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Courser, other candidates to debate at Tea Party event

Courser website

Fourteen candidates to fill an open Michigan House seat are scheduled to appear at a debate Friday evening in Lapeer County, including the man who resigned the seat.

Todd Courser stepped down near the end of a marathon session as House members debated expelling him over allegations he used his office to cover up a romantic affair with another state lawmaker. An hour later, the House voted to expel State Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, with whom Courser had a romantic relationship.

The sometimes bizarre series of events, including Courser’s attempt to use a faux gay sex scandal to distract attention from his affair with Gamrat, drew national news media attention and became the fodder for late- night TV comics.

Bill Gavette is with the Lapeer County Tea Party, which is hosting the debate. He says people in Courser’s old district just want to move forward.

“Quite frankly, I think most folks want to see it done,” says Gavette. 

Gavette expects several hundred people will turn out to hear the candidates Friday night. 

Eleven Republicans and three Democrats will appear on the November primary ballot. 

The winners of next month’s Republican and Democratic primaries will face off in a general election in March.

Cindy Gamrat is also seeking re-election to her former seat in the state House.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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