The Primary: A Wrap-Up
By N3 News Staff
The votes are tallied and soon to be verified and the people have spoken.
Well at least the 28% of our registered voters who bothered to show up and cast a ballot have spoken.
And now there is to be a new Sheriff in addition to a new County Clerk, two new commissioners and a bevy of new township officials come January 1.
Bob Mendham rode a wave of support to a rather convincing win in a matchup with current Sheriff Pat Hedlund that most...
...were calling to be a much narrower race. Instead, Mr. Mendham swept precincts throughout the county on his way to nearly 75% of the votes cast and will be moving from his Chief of Police posts in White Cloud and Grant to become the county’s top lawman in 2017.
Jason Vanderstelt will move from the Treasurer's office to his new digs as County Clerk as he collected enough votes to defeat current Clerk Andrew Robinson.
The ink is barely dry on former Deputy Brian Kolk’s retirement papers and now he’ll be preparing to rejoin the county as Commissioner of the 2nd District. Mr. Kolk successfully challenged incumbent Steve Johnson earning the right to represent Sheridan and Bridgeton townships and the south part of the city of Fremont with a large margin of victory.
In District 5 a 3 way race saw ex-commissioner Vern Willett emerge from the fray with a margin just great enough to grab the seat that represents the City of Newaygo. Garfield Township and the southern part of Brooks Township. Del Hirdes came up 15 votes short and Terry Harrison finished third, a little more than a100 votes behind Mr. Hirdes.
District 6 Commissioner Chris Ortwein will face November opposition from Democratic challenger Joe Frey. Both ran unopposed in their respective party races.
Commissioners Phil Deur, Jim Maike Pat Gardner, and Chuck Trapp ran unopposed and face no Democratic challengers in November.
Prosecuting Attorney Robert Springstead, County Treasurer Holly Moon, Register of Deeds Stewart Sanders, and County Surveyor Norman Ochs each ran unopposed with no one appearing on the Democrat side of the ballot this fall.
Drain Commissioner Dale Twing will face November opposition from Jamie Baker, an unaffiliated candidate from Newaygo.
The voting public was in a generous mood Tuesday or perhaps just recognized the value of the initiatives they were presented with.
All but two township millages passed as roads, fire departments, emergency services and other community needs got the nod from residents and library lovers supported the Grant District Library passing their request.
A trio of county proposals, one from the Sheriff’s Department and two from the Commission on Aging made their way onto the ballot and when all votes were counted each drew more yeas than nays.
Continuation of the road patrol was touted by a multitude of agencies and organizations beyond law enforcement entities as imperative to public safety. Backers cited the inevitability of a reduction in patrols and available services from the Sheriff’s Department as a result should the proposal fail.
Newaygo County voters listened and they believed, passing the measure by a 3-1 margin.
While the Commission on Aging is often lauded for the fine work they perform and the many vital services they provide no appreciation is quite like the one received at the ballot box. Newaygo County voters showed their gratitude for a job well done by not only renewing the agencies existing millage but saying yes to an additional request, one that will help the COA increase their services and number of people served.
At the State level Scott VanSingel was chosen by voters to be the successor to Jon Bumstead should he survive the November contest with Sandy Clarke who edged out Cathy Forbes for the Democratic nod.
To see all the election results both in totals and broken down by precinct please visit the Newaygo County website where in red on the homepage you will be guided to the information.