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House Candidates Golden, VanRaaphorst To Debate Wednesday

State Rep. Tom McMillin will also attend candidate forum sponsored by League of Women Voters.

Ted Golden and Joanna VanRaaphorst, both Democratic candidates for the 45th District House seat that represents Rochester and Rochester Hills, will face off on local issues this week.

The debate, sponsored by the Oakland County chapter of the League of Women Voters, is planned for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at . The public is invited to attend; the debate will be broadcast live on Comcast channel 20, WOW channel 10 and AT&T channel 99. It will also be replayed several times before the Aug. 7 primary election.

VanRaaphorst, of Oakland Township, has a background in sales and marketing and is an active volunteer in several community organizations. This is her first campaign. Read about .

Golden is a dermatologist and activist. He first ran for this seat in 2008. Read about .

Douglas Wilson is also on the ballot as a Democrat in the primary; according to debate coordinators, Wilson did not respond to the League's invitation to the debate.  

The winner of the August primary will face Republican Tom McMillin, the incumbent, in November.

McMillin also did not respond to the debate invitation. 

UPDATE, July 17: McMillin has said he will attend the candidate forum.

What would you ask the candidates?

Candidates will have one minute to make an opening statement before the debate begins. After those statements, they will be questioned alternately by audience members and by a panel that includes the editor of the one and only Rochester Patch.

In preparation for the debate, we're reaching out to our readers: what would YOU ask these two candidates? Which local issues should we bring up? How can we help you make an informed vote?

Send your questions to Rochester Patch editor Kristin Bull at kristin.bull@patch.com. Or, post your questions in the comments here. 

Bruce Fealk July 16, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Dr. Golden, you have run for office many times and lost badly every time. Why do you think the voters of Rochester Hills will vote for you this time versus the many other times you have run for office?
Bruce Fealk July 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Dr. Golden, the main issue in politics this year is reviving Michigan's economy. I visited your web site and you have no information about a plan to bring jobs back to Michigan. What is your plan for Michigan's economy?
Joshua Raymond July 16, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Whether you like his positions or not, Tom McMillin has been very active in educational issues. My question for the candidates would be "Educational reform will be vital for maintaining the United States as a leader in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and other fields. Michigan is also lacking in policies to accelerated gifted learners, who are often the entrepreneurs and employees needed for STEM start-ups. What education legislation would you propose at the state level, particularly as it relates to gifted students?"
Kristin Bull (Editor) July 16, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Good questions, Bruce and Joshua. I appreciate it!
PFLAG PARENT July 16, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Yes. Tom has been very active is singling out gay students for bullying. Hooray.
PFLAG PARENT July 16, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Yes. Tom has been very active in singling out gay students for bullying. Hooray.
Bruce Fealk July 17, 2012 at 07:47 AM
Mr. McMillin, at you town hall on Monday you took the position that the massive tax hike that was implemented by the Republican legislature was not a tax hike because the overall taxes collected by the state went down, even though poor people and some people on fixed incomes from pensions got massive tax increases. You signed a pledge with Grover Norquist never to raise taxes. Isn't your position that it's okay because taxes were only raised on poor people and some seniors on pensions ridiculous on its face?
Daryl Patrishkoff July 17, 2012 at 10:50 AM
My question is to all candidates. We all understand that we are now at a reduced tax collection rate and budgets are tight, the stimulus money is gone and we are spending reserve money to avoid deeper changes. It is a short time until we run out of money and we are bankrupt like Detroit. Since 2008 the tax payer in the private sector has seen major pay cuts, benefits slashed, pensions evaporated and job loss with underemployment to survive. The tax payer cannot pay a bigger tax bill. I am seeking a strong leader who is willing to do the unpopular things to right the course we are on and avoid bankruptcy. I do not care what party they are from. I will not accept the attacks on non-issues that make the strong leader look unattractive and muddy the waters. Our key problems are unrealistic budgets without accountability and a business friendly environment which will return meaningful employment to the area. What is your action plan to build a fiscally responsible budget that is sustainable in the future that provides only the core services government should provide? Also, how are you going to keep and expand the recent movement in Michigan to one of a business friendly climate?
Kristin Bull (Editor) July 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM
We just received word that Rep. Tom McMillin will attend the event. We look forward to hearing what all candidates have to say.
Jennifer D July 18, 2012 at 01:47 PM
As a parent of a special needs child, I would like to know why Representative Tom McMillin voted against all of the Autism bills.
Christopher July 18, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I would like to know if they agree with President Obama's statement that all business owners are only successful because their parents and the government helped them out?
Bob July 18, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Legalize it. About time to seriously look into decrim the pot laws.
dk July 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM
If you replace active with destructive, I'll agree with you.
dk July 19, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Ask McMillin why he kicked the can to next guy instead of cutting his own retirement benefits. Ask McMillin why Michigan legislators are the second highest paid in the country. Ask McMillin why women aren't allowed to speak on the House floor. Ask McMillin which taxpayer funded job he intends to run for when he's term limited. Ask McMillin why he isn't in private sector "creating jobs" instead of living off the taxpayer. If he hates government so much that he wants to destroy it, ask him why he can't tear himself away from the teat.
Dano July 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Joanna, Your web site states that you are running as a "democratic fiscal conservative". Isn't that a contradiction in the sense that I can't think of ANY democrates that vote for bills that are defined as fiscally conservative ? Yes, the cuts (benefits, pensions,etc) to the teachers, firefighters and policemen stink. Just ask any private sector employee how much they spend / contribute to the cost of their medical and retirement plan and I think you will find that the cuts are not only necessarry based on the budget constraints (deficit) but also becomg more in line with the private sector.
Dano July 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Oakland, So McMillin is the ONLY State Rep. who's not working in the private sector ? There are no Democratic party State Reps living off the taxpayers ? Come on, let's talk real issues with some sense of reality.

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