UPDATE: Osceola voters approve road patrol, COA millages
REED CITY — Osceola County voters approved both county-wide millage requests during Tuesday’s primary election.
Throughout the county, 3,801 — or 22.1 percent of the county’s 17,144 registered voters — cast ballots in the primary. In March’s presidential primary 5,898 Osceola County registered voters cast ballots.
Voters overwhelmingly renewed the 1-mil county road patrol millage, 2,193 to 1,123. First approved by voters in 1995 to keep six deputies, vehicles and equipment on the road, the millage will help supplement the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department budget. The six-year request will run through 2021, and is expected to raise about $700,000 within the first year.
Voters approved a four-year proposal for continued operations of senior citizens services from the Osceola County Commission on Aging, 2,343 to 974. The 0.2 mil is in addition to the current 0.8 mil the COA receives from Osceola County residents. The approved measure will raise $139,935 in its first year.
In the only contested county-wide race, voters selected Republicans Alan A. Johnson (1,836) and Alan L. Gingrich (1,608) for two seats on the road commission. Doug Bontekoe received 1,389 votes. Johnson and Gingrich will run unopposed in November’s general election.
In other races, Osceola County Prosecuting Attorney Tyler Thompson, Sheriff James Crawford, Clerk Karen Bluhm, Treasurer Lori Leudeman, Register of Deeds Nancy S. Crawford, Drain Commissioner Jerry W. Powell and Surveyor Bill Sikkema won their uncontested Republican primaries, and are running unopposed in the November general election.
Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, won the Republican primary for the 102nd District seat for the Michigan House of Representatives. Hoitenga prevailed with 3,865 votes to Morris Langworthy’s 3,142 votes. Ormond Hook (2,212 votes) and Jason Briscoe (2,110 votes) finished third and fourth, respectively. Hoitenga will face Douglas Gabert in November’s general election to represent Osceola, Mecosta and Wexford counties in Lansing.
Residents in the 97th District, covering a small portion of Osceola County, as well as Clare, Gladwin and Arenac counties, selected Republican Jason Wentworth (3,309) over Jacob Link (1,881), Thomas L. Winarski (1,057), George Gilmore (1,028) and Brian Johnson (627), respectively. On the Democratic ticket, voters chose Robert Townsend (1,729) over Robert C. Corbett (1,177). Wentworth and Townsend will meet in the November election.
There were no contested races in the Democratic portion of the primary election. The following results are all for the Republican Party. Individuals winning races will run unopposed in November.
In Sylvan Township, voters selected Terry Pritchard (82) over Trisha Dodd (35) for the clerk's position.
Rose Lake Township voters selected incumbent Jack Wilson (155) and newcomer Gary Wall (145) to run as township trustees over Holly Gingrich (99).
In Osceola Township, Tim Ladd (132) beat incumbent supervisor Paul Brown (61). Jennifer Rounds (114) won the primary over Sherri Bancroft (74) for township clerk. Incumbent trustees Connie Holmes (125) and Darlene Joy Schroeder (125) were selected by voters over Ronald L. Machleit (69) and Wilmer Rice (43), respectively.
In Lincoln Township, Mark Brock (91) edged out challenger Michael D. Green (86) to win the supervisor's race. Voters selected incumbent trustee Hector J. Couture (121) and Nicholas C. Peffer II (116) over David Armond Ball (78) for the two trustee seats that were up for grabs.
In Evart Township, Chad L. Booher (134) was selected over incumbent supervisor Vicki L. Cushman (75) for the seat. Incumbent trustees Stephen Campbell (112) and Sarah S. Parsons (118) received the voters' nod over Dale L. Bailey (57), Molly Cataldo (50) and Brian C. Cushman (44) for the two seats on the board.
Highland Township voters had two contested primary races on their ballots. Newcomer Derek Wing (138) won the supervisor's race against incumbent Sidney J. King (43). Two trustee seats were up for grabs in the primary, and voters selected incumbents L.D. Hesselink (119) and Kenneth L. Van Polen (126) over Chris Peterson. Highland Township voters also approved a 2-mil, four-year road improvement millage, 129 to 57. The new millage is expected to raise $61,609.69 in the first year.
In Middle Branch Township, incumbent trustee Sarah D. Blackledge (83) and Ronald Austin (72) were selected over Karon Krause (48) for two seats. Township voters also renewed the 1-mil road millage through 2017, 71 to 41. The renewal is expected to raise nearly $24,500 in its first year.
Cedar Township voters selected incumbent Christopher Lockhart (58) and Mary Clark (39) over Theodore A. Knecht (32) to serve as trustees. Voters in the township also approved the 2-mill road request that will last four years, 54 to 24. The millage is expected to raise an estimated $48,561.36 annually.
In Hersey Township, incumbent treasurer Jeanette M. Hays (116) beat challenger Jessica Wayne (70).
There were three separate contested Republican primary races in Sherman Township. Voters selected incumbent supervisor David Eggle (195) over Reeves Box (99) for the township’s top position. Treasurer Sharon Black (203) received the nod from voters over Kimberly Leonard (92). Incumbent trustees Donald F. Akers (195) and Peter Nemish (167) won the two seats on the board over Wilber Gasper (117). Sherman Township residents also renewed a 2-mil road maintenance request for four years, 189 to 95. The renewal is expected to raise $65,000 in its first year.
Voters in Leroy Township overwhelmingly renewed the 2-mil road maintenance and improvement millage, 164 to 48. The millage will raise an estimated $66,000 in the first year and run through 2019.
Pine River Area Schools and McBain Rural Agricultural School District voters approved their operating millages during Tuesday's primary. The millages allow both districts to receive its full per-pupil foundation allowance from the state.