Candidate Bios

Candidate Bio: Max Riekse

Candidate for State Rep 91st District

max-riekse> Lt. Colonel Max Riekse; U.S. Army Retired; 32 years; Vietnam War and Iraq War Veteran; Michigan K-12 Public Schools Retiree; 23 years.
> Fruitport Public Schools K-12; graduated 1965
> Rated (A) twice by the NRA – National Rifle Association – for his strong support of our Second Amendment Individual Rights. Max is a Life Member of the NRA & has been a member since 1964
> Endorsed by Right to Life of Michigan – PAC – June 2014
> Past Commander of Fruitport VFW Post for many years
> Former Board Member of Fruitport Township Parks Commission; elected to 2 terms.

Max has one son who attends Fruitport Public Schools; both are involved in Fruitport Boy Scouts.
• Max does not support Common Core;
• End the legislative war against Public Schools; public school Teachers; and Retirees. Max has absolutely no use for the liberal MEA
• Max will work to eliminate property taxes on homes of seniors 70 & over.
• Eliminate the tax on senior pensions that Holly Hughes voted for
• Marriage is between a man & woman; that is Biblical going back thousands of years
• Revoke all unconstitutional Michigan asset forfeiture laws which go against 4th Amendment due process
• No more tax dollars to Detroit; after years of bad government, Detroit needs to get its act together without our money
• Max strongly supports Donald Trump because he will end unfair trade deals like NAFTA which has cost hard working Americans millions of dollars

Candidate Bio: Mark Grant

Candidate for Muskegon County Drain Commissioner

Mark Grant:
• 53 year old Life long resident and US Navy Vet.
• With 27 years experience at Heating and Air Conditioning repair
• Served as President of MI ACCA and West MI ACCA and sits on Board for Michigan Irish Music Fest.
• Knows how to listen to people and lead and Fix things, deal with engineers and contracts.
• Willing to Serve the Constituents of Muskegon County with integrity and transparency.
• Will protect property rights,Protect your money and keep your agenda not my own.
• Vote for Mark Grant for Drain Commissioner for Muskegon

Candidate Bio: Bill Stone

Candidate for Fruitport Village Council

I am running for another term on the Village Council because I love Fruitport. I am married to Rose, and have 4 adult children. I am a 1980 graduate of FHS, and have lived here most of my life. I graduated from GVSU with degrees in History, Political Science, and Education. I am starting my 18th year as a teacher, most of which was spent teaching Government, Economics, and History with Shelby Public Schools. I am now at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center and I love it. What a great opportunity for the students of FHS and Muskegon County. In my short time on the FV Council, I have witnessed many changes. I believe there are many still to come. We have a wonderful opportunity with the waterfront and the park, and need to take advantage of and improve this asset to the Village. Additionally, the residents need somewhere to go where they can get their questions answered well and factually. We need honest answers in real time. Too many people have heard “I will need to check on that and get back to you,” only to never be contacted again. Transparency is vitally important when working with the residents of the Village of Fruitport. Thank you.

Candidate Bio: Tim Burgess

Candidate for Fruitport School Board

Tim Burgess-pictureTim Burgess and his wife Tracy have been residents of Fruitport Township for fifteen years.  Their daughters have attending schools in the district throughout their academic careers, spanning fourteen years:  Maggie is a freshman at Ferris State University, Erika is a freshman at Fruitport High School, and Jackie is a second grader at Beach Elementary.  Tim has been an active member of the community for many years, coaching Teeball and pony tail softball, sitting on several non-profit boards, and participating in many fundraising events.  He is a member of Sts. Patrick and Anthony Church and the Knights of Columbus.

Tim is a proud graduate of Michigan State University (B.A. Social Science, 1993).  He has Land Bank Director for the County of Muskegon for the last six years and has worked for over a decade further in community development roles.  Intimate knowledge of real estate, housing stock, and intergovernmental relationships are a few of the key skills Tim would bring to the Board.

Tim’s goals for the Board would be fostering a sense of unity and common purpose among all affiliated with FCS, retention of students and teachers within the entire district, and planning for the future of facilities amid the potential for tremendous growth we find in our district.  Tim believes we face a critical point within our district, with impending development providing an opportunity to reach a level of success unimaginable only a few years ago.


Candidate Bio: Denise Winebarger

Candidate for Fruitport Township Trustee

denise-winebargerI would like to be a voice for the public

• Bachelor’s Degree, Western Michigan University (Business/Computer Science/Mathematics)
• Associate Degree, Muskegon Community College (Business/Accounting)
• Michigan Certified Assessing Technician (MCAT)
• Graduate of Muskegon Police Dept. Citizen’s Academy
• Family Financial Credit Union Board Member
• Presently: Muskegon County District Court Clerk
• Previous: Holton Township Administrative Clerk

I Would Appreciate Your Vote

Candidate Bio: DJ Hilson



Mr. Hilson graduated from Thomas Cooley Law School in 1999 with honors and started as an assistant prosecutor in Muskegon County Prosecutor that same year.
DJ Hilson has appeared in every courtroom in Muskegon County trying over 80 felony cases including several murders, violent assaults, and criminal sexual conduct cases. In August of 2012, DJ Hilson was elected as the Muskegon County Prosecutor.
DJ Hilson believes in serving the community. He is a member of Muskegon Rotary, Prince of Peace Knights of Columbus Council 15337, Fraternal Order of Police, and the Muskegon Heights Optimist Club, Child Abuse Council (President), Drug Free Coalition of Muskegon (Vice-Chair), Alliance for Mrijuana Prevention (AMP) (Chair), Social Justice Commission, Mediation and Restorative Services, Alcohol Liability Initiative (Past-Chair), Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon (President of the Board), Muskegon Catholic Central Board of Trustees, and the School to Prison Pipeline Task Force. DJ Hilson was the 2013-14 Past President of the Muskegon County Bar Association. At the State level, Mr. Hilson serves on the Board of Directors for the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, currently serving as its Vice-President. In April of 2015, DJ Hilson was appointed by Governor Snyder to represent PAAM and all Michigan County Prosecutors on the Criminal Justice Policy Commission. DJ Hilson is happily married to his wife Tricia and has been blessed with two sons and a daughter.

Candidate Bio: Mark Fairchild

Candidate for Muskegon County Register of Deeds

mfairchild“Mark F. Fairchild, 57 years old residing at 893 Center Street, Muskegon, MI 49442, Married to Shelley for 24 years with our 20 year old son Charlie.
I have served as your Muskegon County Register of Deeds for the last 17 Years. I am a Past Muskegon County Commissioner for 13 Years & Branch Manager for a National Mortgage Lender.
The Register of Deeds Office is very Important to the Citizens, Businesses and Local Economy of Muskegon County. Last year alone the Register=s Office Recorded and Protected Billions of Dollars in new Real Estate Transactions. I have been successful in achieving many positive improvements in the Register of Deeds Office. Those improvements allow me to protect your most Important Real Estate Assets, deliver exceptional customer service and save your Tax Dollars. Those Improvements Online include Property Fraud Guard, Home Security Search and Access to the last 55 years of Register of Deeds Records at
I believe I have the Experience, Dedication and Professional Background to continue providing the Government Leadership and Great Customer Service that the Register of Deeds Office currently provides.  ‘No politics-just public service, The Door is Always Open’
Thank you, Mark F. Fairchild”

Candidate Bio: Sue Buckner

Candidate for Sullivan Township Clerk

“My name is Sue Buckner and I am seeking re-election for Sullivan Township Clerk. I have held this position for six years and want to continue to serve Sullivan Township. I am a lifelong resident of Sullivan Township with strong community ties.
Being your Clerk is a big responsibility.
* I maintain township records such as board meeting minutes, book of oaths, and voter registration files.
* I conduct elections and ensure accuracy and transparency.
* I develop and monitor the township budget; maintaining the township’s financial health.
* I am the Board Liaison to the Planning Commission.
I would appreciate your vote and continued support on November 8.”

Candidate Bio: Greg Hulka

Candidate for Fruitport Township Trustee

“Dear Fruitport Area Voters, my name is Greg Hulka. I am running for Fruitport Township Trustee. It would be an honor to serve on our board. I am a life long resident of Fruitport. I graduated from Fruitport High in 1981. I have been married to Lisa for 25 years, we have three children; Samantha, Rachel, and Michael. We also have five grand children.
I am a strong proponet of the casino, if people wish to attend a casino I would rather have them support our local economy than travel across the state. I previously served on our board as trustee from 2004-2008.
I will continue to support our local public safety, police and fire. I served on our department of public works board my last term. We are blessed with the departments that we have. I will make only one promise and that will be to work hard to better our community and try my best to represent everyone. I would appreciate your support November 8th. Thanks, Greg Hulka”

Candidate Bio: Paula Baker Mathes

Candidate for Muskegon District Court Judge

Paula-Baker-MathesPaula Baker Mathes has been a lawyer for more than 22 years.   She graduated from Tulane University in 1990 and Cooley Law School with honors in 1993.  Most of her career has been as a trial lawyer.  She has been in private practice, a prosecutor, and a defense attorney.  She currently works in Muskegon County’s Public Defender Office.

“Having represented clients from both sides of the courtroom, I understand the issues and the lasting impact the decisions by the Court have on people and their families.  As a judge, I would ensure fair, impartial and just consideration to all those who would come before me on the bench.”

Candidate Bio: Holly Hughes

Candidate for State Rep. – 91st District                          

I am running for re-election because our hometown and hard-working taxpayers deserve an effective Representative that gets things done. I will stay focused on jobs and the economy.  As the author of over 15 new laws, I have helped people all across our county to cut through bureaucratic red tape and advocate for common sense West Michigan solutions. I have worked closely with our county’s educators to make sure they have the resources to provide a world-class education to our kids, and I have fought for our veterans because they have always fought for our freedoms. I ask for your support so that our hometown values continue to have a voice in Lansing!

Family: My husband Rick and I have two daughters, Morgan and Taylor and Son-in-law Jonah.

Education: Michigan State University – 1981 B.A. Business

Offices Held:
State Rep. – 91st District 2011-2012 & 2015 to Present (2 terms)
– White River Twp. Trustee – 1996-2008 (3 terms)
– American Hometown Leadership Award – 1999 Received from National Assn. of Towns and Townships Association. Nominated by my fellow White River Twp. board members for channel restoration project and development of life ring alarm system (first in the nation.)
– Montague Area Public School Board
– MUSTFA Board – Appointed by Gov. John Engler
– Muskegon Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC) – Former Board Member

For more information go to:

Candidate Bio: Justice David F. Viviano

Candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court

justice-david-vivianoDavid Viviano was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court in 2013 and elected to complete his term in 2014. He is the Supreme Court’s point person for judicial training and e-filing.

Justice Viviano previously served as Chief Judge of Macomb County, where he led one of the largest trial courts in Michigan. He was elected to the Circuit Court in 2006 and again in 2012.

Justice Viviano has worked to reform Michigan’s jury system and implement new technologies – such as e-filing and videoconferencing – to help courts operate more safely and efficiently.

Before becoming a judge, Justice Viviano worked at two nationally-recognized law firms before starting his own firm.

Justice Viviano graduated from Hillsdale College and the University of Michigan Law School.

He and his wife live in Sterling Heights with their four children.

Candidate Bio: Brooke Slagle-Moore

Democratic Candidate Fruitport Township Clerk



“Dear Neighbors, First and foremost, I adore where I live and the Fruitport Community. I know I would love being your clerk. It is my passion; I have been working with West Michigan’s Clerks for over 12 years. You can be confident of my knowledge, fiscal-mindedness and belief that government is best run by the people it serves. I believe in working hard and am eager to be involved in the improvement of the quality of life for my Fruitport Neighbors. Let’s work together!”

Please Vote November 8! Brooke Slagle-Moore, Democratic Candidate Fruitport Township Clerk.  The candidate with CLERK experience.



• Endorsed by Carol Hulka, current Fruitport Township Clerk of 24 years.
• Over 12 years Clerk experience with Ottawa County Clerk’s Office and currently Deputy Clerk at Moorland Township, Muskegon County.
• Accredited with all state-required training for election administration.
• Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Associate’s in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Baker College of Muskegon.

Visit for more information.

Candidate Bio: John Austin

Candidate for State Board of Education

austinphotoJohn is running for reelection to the State Board of Education, after having served as President of the Board for the past three years. John brings a unique perspective to the SBE, as a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution and the director of the Michigan Economic Center. He knows that education is the engine of opportunity for Michigan children in our changing economy, and he fights for equity in education quality so that every student has the same shot at a successful career in the field of their choice.

John supports investing more in our schools, and devoting more funding to students with the greatest need— for example, special education students and non-native English speakers. His opponents seek to continue the trend of defunding our public schools in favor of unregulated charter and cyber schools that aren’t being held accountable to Michigan taxpayers. John has led our state’s business, education and higher education community to help more of our people access and succeed in public education. John wants to raise up our struggling public schools and move Michigan forward as a model state for education excellence and higher education attainment.

Candidate Bio: Nikki Snyder

Republican Candidate for State Board of Education


Born in Marquette, Michigan, Nikki has been a lifelong Michigan resident. She now lives in Whitmore Lake with her husband and three children and is running for the State Board of Education.

Working at University of Michigan for over 9 years in various roles, she started her career as a Registered Nurse in Labor and Delivery at Von Voightlander Women’s Hospital. Now working at Providence Park Hospital in Novi, Michigan, Nikki is a Lactation Consultant and teaches Breastfeeding Education. She is also a Part-Time Faculty Instructor in the Department of Nursing at Washtenaw Community College.

Nikki is an advocate for women, children and mental health. Her third child was born a pediatric amputee, missing a right forearm and hand.  She raised over $10,000 for Detroit Variety Children’s Charity – Myoelectric Program, which funds the spectrum of care and prosthesis provided for pediatric amputees for kids around the world.

There are many issues facing Michigan schools today and Nikki plans to bring professional, parental and advocate experience to the table to represent the future success of our children. Her top priorities are Special Education Reform, Student Achievement, Local Control and Parental Rights.

Candidate Bio: Ronald E. Graeser

Candidate for U.S. Congress, 2nd District

Candidate for U.S. Congress, Dr. Ronald Graeser, is a family practice physician. He grew up in Tucson, Arizona and received his B.S.E.E. from the University of Arizona. After working as an electrical engineer for three years he took premedical courses at Calvin College and then attended the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine where he received his medical degree in 1970. He has practiced in Newaygo county since 1972. He was the medical examiner for 23 years in Newaygo, Lake, and Osceola counties. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserves medical corps with the rank of colonel after 20 years service. He is married to his first wife and has three grown children.

Candidate Bio: Judge Timothy G. Hicks

Candidate for Circuit Court Judge

Timothy G. Hicks has served as your Circuit Judge since 1996. During that time, he has managed several thousand criminal and civil cases, and has presided over 250 jury trials. He was Chief Judge of the 14th Circuit from 1999-2002.

Judge Hicks is widely respected throughout the State. He was President of the Michigan Judges Association in 2012. He currently serves as Chairman of the Michigan Supreme Court’s Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions. He has also taught many classes for the Michigan Judicial Institute, the educational arm of the Michigan Supreme Court, and wrote an article about innovations in the conduct of jury trials for the Michigan State Bar Journal.

Prior to his appointment to the Bench, Judge Hicks was in private law practice for thirteen years. Before that time, he worked as a teacher, counselor, and coach in two different Michigan high schools.

He considers it a high honor and great privilege to serve as your Circuit Judge.

Candidate Bio: Roy J. Portenga

Candidate for Muskegon Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees

roy-portenga-image001I’m running for re-election to the Muskegon Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees.  I was born and raised in Muskegon County, attended West. MI Christian High School, MCC (’71-’73), Univ. of Michigan, and then Valparaiso University School of Law.  I’ve been practicing law in Muskegon since 1981 and have raised my family in the County.

When I returned to Muskegon after law school, I wanted to “give back” and I could think of no better way than to get involved in the school I loved—MCC.  I became involved in the MCC Alumni Association, the MCC Foundation, the ’95 Presidential Search Committee, and then I became elected as a Trustee in ’98.  I’ve since been re-elected twice and respectfully ask that you help me get re-elected again.

As it did with me, MCC changes lives—economically, socially, and emotionally.  I am committed to making sure MCC continues to offer cutting edge, quality college courses at affordable prices.  I think our Board has been doing that.  Indeed, Value Colleges recently ranked MCC 27th out of the nation’s 1711 community colleges.  I will do my best to make sure this value continues.

Roy J. Portenga
711 Center Street
N. Muskegon

Candidate Bio: Dennis B Murphy

Candidate for Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District

dennis-1_smDennis Murphy is running to represent west Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District. Dennis is a native of West Michigan, growing up in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights. He understands and appreciates the people and natural resources in this part of the State.

Dennis graduated from Muskegon High School followed by Western Michigan University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education. After teaching for three years, he changed careers. He has worked in manufacturing since 1995 and as a quality engineer since 1999 in the automotive manufacturing industry. Dennis understands the importance of the automotive and manufacturing industries to our economy. He will fight for policies to support good jobs.

Dennis and his family are avid cyclists and runners. Dennis has been actively involved in the mountain biking and bicycling advocacy since 1999. They also enjoy backpacking, camping and canoeing. He will work to protect our natural resources and ensure that access and opportunities are maintained.

Dennis has been married to Joni (Keglovitz) for 29 years and has two sons- Patrick and Brenden. As a husband and father, Dennis appreciates the need for laws to protect middle class families. “We need to ensure job and educational opportunities for our younger generations and do all we can to build a growing middle class. We also have to support Social Security and Medicare for current and future retirees by preventing privatization of these programs.”

You can find out more about his positions at

Candidate Bio: Erwin Haas

Libertarian Party candidate for Michigan’s second congressional district.

Commissioner, Kentwood’s Second Ward-No new taxes or debts on my watch
commissionerhaascloseup_sm-Flight surgeon in Vietnam, highest rank, major
-Worked last 5 years at Fort Bliss Army Hospital
-Infectious Diseases physician
-Board member of the Grand Valley Coop Credit Union for 8 years
-Medical advisory board, Hospice
-MBA GVSU; taught marketing
-Licenses to sell real estate and stocks
-Writer, published in Liberty Magazine,, Medical Economics, Michigan Medicine; also a dozen scientific articles on medicine
-Economist/blogs commentator
-Author of 3 books; all unsuccessful
-Produced, edited and directed THE OPEN MIKE program on Channel 24 in Grand Rapids.
Canisius College, BA University of Buffalo, MD Grand Valley State University, MBA
-Married for 41 years to Kris Kitzsteiner MD, 3 successful kids

Campaign Website

1) Right-size our military commitments and costs. Our Army has lost almost every one of its wars (including my war) during the last 70 years and didn’t stop terrorist attacks in the USA.
2) Replace the corrupt and inefficient IRS with the fair tax-basically a national sales tax. This plan has a “prebate” that pays the tax for the poor.
3) Balance the budget and pay down the national debt by eliminating 4 departments of government; energy, commerce, education and HUD. These add plenty of harmful regulations, none of which have economic benefit.
4) My parents were legal immigrants, became citizens, and contributed mightily to our country. That goal needs to be retained. Folks coming here should be enthusiastic, ambitious, working toward citizenship and assimilation.