The district covers St. Joseph County and most of Cass County.
Republican incumbent Aaron Miller of Sturgis and Democratic challenger Dennis Smith of Centreville face no primary challengers.
There are no primary races for the district that covers all of Van Buren County, Alamo Township, Cooper Township and Parchment in Kalamazoo County.
Incumbent Republican Beth Griffin of Mattawan will face Democrat Dan Seibert of Paw Paw in the general election.
Six candidates are seeking the Republican nomination. Current state Rep. Dave Pagel cannot seek re-election because of term limits. The winner faces Democrat Dean Hill in November.
Seeking the GOP bid are Steve Bury, Dana Daniels, Daniel Hinkle, David Mann, Bradley Paquette and Kelly Priede. All but Priede are Niles residents, Priede is from Sawyer.
Bury, a St. Joseph native, is a Marine veteran and worked with the Federal Aviation Administration before becoming a lawyer. He and his wife have two adult children.
Daniels, 61, has served on the Niles Board of Education for the past 15 years and is the board president. He has worked in the information technology field for 30 years. He and his wife, Barbara, have one grown daughter. He has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the Berrien County/Niles-Buchanan Relay for Life.
Hinkle, 35, works as an air freight specialist at XPO Logistics in Buchanan. He has one son. He is a reserve officer for the Buchanan Police Department and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.
Mann, 26, is making his second run for the 78th. He lost to Pagel in a three-way primary race in 2012. He has served on the Niles City Council from 2011-16. He has a bachelor’s degree in religion and master’s degree in divinity from Andrews University and works in the religion and history department.
Paquette, 30, is a teacher at Niles New Tech, a project-based learning program of Niles Community Schools. He is active in the community and is a member of the Niles Planning Commission.
Priede, 52, is owner of a property management company. She is a graduate of River Valley High School and Loyola University in Chicago, where she got her bachelor’s degree in political science. She and her husband, Andre, have one daughter.
The 78th state House district covers central and southern Berrien County and four townships in Cass County.
Five Republicans and two Democrats will vie for nominations to the 79th District state House seat. The district covers northern Berrien County.
The Democratic candidates are Joey Andrews and Marletta Seats, and the GOP candidates are JoAnn DeMeulenaere, Bruce Gorenflo, Troy Rolling, Maria Moen and Pauline Wendzel.
Andrews, 29, of St. Joseph graduated from Wayne State Law School in 2013 and is a lawyer. He has owned and operated various small businesses, including managing a family business and starting a solar panel installation company.
Seats, 68, of Benton Harbor is a former Berrien County commissioner and is the current Benton Harbor school board president. She has three grown sons.
She is retired from Robert Bosch Corp. and served on the Berrien County Board from 2005 to 2017.
DeMeulenaere, 47, of Bridgman is married and has three children. She has a bachelor’s degree in policital science from Purdue University and has served on the Bridgman Board of Education since 2009. She is a member of the Bridgman Foundation of Educational Excellence.
DeMeulenaere is a medical malpractice defense paralegal at May Oberfell and Lorber.
Gorenflo, 60, of St. Joseph is a senior technical writer/product communications coordinator. He and his wife have three grown sons.
Gorenflo is a member of the Berrien County Republican Party Executive Committee and has served as precinct delegate for the city of St. Joseph Precinct 2 since 2014. He is secretary of the Board of Directors of Christian Involvement in Service and is active in his church.
He is a graduate of St. Joseph High School, Lake Michigan College and Western Michigan University.
Rolling, 45, of Benton Harbor, is a 1991 graduate of Eau Claire Public Schools and a current student at Liberty University. He and his wife have four children in the Lakeshore Public Schools.
He became involved with the Berrien County Republican Party in 2003 and in 2005 was elected to represent the Berrien County GOP on a Michigan Republican Party committee. He was alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2008.
He was elected as vice-chairman of the Michigan Republican Party in 2009, and in 2010 became a Fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University. He, along with two others, founded the Frederick Douglass Foundation in 2008.
After selling cars for 12 years, Rolling formed The Political Company, a campaign management and consulting firm. In 2014 he launched a second business, Redtie Concierge, a personal and corporate concierge service.
He served three years as a member of the Benton Township Planning Commission, and is a member of the Michigan Great Southwest Strategic Leadership Council.
Moen, 52, of St. Joseph is married and has two sons. She has a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Mundelien College, Chicago. She has held several positions, including sales, human resources, and training and development in her 13-year career with Nordstrom. More recently, she worked for the past 10 years as a consultant in the relocation industry.
Moen is vice president of the Board of Directors of Curious Kids Museum, and serves on the St. Joseph Public School Foundation Board. She has also served as an advisor for the Berrien Community Foundation “TEAM” (Teens Exhibiting Able Minds), on the Basic Needs Committee for United Way, and on the Lake Michigan Catholic school board.
Wendzel, 28, of Watervliet is a graduate of Watervliet High School and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology and food industry marketing from Michigan State University.
She worked on her family’s farm at a young age, counseled children at a Christian camp and was Michigan Apple Queen in 2007. She became Programs Director at the North Berrien Historical Museum in 2014, and said she learned about the election process by serving as assistant deputy clerk for Bainbridge Township.
Wendzel is the product brand development manager at Coloma Frozen Foods.
Republican incumbent Mary Whiteford faces no primary oppossition. Meanwhile, Democrats Erik Almquist and Mark Ludwig will face off.
Ludwig, 49, and his wife, Kim, founded Sand Lily Farms. Ludwig finishes cattle while working as maintenance manager for Abcor Industries. He has been on the Fennville school board, the Allegan Conservation District and the Clyde Township Planning Commision.
Almquist, 51, is a Fennville city commissioner and works for Apple Inc. as a consultant to Apple Store Genius Bars. He has an associate’s degree from Kishwaukee College in Illinois. He has two sons in college and is engaged to be married.