Joanna VanRaaphorst Wins Bid to Face Tom McMillin in November
"It's been fun ... If you're trying to do something good, why be stressed about it?" she says about her campaign so far.
Joanna VanRaaphorst, an Oakland Township businesswoman who has repeatedly expressed her passion for schools, community and small business support, easily won her bid for the Democratic spot on the 45th District Michigan House ballot.
She will face Republican incumbent Tom McMillin in November.
"It's been fun," said VanRaaphorst, recounting her past few days of campaigning.
"If you're trying to do something good, why be stressed about it?"
VanRaaphorst and a few dozen supporters gathered Tuesday night at Main Street Billiards in downtown Rochester.
VanRaaphorst pulled in almost 80 percent of the vote, according to tallies from the Oakland County Clerk's office. According to the unofficial results:
- Joanna VanRaaphorst: 3,542 votes (78.05 percent)
- Doug Wilson: 606 votes (13.35 percent)
- Ted Golden: 382 votes (8.42 percent)
McMillin, who ran unopposed, earned 8,570 votes.
VanRaaphorst said her morning began with family: they voted together at Baldwin Elementary School, where her children once attended. After, she traveled from precinct to precinct.
Her campaign crew over the past five months has included everyone from high schoolers to an 80-year-old woman going through chemotherapy who volunteered to make phone calls for the campaign.
"Every day for the past five months, I have been hearing these two things: 'We like our public schools' and 'We know somebody who can't find a job,'" VanRaaphorst said. Those issues will continue to be her priority as she campaigns against McMillin this fall.
"I really respect Tom," VanRaaphorst said Tuesday night. "He is earnest. He is smart. I just don't think he is working for us in Rochester."
VanRaaphorst has a background in sales and marketing and is an active volunteer in several community organizations. This is her first campaign. Read more about her here.