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SAGINAW NEWS — Republicans win state House seats

November 5, 2008

“(Openly homosexual Democrat Garnet) Lewis, 47, a Central Michigan University administrator, said she had no regrets, despite negative attacks launched on her in the final days of the campaign. …The Campaign for Michigan Families, which listed on state campaign finance records conservative American Family Association of Michigan president Gary Glenn as its treasurer, launched a radio ad that in part took issue with Lewis as a potentially openly gay legislator. Glenn, an activist opposed to gay marriage and same-sex benefits for public employees, also sent e-mail to the media Oct. 24 noting Lewis had received endorsements from Michigan Equality, Triangle Pride and other gay rights groups. …Lewis said she would not run for office again.”

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SAGINAW NEWS
Saginaw, Michigan
November 5, 2008

Republicans win state House seats
by Barrie Barber | The Saginaw News

Midland Township Republican James N. Stamas had to hire a manager at his Midland pizzeria so he could take a job in Lansing.

Stamas beat Tittabawassee Township Democrat Garnet Lewis in Tuesday’s general election to claim the state House 98th District. Term limits prevented state Rep. John R. Moolenaar of Midland from re-election in the district that spans parts of Saginaw and Midland counties.

Stamas captured 25,977 votes (about 57.9 percent) versus 18,871 (42.1 percent) for Lewis.

…Stamas, 43, will join his brother, Sen. Tony Stamas, also a Midland Republican, in the Legislature. Lawmakers earn about $79,600 a year in base salary.

“It’s about putting people back to work and getting jobs,” said James Stamas, vice chairman of the Midland County Board of Commissioners. “We knew it was going to be a tough race. We’re very pleased with the results.”

Lewis, 47, a Central Michigan University administrator, said she had no regrets, despite negative attacks launched on her in the final days of the campaign.

“We ran a good race, we ran an honorable race,” she said. “We can be very proud of it.”

The independent political action committees Great Lakes Education Project, funded in part by former gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, had attacked her as a tax raiser — despite Lewis saying in interviews she wouldn’t raise taxes. The Campaign for Michigan Families, which listed on state campaign finance records conservative American Family Association of Michigan president Gary R. Glenn as its treasurer, launched a radio ad that in part took issue with Lewis as a potentially openly gay legislator. Glenn, an activist opposed to gay marriage and same-sex benefits for public employees, also sent e-mail to the media Oct. 24 noting Lewis had received endorsements from Michigan Equality, Triangle Pride and other gay rights groups, The Associated Press has reported.

Lewis said she would not run for office again.

“I love my job in education, and I feel when I go in the classroom and I interact with young people they accept me as I am,” she said. She didn’t respond directly to the ads, but still criticized the attacks.

“I don’t like the dirtiness of things,” she said. “I want to wash my hands, and it’s unfortunate that’s what it takes to win an election. It’s filthy. … Everything they did in the last two weeks was absolutely filthy. I’m better than that. I’m above all that. I won’t lower myself to that.”

The Coalition for Progress, a PAC founded and funded almost entirely by Kalamazoo billionaire Jon Stryker, spent more than $320,000 mostly on TV ads that touted Lewis as an effective candidate to answer the state’s woes.

Stamas has said he had no control over outside groups attacks on his opponent. He said he focused on his message of lower taxes and jobs in his campaign.
http://www.mlive.com/saginawnews/news/index.ssf/2008/11/republicans_win_state_house_se.html

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