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4 candidates vying for open state Senate seat in Kent County

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Posted at 2:56 PM, Nov 02, 2021

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — Voters in some parts of Kent County will vote in a special election Tuesday to fill a vacated state Senate seat.

Republican Mark Huizenga, Democrat Keith Courtade, Libertarian Alex Avery and U.S Taxpayer Party of Michigan member Theodore Gerrard are all vying to fill the open 28th District state Senate seat and serve the remaining year of a four-year term.

The seat was vacated after former GOP state Sen. Peter MacGregor stepped down after being elected to his current role as Kent County treasurer.

The 28th district is largely made up of the area of Kent County both north and west of Grand Rapids.

State Rep. Mark Huizenga (R-Walker) the former mayor of Walker, won a tightly contested GOP primary earlier this year and in an historically red district, he is the favorite to win Tuesday.

Huizenga says he wants to make sure taxpayer dollars and COVID-19 relief money is being spent responsibly.

“Really digging in to find out what's working, what's not working, and how we can do things better. You work for 10 million people, you got to remember, these are hardworking taxpayer dollars, and how do we do the best we can with all that money,” Huizenga said.

On the other side of the aisle, former Kent County commissioner and retired GM worker Keith Courtade says he’s once again running for public office because he wants to make sure voting is accessible for everyone

“Everybody deserves the right to have their voice heard...there are several ways in which we should be able to vote,” Courtade said.

Voting rights, as well as tackling issues with polluted drinking water and infrastructure, are atop his priorities.

“I've always been the person that's taking care of my friends, my family, and all the people around me, whether it's somebody that's got car trouble over the side of the road, or in this case people that need protection from other means,” Courtade added.

Avery and Gerrard weren’t available for interviews at FOX 17's request on Monday.

Polls are are open from 7 am to 8pm Tuesday. To see what’s on your ballot, click here.

READ MORE: Election Day: What Michigan voters need to know before heading to the polls