Moolenaar claims 4th District GOP primary victory


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:58 am on Wednesday, August 06, 2014

John Moolenaar

A state senator is one step closer to representing the 15-county 4th District of Michigan.

John Moolenaar, 53, of Midland, bested two other Republicans in one of Tuesday’s hottest primary election races. He came out on top with 34,401 votes. His main opponent Paul Mitchell, of Saginaw, had 23,844 votes. Peter Konetchy, of Roscommon, finished a distant third with 7,408 votes.

“It’s a very exciting time,” said Moolenaar, who watched election results from his home in Midland with family, friends and campaign volunteers. “I’m just grateful for the support we received all across the district.

“It was a spirited campaign,” added Moolenaar, who is currently senator for the state’s 36th District. He will go on to face off against Democrat Jeff Holmes of Alma in November’s general election.

“I appreciate the opportunity to meet with voters and hear their concerns and share common goals of what we’d like to see of moving our country in a new direction,” Moolenaar said. “I think the voters responded to the work we’re doing here in Michigan by moving Michigan in a better direction by paying down debt and by making our business climate more attractive for jobs. I think those are goals people want to see in Washington, D.C. I heard a lot about the concerns of the overreaching of the federal government and I want to fight those battles for the people.”

Longtime Congressman Dave Camp is not pursuing re-election to the 4th District, which encompasses the central and northwest section of Michigan, including 15 counties: Clare, Clinton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montcalm, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, Saginaw, Shiawassee and Wexford.

“I want to congratulate John Moolenaar on his primary victory,” said Camp in a written statement Tuesday night. “I have known John for many years and he will continue to move forward on comprehensive tax reform. John knows the hardworking families in Michigan’s 4th Congressional District should have every opportunity to succeed without government intrusion. I look forward to helping John win in November.”

Mitchell gave a concession speech to disappointed supporters Tuesday night at Bucks Run Golf Club in Mount Pleasant.

“I called John Moolenaar and congratulated him on his win tonight,” Mitchell said. “I told him I will support the Republican ticket in the fall.”

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