August 2006 News
Houghton, Keweenaw county voters support Democratic candidates in Primary
By Michele Anderson
HOUGHTON, EAGLE RIVER -- In the Aug. 8 Primary election, voters in Houghton and Keweenaw counties
showed support for Michigan Democratic candidates -- both incumbents and newcomers.
"The results are very encouraging for Democrats in November. However, the turnout in
Houghton County was only 11%," said Anton Pintar, elected Democratic Precinct delegate from
Adams Township and a member of the Houghton County Democratic Executive Committee. "With hard work between now and the November 7 election, especially for Governor Granholm, I think we can sweep in Houghton County."
Governor Jennifer Granholm received a total of 1731 votes in the two counties, leading her Republican opponent, Dick DeVos, who garnered only 905
Mike Lahti receives strong support for State Representative position
Mike Lahti, presently Houghton County Commission chair and candidate for 110th District
State Representative, won 1449 votes in Houghton County and 247 in Keweenaw County, securing
the Democratic candidate position over local Democratic opponents Wendell Patrick
Dompier, Keith D. Hamel and Travis Peterson. His total of 1696 votes more than doubles the two-county
total of 819 Primary votes received by his Republican opponent, Dave Schmidt. Lahti received much
local support and an endorsement from Rich Brown, term-ended state representative for this
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, unopposed in the Primary, will face Republican Michael
Bouchard, Oakland County sheriff, in the November Senate race. Stabenow received 1484
Primary votes in Houghton County and 250 in Keweenaw County while Bouchard received 404
Houghton County votes and 78 in Keweenaw. Stabenow kicked off her re-election campaign on
Wednesday, Aug. 9, in Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids. Her "Michigan Way of Life Tour" will
continue throughout the week with announcement events in Marquette, Traverse City and Alpena
and will finish in Lansing on Friday.
Also unopposed by Democrats in the Primary, U.S. Representative Bart Stupak received 265
votes in Keweenaw County compared to his Republican opponent Don Hooper's 142 votes.
Houghton County Democratic voters gave Stupak 1557 votes of support as opposed to Hooper's
677 Republican votes.
State Senator Mike Prusi received 257 votes in Keweenaw County and 1518 in Houghton County,
putting him ahead of Republican challenger Pete Mackin, who received 132 votes in Keweenaw
and 667 votes in Houghton County.
Newcomers seek county positions
In Keweenaw County 28 percent of voters turned out for the Primary and showed support for
some new candidates for local offices.
Among Keweenaw Democrats, Mark McEvers of Eagle River defeated Gordon C. Roberts by a slight margin of 151 to 146
votes for the one open position
on the Keweenaw County Road Commission. McEvers, who has been a Houghton Township trustee for several years, said his
reason for running for the Road Commission seat is to respond to the feeling in
the part of the county not centered in Mohawk (i.e., Houghton, Eagle Harbor and
Grant townships) that the Road Commission needs their representation. McEvers
will be unopposed in November unless there are write-in candidates. Keweenaw
County Road commissioners serve six-year terms.
always been impressed with the way the Road Commission has handled its
business," McEvers said. "I'm not trying to change anything."
noted he approaches politics without having any pre-conceived ideas about
"I like to solve issues in a logical way that makes the
most sense for all parties involved," McEvers explained.
Malcolm Hudson received 46 votes for the District 1 County Commissioner position, a slight edge over
Republican Joe Langdon, who received 36 votes for the same position. The present District 1 County Commissioner,
Clyde Wescoat of Eagle Harbor, decided not to run for re-election. The District 2 County Commissioner
position, presently held by Republican Don Keith of Eagle Harbor, is being challenged by Houghton Township Supervisor
Jim Vivian, Jr., of Eagle River, who received 56 votes from Democrats to Keith's 65 Republican Primary votes. Keith
noted 52 percent of Eagle Harbor Township voters turned out for the Primary.
"I've got a serious challenger," Keith said of Vivian, who is now in his second term as Houghton Township
supervisor. "I am still reasonably confident because of my
six-year voting record on the County Board, of which I am very proud," Keith added.
Keith said he was especially proud of his participation in several county land acquisitions
for recreation and public access. The most recent of these is a nearly $2 million funding
from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to double the size of the
county-owned Gratiot River Park. This funding is now in the final stages of legal
requirements. Keith cited also the fact that he recruited and nominated all seven present
members of the Keweenaw County Zoning/Planning Commission, two of whom are women, a gender
precedent for this board. He also was instrumental in county support of the $3.3 million in
funds for expanding the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.
"This will in a large part determine the economic future of Keweenaw County," Keith noted.
Vivian formerly ran for office as a Republican but chose to run as a Democrat in
this Primary. Should he lose to Keith in November, he will retain his Houghton Township Supervisor
position for two more years. (Keweenaw Now was not able to reach Vivian for comment.)
Democrat John Griffith of Allouez Township, unopposed in the primary for the District 5
County Commissioner seat (from which Gordon Roberts intends to resign), received 21 votes.
County Clerk Marilyn Winquist noted, however, that Randy Eckloff plans to run as an
Independent against Griffith for this seat in November.
Two Precinct Delegates were elected in Keweenaw County: Democrat William Pat
Ryan of Eagle Harbor Township and Republican A. Peter McArthur of Allouez
Houghton County Commissioner races of note were the following: In the race for District 3 Houghton County Commissioner, Democrat Anton Pintar (quoted above) had 311 Primary votes to 98 Republican Primary votes for John Condon. Pintar and Condon will compete for the commissioner position that will be vacated by Mike Lahti, candidate for 110th District State Representative.
Among Houghton County Commissioners running unopposed in their parties for re-election, District 5 Commissioner Paul Luoma received 320 Democratic votes while his Republican challenger, Matt E. Huuki, received 161 Primary votes.
The election results cited in this article are unofficial at the time
of this posting.
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