Kevin Cotter claims victory over Adam Lawrence, winning second Michigan House term

Adam Niemi/Staff Photographer Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, right, stands in line waiting to vote Tuesday in the election at Union Township Hall. Cotter waited in line for 12 minutes to vote.

Incumbent Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, was likely to have been re-elected to the Michigan House of Representatives for his second term in the 99th District.

Cotter was projected to defeat his Democratic opponent Adam Lawrence, leading Lawrence 12,239 votes to 9,520 with 29 precincts reporting as of 12:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Cotter's campaign strategist, Matt Golden, said he was awaiting final numbers from the seven Mount Pleasant precincts before giving Cotter the thumbs-up to declare victory. Golden calculated vote totals until he could determine that the remaining unknown votes were negligible in determining a winner. Cotter declared victory at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"I feel really good," Cotter said at 11:10 p.m. when he was ahead 5,663 to 3,747. "There are still a lot of numbers to come in, but I haven't lost a precinct yet, so I feel good."

A call to Adam Lawrence was not returned.

Cotter said he was not nervous throughout the day.

“If you’re nervous on Election Day, that means you didn’t do your homework,” Cotter said during breakfast at Stan’s, 220 E. Broadway St. Tuesday. “It’s like trying to finish a book report the day it’s due.”

Cotter, along with family, friends and supporters watched live updates of local and national election coverage at the Isabella County GOP Victory Party at Hunter’s Ale House, 4855 E. Bluegrass Road. The updates were projected on a 200-inch projector screen keeping patrons updated about how Isabella County voted in the 2012 election.

Cotter, who was elected in 2010, has promised to continue to focus on education, promising to increase the amount of surplus funds going towards education.

Cotter also said he would push to continue reviewing the health care system in Michigan, particularly in developing the health care exchange for the state, in lieu of the federal government setting up the exchange for the state. The health care exchange will determine what will be covered and what would not.

Lawrence opposed Cotter on his stances in both education and health care.

Lawrence said the best way the state legislature can invest in the citizens of Michigan is through education, arguing Cotter was not focusing enough resources on the issue.

Lawrence also expressed concern with Cotter's stance on health care on the grounds that not enough people in Michigan were covered.

Cotter and Lawrence disagreed the burden of the slumping Michigan economy was being shared equally.

“I certainly don’t believe that this burden is being shared,” Lawrence said in a Oct. 18 debate with Cotter at the Mount Pleasant City Building, 320 W. Broadway St.

Both candidates agreed the tax burden on small businesses needed to be decreased.


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