Johnson and Shoemaker win 72nd District; Brann wins 77th District in primary

We The People 2016

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It will be the battle of the Steves for the 72nd District State House of Representative seat as Republican Steven Johnson and Democrat Steve Shoemaker will face off in the Nov. 8 general election.


Steven Johnson, a Wayland resident, came out on top of a field of five candidates all vying for the Republican spot in yesterday’s primary on the November general ballot. Johnson had 2,257 votes with restaurant owner Tony Noto coming in with 1,758 votes followed by school teacher Ryan Gallingly with 1,555. Bill Hirsch had 1,367 votes and Kentwood resident Robert Coughlin finished with 646 votes.


The 72nd District includes the City of Kentwood and Gaines Township in Kent County and Leighton Township, Wayland Township, Dorr, Township and the City of Wayland in Allergen County. The seat is currently held by Ken Yonker, who is vacating due to term limits.


The race for the seat was tight with Noto actually defeating Johnson by less than 100 votes in Kent County. However, Johnson secured a strong lead in his home county of Allegan where he finished the night with more than 600 votes ahead of Noto.


In the 77th District State House of Representatives race, restauranteur Tommy Brann beat out business owner Frank Murin for the Republican spot. Brann had 6,752 votes to Murin’s 755. Brann will face off against Democrat candidate Dana Knight for the seat being vacated by Thomas Hooker due to term limits. Hooker actually ran a successful bid against long-time Byron Supervisor Audrey Nevins Weiss. Hooker received 2,699 votes and Weiss had 1,469.


The 77th District includes Byron Township and the City of Wyoming.