WALKER, Mich. — Walker City Commissioner Carol Glanville ran unopposed in the Democratic primary to fill an open Kent County state House seat, not knowing who she'd go on to face in the May special election. Her opponent is now decided and Glanville believes the race is now bigger than just Democrat vs. Republican.
Glanville will face Republican nominee and entrepreneur Robert 'RJ' Regan in a May special election for the vacant 74th district seat in the state House. The district is historically red and is made up of the area in Kent County both west and north of Grand Rapids. In the week since the primary, Regan has been embroiled in controversy over things he's said.
“As a woman, as any person, I think, to hear that kind of language from anybody, let alone someone who is stepping up to represent the public. I mean, it's just it's an outrage. It's unconscionable," says Glanville characterizing a recent remark regarding rape made by Regan on a Facebook live stream.
That remark is just one of a number of controversial statements he has made in interviews and on social media, where he’s posted about the pandemic being “fake” and questioned whether Russia was actually attacking Ukraine--among other things.
“To try to step into a governance position, espousing that these things aren't real, how can you govern? If you are unaware, or unwilling to accept the reality of the conditions in which you work and the people you represent?” Glanville said in an interview with FOX 17 Monday.
It’s not just his opponent, some Republicans are also calling out the candidate.
In a scathing statement the conservative Michigan Freedom Fund called him unworthy to serve, imploring west Michiganders to reject him at the ballot box, while saying his recent comments were “despicable and disqualifying.”
“RJ Regan doesn’t belong anywhere near the state Capitol and that is why we endorsed and supported his opponent," says MFF Executive Director and strategist Tori Sachs.
“I think the most important thing we need to do is really just make sure voters know that this election is happening on May 3 and regardless of where you are, right or left, you have a choice, you have a choice for a candidate that is going to represent this part of the state well,” Glanville added.
The winner of May’s special election will go on to serve eight months in the Legislature, both candidates have made it clear that they will run again for a full term in the newly-drawn 84th state House district.