Trump strongly carries Osceola County, local races decided

REED CITY — Voters in Osceola County had their say on Tuesday, Nov. 8, in selecting candidates to fill offices from their school board to the White House. According the Osceola County Clerk Karen Bluhm, the results were certified Thursday.

In the presidential election, Republican nominee Donald Trump was the clear choice made by Osceola County voters, with the political outsider receiving 7,336 votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton receiving 2,705 votes. Libertarian Gary Johnson received 401 votes and Green Party nominee Jill Stein received 96 votes. U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate Darrell L. Castle received 52 votes.

Voters throughout the county overwhelmingly supported incumbent U.S. Rep, John Moolenaar, for Michigan’s fourth district seat in Congress. Moolenaar received 7,007 votes to Democratic challenger Debra Wirth’s 2,526 votes. Libertarian Leonard Schwartz received 256 votes, U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate George Zimmer 192 votes, 143 voters cast ballots for Jordan Salvi from the Green Party, and Keith Butkovich of the Natural Law Party received 73 votes.

Osceola County residents clearly supported Republican Michele Hoitenga to fill the 102nd House seat in Lansing. Hoitenga received 3,761 votes to Democratic challenger Douglas Gabert’s 1,521 votes. Those in the eastern portion of the county voted for a representative for the 97th District House seat, selecting Republican Jason Wentworth (3,761) over Democrat Robert Townsend (1,521).

In Osceola County, the position of prosecuting attorney was on the ballot, with Tyler Thompson running unopposed in the race. Thompson recently was appointed to be the probate court judge for both Osceola and Mecosta counties by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Of the 10,765 ballots cast, Thompson received 8,077. Numbers for write-in candidates, former prosecuting attorney James Sims II and Erin Carrier Barnhart, were not available. A total number of votes cast for each write-in candidate will not be known until they are approved by the county’s board of canvassers.

Thompson is expected to take the oath of office for probate court in the coming weeks, and the 49th Circuit Court judges will be tasked with appointing a replacement to complete the remainder of his current term as prosecutor, said Osceola County Clerk Karen Bluhm prior to Tuesday’s election. The clerk added when the term begins in January, a new appointment by the judges will need to take place, and voters will have their say in the 2018 general election.

At the county level, the only contested race was for the sheriff’s position. Incumbent Sheriff Jim Crawford (7,201) beat challenger challenger David Fowler (2,319).

The following is a breakdown of other contested races throughout Osceola County:


Ralph Carlson    298

John C. Joyce    307

Rickie L. Machleit    251


John Calabrese    103

Robin Marvel    105


Kimberly Erickson    134

James A. Jackson Sr.    92

Patricia Ruth Jacobs    75


Hector J. Couture    466

Nicholas C. Peffer II 467

Danielle Ball        164

Adam Stein        167


Dan Burchett        470

Roger W. Meinert    506

David Scharlow    461

Carol A. Tillotson  444  

Evan C. Traynor    426



Kristine M. Fuller    1,232

Kimberly Johnson    1,269

Jesse Kailing    1,778

Mitch Miller    774

Jason Proefrock    1,497

Ed Raby    982

Jeremiah Thompson    941


Terry Kischnick     532

Linda B. Raymond    626


Kevin Delancey    1,076

Rose Ann Fowler    961

Jim Peterson    1,500


Voters in Evart and Osceola townships rejected a 1-mill increase through 2018 for the Evart Area Joint Fire Department, to be used for maintenance and improvement to the join fire hall, with 579-517. In Evart Township, voters rejected the proposal 340-288. It would have raised $47,837 in 2016. Osceola Township turned down the increase 239-229.

Voters in Orient Township approved a four-year, 1-mill road construction and maintenance proposal, 221-127. The proposal will raise an estimated $31,565 annually.

Reed City residents approved an amendment to the city’s charter, modifying bidding requirements and procedure, 465-331. The change would regulate the purchase and sale of city property, while removing regulations setting the monetary thresholds requiring competitive bidding and setting procedural requirements.

Sherman Township approved the four-year, 2-mill proposal for continued participation in the Tustin Area Fire District, 365-137. The renewal will raise an estimated $63,000 in the first year it is levied.

In Sylvan Township, voters renewed a four-year, 1-mill proposal for road construction and maintenance, 248-129. It is estimated to raise nearly $32,000 annually.

Evart Public Schools voters renewed the 18-mill non-homestead proposal, 1,571-1,058. The four-year proposal applies to all non-principal residences in the district and is required so the district can receives its per-pupil foundation allowance.

All vote totals are unofficial until the board of canvassers certify the results.

Osceola County election results certified

REED CITY — Osceola County’s results from Tuesday’s general election have been certified by the board of canvassers.

According to Osceola County Clerk Karen Bluhm, there were no changes in numbers from what the office received and counted Tuesday evening.

Upon certification, vote totals for write-in candidates for the county prosecutor’s position also became available.

Erin Carrier Barnhart received 47 votes, while former prosecutor James Sims II received 161 votes. The two filed to be write-in candidates within days of Gov. Rick Snyder appointing current prosecutor Tyler Thompson as probate court judge for both Osceola and Mecosta counties.

In Osceola County, the percentage of registered voters showing up to the polls was very similar to surrounding counties.

With all precincts reporting, voter turnout was at 62 percent, with a total of 10,766 voters.

“I was projecting right around 65 percent, so we were about where I thought we’d be,” said Osceola County Clerk Karen Bluhm.

Compared to the 2012 presidential election, there were 374 more voters this cycle. However, there also were more registered voters than four years ago, Bluhm said.

Bluhm said precinct clerks ready and prepared for high voter turnout and election officials remained busy, but kept order at polling locations.

“I was in each precinct at some point and I didn’t see long lines at any point when I was there,” Bluhm said. “I waited less than 10 minutes at my precinct when I voted early in the morning, which is when it’s pretty busy. What I saw was our 18 precincts moving right along consistently to keep traffic flowing.”

Bluhm recognized the effort put in by her staff on Election Day.

“Kudos to all the precinct inspectors and local clerks who knew what they had to do and did it well,” Bluhm said. “They did their job quickly and efficiently. Judging from the paperwork that came in, it’s looking good. It was a long day, but they worked hard and I’m proud of them.”

Thompson took the oath of office for the judgeship on Monday, Nov. 14, vacating his prosecutor’s position.

“The circuit court judges of Mecosta and Osceola counties will then make an appointment through the end of this year to finish out Thompson’s current term,” she said.

Thompson also will decline to take the oath of office for the new term he was just elected to fill, creating a second vacancy, for which the judges will have to make a second appointment.

Osceola County’s election results can be found at

Herald Review staff writer Emily Grove-Davis contributed to this report.