The election results are in: In a harrowing nail-biter of a Republican Party primary, attorney and publisher Peter Lucido led Shelby Township Clerk Stan Grot by 1 percent once all 34 precincts had been accounted for at approximately 11:15 p.m. Aug. 5.
The final tally was 4,753 votes — or 50.5 percent — for Lucido to 4,650 votes — or 49.5 percent — for Grot. Lucido will move on to face Democrat Robert Murphy for the position of District 36 state representative in the general election on Nov. 4. The winner will represent Shelby, Washington and Bruce townships and the city of Romeo in Lansing.
As the votes were counted, Lucido led by a small margin for the majority of the evening, although Grot was not far behind and, at times, Grot pulled ahead. Both candidates led strong, well-funded campaigns.
“We came up short on votes and we’ll see what happens from here on,” Grot said in a phone interview. He declined to comment further.
Lucido said he sunk more than $150,000 of his own money into his campaign, and that he did not accept money from special interest groups or other organizations that he would have to pay back.
“No one knows what to expect, what voters think or what voters do, but I think, in the grand scheme of things, a win becomes a win and, even as close as it was, it’s still a win,” Lucido said.
He said his plan now is to take some time to rejuvenate and rekindle the relationships with his wife, children and extended family, which he had neglected in light of his campaign efforts.
“Once I recharge, I want to give it all that I can and learn as much as I can from the people in the 36th district. I want to know what their concerns are; I want to know what their needs are; I want to know what it is that I can bring to a brighter future tomorrow for the 36th district,” Lucido said.
He added that he decided he wanted to run for office as a state representative about two years ago, when he knew that current Rep. Peter Lund’s third and final term would be coming to an end in November 2014.
“I decided, after 25 years of practice, it would be better for me to go on to the next level, the next plateau, to give back on a larger scale in regards to this community,” Lucido said. “I know I served the small businesses and families of this community, and now I want to do it on a larger scale.”
As for the mudslinging, finger-pointing and “dirty” politics that often came into play between Lucido and Grot, Lucido said he would put that behind him and look toward the future.
Murphy, the Democratic candidate, has been a perennial candidate since 1998. He is retired from the building trades and currently is a student studying physical fitness, he said.
“It surprised me that, with the amount of money Mr. Lucido spent, that he didn’t win by a bigger margin,” Murphy said. “Right now, I’m busy making my own ‘vote for me’ signs because I haven’t got any money.”
Murphy said his plans for the next few months before the general election in November include making himself very visible and available for questioning anywhere and anytime in public, and that he will wear a shirt identifying him as a candidate.
He said he planned to affix his homemade signs to his truck and trailer, along with a plywood board announcing a schedule of appearances he planned to make.
“We’re all Americans, and we’re not getting represented correctly,” Murphy said. “The biggest help I can get is from folks believing an ordinary citizen with extraordinary decisions can be a lawmaker.”
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