In the August 2 primary, 83 of Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) AgriPac-endorsed Friends of Agriculture were successful and will now focus their campaign efforts on the Nov. 8 general election.
Isabella County Farm Bureau leader and first-time candidate Jerry Neyer won a competitive race in the 92nd House District (Isabella County and a portion of Gratiot County), crediting his extensive Farm Bureau involvement in preparing and deciding to run for office.
“After looking over the other candidates, they didn’t have the background that I thought we needed for the district — we needed somebody with an agriculture background,” Neyer said. “This was the type of race that needed a person dedicated to knocking doors and getting out there and talking to the people and hearing what they had to say…that’s how I gained my support.”
Neyer’s strategy for the general election is simple, “More of the same. Not letting off the doors. Working on fundraising.”
Additionally, several incumbent state-level candidates with farm ties were successful and will appear on the November ballot.
- Sen. Kevin Daley: The Senate Agriculture Committee chair and Lapeer County Farm Bureau member is pursuing reelection to the 26th House District (portions of Lapeer, Genesee, Saginaw, and Tuscola counties).
- Sen. Dan Lauwers: The St. Clair County Farm Bureau member is seeking reelection to the 25th Senate District (St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron and portions of Tuscola, Bay, Saginaw and Midland counties).
- Sen. Ed McBroom: The Natural Resources Committee chair and Iron Range Farm Bureau member is seeking reelection to the 38th Senate District (the Upper Peninsula, excluding eastern portions of Mackinac and Chippewa counties).
- Sen. Roger Victory: The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee chair and Ottawa County Farm Bureau member is pursuing reelection to the 31st Senate District (portions of Ottawa and Allegan counties).
- Rep. Sarah Lightner: The Jackson County Farm Bureau member is pursuing reelection for her third and final term in the newly redrawn 45th House District (portions of Calhoun and Jackson counties).
- Rep. Luke Meerman: The Ottawa County Farm Bureau member is seeking reelection for his third and final term in the 89th House District (portions of Ottawa and Muskegon counties).
- Rep. Bryan Posthumus: The Kent County hops farmer is seeking his second term in the 90th House District (portions of Kent County).
MFB’s election expert, Matt Kapp, said the organization is pleased with the success experienced by so many of the organization’s endorsed candidates.
“We’re sending congratulations to our victorious Friends of Agriculture,” Kapp said. “And we look forward to supporting them going into the general election.”
“I’m thrilled about Jerry Neyer. Jerry was in a very competitive primary and did not have the same financial resources as some of his competitors, but he proved that by working hard and knocking doors six days a week that a common good man can win in politics.
“Jerry will be an outstanding farmer citizen legislator and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that he’s a graduate of MFB’s Academy for Political Leadership.”
Kapp added that AgriPac will reconvene in early September to review county Farm Bureau recommendations and determine if any additional endorsements will be made.
In the Congressional races Friends of Agriculture and incumbents Reps. John Moolenaar, Tim Walberg, and Lisa McLain easily defeated their primary challengers, as did 10th district newcomer John James. Reps. Bill Huizenga, Jack Bergman, Dan Kildee, and Debbie Dingell were successful in their uncontested races.