 and we’ll train you on our phone bank system. If you can help with literature drops, email Nate Henschel at nate.henschel@ and we’ll get you busy helping deliver our slate cards.