2012-08-09 / Front Page

Mixed bag in election

Sheriff seat may see fight, 3 out of 4 millages pass

MANISTIQUE – If the August Primary Election is any indication of the upcoming general election, it’s going to be a mixed bag of results. Locally, both incumbents and newcomers showed gains.

Vying for the position as Schoolcraft County sheriff, incumbent Grant Harris and newcomer W. John Norrington may have a battle ahead. In Tuesday’s election, Democrat Norrington garnered more votes than Republican Harris – 527 to 454.

In the county commissioner race, the spot for District 1, currently held by Republican Craig Reiter, could see some competition. Democrat Jerry Glasscock acquired 70 votes Tuesday, not far behind Reiter’s 94. However, the 53 Republican votes went to Reiter’s partisan challenger, Michelle Allsteadt.

Departing commissioner George Ecclesine is leaving a spot for two new candidates in District 2 – Democrat Susan Cameron and Republican Rudy Lawrence. In Tuesday’s primary, Lawrence beat out Cameron with 85 votes to her 74.

For District 3, Democrat and incumbent Allen Grimm gathered 157 votes, while newcomer Republican Jill Johnson garnered 75.

Both District 4 and 5 are uncontested races, with Democrat Gerald Zellar and Daniel LaFoille holding their spots, respectively.

Other contested races of the local primary included the Inwood Township supervisor and clerk. Two democrats vied for each spot – Patricia Hardy and Kelly Silkworth for supervisor, and Kelli Stapleton and Alicia Williams for clerk. Hardy lost to Silkworth, collecting only 61 votes to her 141. Stapleton proved successful over Williams, with 113 votes to her 87. There are no Democratic candidates for either position listed on the ballot.

On the millage side of the ballot, three out of four measures passed. The Michigan State University Extension millage request failed by a mere 98 votes, gaining only 564 “yes” and 662 “no” votes. The measure had asked for .19 mills to fund a MSUE office and services in Schoolcraft County. This is the third time the millage request has failed.

According to Jim Lucas, MSUE coordinator for Schoolcraft County, the organization will plan their next move from here.

“I want to thank all the supporters that ran our millage campaign and the citizens of Schoolcraft County that believe in the educational programs MSU Extension provides them,” he said Wednesday. “I will discuss options with the Schoolcraft County Commissioners and take this to our millage campaign committee and ask them what they would like to do.”

The Manistique Senior Citizen Center earned its request for a renewal of the facility’s current .4697 mills. The measure passed with 973 votes in favor and only 283 voting against.

An operating millage renewal for the Schoolcraft Conservation District Department also passed Tuesday, with 676 “yes” and 548 “no” votes. The measure will continue the current .0535 mills assessed to fund the department.

Thompson Township Volunteer Fire Department will be receiving a new fire vehicle and equipment after Tuesday’s vote, as voters approved the requested increase to the current millage.

In the state-wide race for U.S. Senator, Pete Hoekstra proved victorious over his Republican competitors. Hoekstra reaped 398,309 votes while Clark Durant had 246,544. Gary Glenn came in a distant third with only 71,602 votes, and Randy Hekman brought in a mere 48,713. Incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow garnered 554,918 votes Tuesday.

For the 109th District State Representative seat, serving Alger, Luce, Marquette and Schoolcraft counties, Republican Jack Hubbard beat out his partisan competitor Jim Hafman with 3,365 votes to his 1,299. On the Democratic side, Tony Retaskie lost to his competitor, John Kivela, with only 4,316 votes to his 4,512.

Though they are not in the hot seat yet, incumbent Republican Dan Benishek and Democrat Gary McDowell saw some preliminary numbers Tuesday in the race for 1st District Representative for Congress. In the primary, McDowell pulled in only 35,877 votes, while Benishek held down his fort with 64,423.

For more local election results, visit www.schoolcraftcounty.net.

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