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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 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 , 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 .

Linda Kaye Davis-Kirksey August 08, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Congratulations Joanna! Onward to victory in November! Fun working the polls with you yesterday!
patricia ozybko August 08, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Congrats Joanna!!!!!!!'. Well done!!!
Candy Harris August 08, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Congrats, Joanna! On to Lansing
Dano August 08, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Sorry Candy but McMillin will be representing the fiscally conservative voting base in Oakland Co. We can't afford the alternative.
Terry August 08, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I will first say congratulations. I am a fiscal conservative who tends to vote Republican. That said, I am not happy with Tom McMillan. I will however vote for him, if Joanna is nothing more than an MEA cheerleader. This state must address the disparity between public and private sector healthcare and pension costs if it has any chance at being successful. I suspect Joanna will have a difficult time if she leads with the union talking points. People will vote with their wallets and let Tom McMillans social views slide.
Paul August 08, 2012 at 01:25 PM
90% of McMillin's money comes from special interest groups and some hate groups. I won't let that slide.
Al Trudeau August 08, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Congratulations Joanna!! We KNEW you would do it!
Chris Doan August 08, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I hope people get to know Joanna before the November election. She is the superior candidate and will represent ALL her constituents to the best of her ability.
Dorothy August 08, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Joanna is not a radical ideologue wedded to an agenda. She will represent the needs and interests of all the people in our community, and she absolutely has my vote.
Dorothy August 08, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Precisely. Tom McMillin raised our taxes to give a tax cut to business. He took money out of our schools to give to charter schools in urban areas and other communities. He voted to cut compensation to MI state legislators, starting with the guy right behind him. You bet I intend to vote with my wallet.

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