Kent County Sheriff already facing two challengers

Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma, 66, had planned to retire this year, but decided not to.

Now comes news that one of his detectives, Tim Lewis, is mounting a campaign.

"I honestly expected him not to run again," said Lewis, 48, who pulled his name from the ballot in 2012 when Stelma decided to run. "I don't think anybody expected him to run this time. I personally don't know why he's running because (at age 66) he should be enjoying life.

"We have a younger department and we need to have a younger leader that can relate more to the employees."

Lewis said he wasn't prepared to challenge in incumbent four years ago, but now he's ready to mount a campaign.

It's tempting to wonder if there's something going on in the Sheriff's Department, but in all likelihood, it's just a case of someone (Lewis) wanting a promotion.

At any rate, what makes this all fascinating is that Stelma was ready to retire in 2012 - meaning that if he's re-elected, he'll have to stay in office for eight years longer than he had planned.

Stelma is also facing a challenge from John Stedman, who previously challenged Stelma in the 2008 Republican primary and as an independent candidate in 2012.

As for other countywide races: Chris Becker is running to succeed Prosecutor William Forsyth.

While she hasn't announced yet, it's pretty clear that Lisa Lyons wants to succeed retiring Clerk Mary Hollinrake. Last month, Lyons sided with the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks in opposing the ban on straight-ticket voting. This was likely done to prevent any current township clerk from running against Lyons in the Republican primary, although they might see through that, given that she did introuduce a bill that would make life more hectic for clerks.

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