Sunday, March 2, 2008

Randy Young announces for John Garfield's Seat

House race to replace Garfield is under way

The contest to succeed term-limited John Garfield as state representative for the 45th District is shaping up.

So far, one Republican and one Democrat have announced they are running for the seat. Both live in the city of Rochester. The election is in November.

Copper Rizzo, 23, a district coordinator for Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, formed his candidate committee last year and has already raised nearly $8,000. He plans to make a formal announcement Wednesday and will take a leave of absence from Bishop's staff to campaign.

Democrat Randy Young announced last week that he will also run for the seat. A teacher at Macomb Community College, Young, 48, is also a partner with his wife, Diane, in The Athena Group, a Rochester-based financial business.

The House district covers Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township. Young said he thinks a Democrat can win the seat, although the territory is considered largely Republican.

"I don't think a Democratic candidate has really put forth an effort to any large degree to run a winning campaign," he said. "I think it's wide open."

He also said he thinks voters are ready for a change.

"Like a lot of voters, I have not been happy with some of what's been going on in Lansing, especially, for example, the budget fiasco last year."

Rizzo is a 2003 Adams High School graduate who attended Michigan State University. He was recently appointed to the Rochester Historical Commission and served as campaign treasurer in the successful Hills City Council campaign of Vern Pixley. Rizzo's own campaign treasurer is Rochester Councilman Jeff Cuthbertson. Young grew up in Sterling Heights. He earned a bachelor's degree at Oakland University and two master's degrees in coastal oceanography at Stony Brook University in New York. He is a longtime board member of the Clinton River Watershed Council and serves on the Oakland County Solid Waste Planning Commission. (248) 651-7575, Ext. 17

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