The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, August 17, 2012


By The Building Tradesman

Gleason, Retaskie lose, narrowly

By the slimmest of margins, two candidates from the building trades running for state representative seats in the Aug. 7 primary came up short.

In Genesee County’s 48th District, Patrick “Shorty” Gleason of Iron Workers Local 25, lost to Democratic challenger Pam Faris, 3,938-3,912. So you don’t have to do the math, that’s only 26 votes.

In the central Upper Peninsula’s 109th District, Tony Retaski of IBEW Local 1070 also narrowly lost, by 196 votes, 4,512 to 4,316, to challenger John Kivela.

Since both the 48th District and 109th District lean Democratic, both winning  candidates are expected to coast to victory in the November general election.

“Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing,” said Retaskie, the executive director of the Upper Peninsula Construction Council. “We ran a good campaign and we did everything we could. I’m glad it was a close race, but it’s still second place. A lot of people stepped up to support my campaign, and it was really a nice what they did.”

Retaskie said the close vote count is proof that every vote counts. “It just shows how important it is for people to take the time to vote, because you never know,” he said.

Gleason said he “will never forget” the help he received during the campaign from the building trades. “When you talk about 50 to 60 people walking door to door for you, plus the phone banking and putting up signs, it was very well organized,” he said. “We got out about 2,000 more votes than the Secretary of State projected in our district.”

Gleason added: “I am so proud of my affiliation with the building trades. I’ll tell you this, the effort that was put forth to try to get Tony and I elected is just the start. That machine is going to get better. And we have to keep trying. There’s just no replacement for having your own people on the inside working in the Legislature.”

Volunteers sought to board up houses

Volunteers are being sought to participate in an effort to board up 100 abandoned Detroit houses in the Seven Mile and Hoover area.

The 100 Houses effort will take place Saturday, Aug. 25. Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom is helping organize the effort, in conjunction with the Detroit Rescue Mission. Their aim is to make the area safer for kids walking to and from school.

People with some carpentry skill and the ability to swing a hammer are being sought, but all are welcome. For more information, call 866-992-GIVE, and you will hear recorded information. Or go to