Aug. 10 2017 10:19 AM

Houghton squeaks into the General Election — by 35 votes

Incumbent 2nd Ward City Councilwoman Tina Houghton beat out neighborhood activist Julee Rodocker by just 35 votes, 660 to 625, in Tuesday’s primary election. Both came in behind political newcomer and union plumber Jeremy Garza.

Garza and Houghton now roll into the general election with decent war chests. He had $5,686 on hand July 28 for his final filing before the primary. He reported a $5,000 donation from the Saginaw plumbers on Aug. 2. Because expenditures are not reported, Garza’s onhand cash as of Aug. 2 can only be estimated at about $10,586.

Houghton reported having $13,869 on hand when she filed her campaign finance reports July 31, a day late. Her campaign was assessed a $25 campaign fine for filing the report late.

The Former Lansing City Council internal auditor, Jim DeLine, garnered 302 votes, while college student Jaron Green received 102 votes.

DeLine said in a Facebook post Tuesday night the race was now “between the developers’ candidate and the union candidate,” taking a swipe at his former opponents. Houghton raised much of her money during a July 20 fundraiser hosted by developer Pat Gillespie. Garza took in most of his money from various union groups.

Houghton and Rodocker did not respond to requests for comment.

Garza said by email, “As I go door-to-door, people are telling me they want local elected leaders to focus on the issues that matter, like fixing our roads and improving public safety. I look forward to continuing to have conversations about these critical issues as the campaign moves on to the general election.”

The other Council incumbent in the primary, At-Large Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar faced problems as well. She came in second to Peter Spadafore, a member of the Lansing school board, followed by Guillermo Lopez, another member of the school board, in third and newcomer Kyle Bowman in fourth. They will compete in the General Election for two at-large seats.

In the 4th ward, attorney Brian Jackson came in first, well ahead of anthropoligist James McClurken. They will face each other on Nov. 8 in a bid to replace Jessica Yorko, who is stepping down.