ISABELLA COUNTY (WJRT) -
(08/05/14) - It's a race that received a lot attention - the Republican Primary in the 4th Congressional District, which represents Isabella, Clare, Midland and parts of Shiawasee County.
Three candidates were hoping to move on to the November general election to run for the seat of retiring congressman Dave Camp.
Despite being outspent by challenger Paul Mitchell, 5 to 1, State Senator John Moolenaar received 52 percent of the vote.
"I'm running for congress because I believe America is worth fighting for, and I believe that our best days are yet ahead. And I ask you tonight to continue on this journey with us as we work toward a winning campaign in November, and I want to say God bless you and God bless the United States of America," Moolenaar said Tuesday night.
In November's general election, Moolenaar will face Democrat Jeff Holmes, who was unopposed on the Democratic primary ballot.
Earlier Tuesday, we caught up with both Moolenaar and Mitchell.
Moolenaar spent part of the day meeting people in downtown Midland, trying to drum up last minute support. Right now, he's a State Senator serving the 36th district. He describes himself as a "proven trusted constitutional candidate".
He was outspent by Mitchell, but did get some key endorsements. Congressman Dave Camp, who he hopes to replace, supports him, along with Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, the Farm Bureau, Right To Life and the National Rifle Association.
"Ronald Reagan used to say our best days are ahead of us, and I believe that. I want to ask for someone. I want to ask to earn their vote and earn their trust in leading this country back to greatness. We have a tremendous country that was founded on great principles, and we can move our country in the right direction. I've been fighting that fight here in Michigan and I want to take that effort to Washington D.C.," Moolenaar said.
Republican Paul Mitchell's campaign headquarters was at at Buck's Run Golf Course, in Isabella County. Supporters planned to be there all night, watching the results come in.
"Voters have a clear choice in my opinion. Someone that has business experience, 35 years of business experience, understand how the real world works, versus a career politician. And we've said, throughout the campaign, voters' choice. If they want to change Washington, is change the people they send there. Send real people with real experience, rather than career politicians," he said earlier Tuesday.
Most of that business experience Mitchell mentions comes from his time with Ross Education, which aims to help adults get the skills needed to start a career. He says that background makes him a Washington outsider.