Editorial: Camp announcement creates chain reaction of election activities

Remember the board game Mouse Trap? You spend time building a contraption and once constructed, you start a ball rolling from its top. By the time that ball winds its way around this, and through that, it springs a mouse trap at the end of its run.

The political scene in Michigan reminds us a little of that game this week. What started as an announcement Monday by U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, that he was not going to seek re-election created a Mouse Trap of its own for Republicans in Northeast Michigan. Tuesday, State Sen. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, declared his interest in seeking Camp’s seat. That decision then opened the door Wednesday, when House Majority Leader Jim Stamas said he would run for Moolenaar’s Senate seat.

Meanwhile Peter Pettalia, who is away from the district at the moment, is reflecting on his potential future – whether to stay put as a House representative or try his chances at Moolenaar’s seat as well.

Why all this flurry of activity? The filing deadline in Michigan is April 22 so candidates need to get going in gathering signatures and petitions. While some, like Moolenaar, might initially have thought they were gathering petitions for a re-election campaign for the Senate, that changed quickly this week.

Others, like Stamas who was term-limited out of office at the end of the year, weren’t thinking anything at all about gathering petitions right now.

Regardless of what happens, the GOP appears to hold the upper hand in each of the impacted districts – Camp’s congressional seat, Moolenaar’s senate seat, Stamas’ House seat and Pettalia’s House seat (depending on his decision). Each race is viewed by political pundits as leaning Republican.

It all makes for interesting speculation and debate as campaign teams have had their worlds turned upside down and inside out.