Kent County's election season gets even more interesting

The beginning of an election year is typically chock-full of campaign announcements. This week was no different, with the news that two long-time countywide officials here in Kent County will be retiring.

First, longtime Prosecutor Bill Forsyth announced on Tuesday that he would step aside.

Forsyth, 66, has spent more than 40 years as a prosecutor, the last 30 acting in an administrative capacity.


"Nothing will ever match or replace the joy, the pride and the heartache I have experienced as a prosecutor," Forsyth said in a prepared statement on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker is said to be weighing a run, although no announcements have been made.

The next day, County Clerk Mary Hollinrake announced her decision to step aside.

"It's hold the position for one more year (through the end of my current term) or five more years," Hollinrake said.


Hollinrake last year was urged by The Grand Rapids Press editorial board to come up with funding to put campaign finance reports online, a step that Hollinrake agreed "we need to move forward post haste."

(She still hasn't, by the way.)

Hollinrake succeeded Terri Lynn Land in 2000 - yes, that Terri Lynn Land. Term-limited state representative Lisa "pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered" Lyons is said to be eyeing that job.

These retirements are just the latest developments in what is turning out to be an interesting election season here in Michigan. As mentioned recently, two circuit judgeships will be filled by voters this year - and depending on how many people run, we might have a primary. In addition, three lawmakers - Ken Yonker, Tom Hooker, and Lyons - are term-limited out of office. (The real action in those red seats will be in the primary.)

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