Washtenaw County Election Results: In Brief

Aug 3, 2016

Credit 89.1 WEMU

It was light voter turnout for the primary elections in Washtenaw County. County elections director Ed Golembiewski had predicted 20-to-25% turnout among the more than 272,000 registered voters.  In the end, under 18% cast a ballot. 

Drastic cuts in personnel and services will be considered in Ypsilanti where voters narrowly defeated a 2.3 mill tax request to pay down Water Street Debt.  The measure was defeated by 39 votes. 

The only other ballot issue to fail on Tuesday was in the Whitmore Lake school district.  Voters there rejected a 3-year building and site, sinking fund millage by a total of six votes.  A renewal of the schools operating millage did pass. 

Voters, county-wide, approved a 10-year, 0.85-mill renewal for operations at Washtenaw Community College.

And, voters in Ann Arbor, by a nearly five-to-one margin, approved a City Charter Amendment allowing for a tax levy for street and bridge repairs and sidewalk repair and construction. 

There were three contested races for Ann Arbor City Council, and, in all three, the incumbents were victors. Sumi Kailasapathy, Graydon Krapohl, and Chuck Warpehoski are unopposed in the general election. 

In Congressional races: 

Republican Incumbent Tim Walberg beat Doug North in the 7th Congressional District.  He’ll face Democrat and current Saline State Representative Gretchen Driskell in November. 

In the 12th District, Debbie Dingell was unopposed on Tuesday and will face Republican Jeff Jones in the general election. 

In local State House races:

Donna Lasinski won the Democratic Primary in the 52nd district and will take on Republican Randy Clark in November.  The 52nd State House seat is currently held by Gretchen Driskell who is seeking election to Congress. 

In the 53rd district, Democrat Yousef Rabhi won Tuesday’s primary by a wide margin and faces a November challenge from Republican Samuel Bissell

The democratic primary in the 54th district featured a race among six candidates seeking to fill the seat now held by the term-limited David Rutledge.  Current Washtenaw County Commissioner Ronnie Peterson won the primary and will run-off against Republican Kevin Jardine in the general election.

And, in the 55th, incumbent Democrat Adam Zemke was unopposed Tuesday and faces a November challenge from Republican Bob Baird of Ann Arbor. 

In the contested races for the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners:

Incumbent Kent Martinez-Kratz won the democratic primary in District 1.  He’ll face Republican Julie Stevens in November. 

In the 6th district, Ricky Jefferson of Ypsilanti won the Democratic Primary and will be unopposed in November.  He’ll fill the seat now held by Ronnie Peterson, who won the Democratic primary race for 54th State House Representative on Tuesday. 

In Ypsilanti:

Beth Bashert won the 2nd ward city council primary.  She’ll be unopposed in November and fill the seat now held by Daniel Vogt, who chose not to seek re-election. 

Incumbent Peter Murdock won the Ward Three primary and will be unopposed in the general election. 

There were some races in Washtenaw County Tuesday in which incumbents lost their primary:

There will be changes on the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees.  In yesterday’s Democratic primary, incumbents Mike Martin and Scott Martin went down to defeat.  Additionally, incumbent Jean Hall Currie did not seek re-election.  The other incumbent is Stan Eldridge.  He makes it out of the primary along with Monica Ross Williams, Jimmie Wilson Junior and Heather Jarrell Roe.  Those four advance to November and will appear on the ballot with Republican Diane Frances Haske.  The top four vote getters in the general election will serve four-year terms on the board. 

In Augusta Township, Ira Todd bested sitting Township Supervisor Peter Hafler in the Democratic primary. Todd moves on to the general election against Republican Brian Shelby.  Township Trustee Judy Thornton will not get an opportunity to win another term.  She was not among the four Democratic candidates with the highest vote total and, therefore, will not move on to the November election. 

In Lima Township, incumbent Republican Gregory McKenzie lost his bid for re-election to the Board of Trustees.  Duane Luick and incumbent Donald Laier were the top vote getters and will be unopposed for the two available trustee chairs in November. 

Republican Lodi Township Trustee Barbara Giezentaner also lost her primary on Tuesday. 

In Manchester Township, Danell Steele Proctor upset Township Clerk Ann Becktel.  Proctor will be unopposed in the general election. 

Incumbent Marilyn Handloser Engstrom was ousted in the Republican primary race for Northfield Township Supervisor.  Marlene Chockley now faces a November challenge from Democrat John Zarzecki to fill the Supervisor’s position.  Northfield Township Treasurer Kathy Braun lost her race as well.  Fellow Republican Lenore Zelenock beat the incumbent and will be unopposed in November. 

The Sylvan Township Supervisor was upset in his bid for re-election.  Scott Cooper lost by a 3-1 margin to fellow Republican Tom McKernan, who will be unopposed in the general election. 

In Webster Township, Republican Charles Estelman will not get another term as a member of the Township Board of Trustees.  He was the only one of four incumbent trustees to lose in the primary. Newcomer John Scharf effectively wins that seat, as there will be no Democratic challenge in November. 

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu