Monday, November 19, 2012

Houghton County Nov. 6 election results

By Michele Bourdieu

HOUGHTON -- Results of the election for Houghton County are now final since the Canvassers' recent report. They found a few changes, but nothing that changed the winners as reported shortly after the Nov. 6 election. The following numbers are from the original results reported to Keweenaw Now from Houghton County on Nov. 7 and state unofficial totals as posted on the Michigan Secretary of State Web site.*

For the Presidential election, Houghton County remained a red spot in a blue state, giving the Republican ticket Romney/Ryan 8040 votes (53.92 percent) to 6530 votes (43.79 percent) for Obama/Biden. Green Party candidates Stein/Honkala received 137 votes (less than one percent).

According to unofficial results on the Michigan Secretary of State Web site, statewide voting resulted in 2,560,016 Michigan votes for Obama and 2,111,141 for Romney, with Green Party candidate Jill Stein receiving 21,831 votes in Michigan.

County Democrats had more success in the U.S. Senate race, giving incumbent U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow 7466 votes (50.81 percent), thus contributing to her victory over Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra, who received 6690 county votes (45.53 percent).

Michigan voters overall showed confidence in Sen. Stabenow, giving her 2,731,095 votes over Hoekstra's 1,764,109.

In the non-partisan state election for two 8-year term State Supreme Court Justices, among seven candidates Houghton County voters chose Stephen Markman with 5361 votes and Bridget M. McCormack with 4140 votes. The statewide unofficial results show McCormack with the most votes -- 1,545,262 -- and Markman the second-most -- 1,494,361.**

For the one open position for partial-term Supreme Court Justice (term ending Jan. 1, 2015) Houghton County voters gave Brian Zahra the most votes -- 5610. Statewide Zahra was the winner with 1,742,193 votes.

Republican incumbent Dan Benishek keeps his First District Congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, receiving 7527 votes (51.42 percent) from Houghton County voters, while Democratic challenger Gary McDowell received 6521 votes in Houghton County (44.55 percent). Libertarian candidate Emily Salvette received 437 votes (2.99 percent), while Green Party candidate Ellis Boal had 144 votes (less than one percent).

According to a Nov. 9 posting on, the Associated Press reported McDowell conceded after waiting a few days because of the close election. Benishek's margin of victory was less than one percent of the total votes cast in the First District -- 346,567. Unofficial totals were 166,902 for Benishek and 164,574 for McDowell.***

Democrat Scott Dianda of Calumet, winner of the 110th District State Representative seat, defeated Republican incumbent Matt Huuki of Atlantic Mine in total votes, but not in Houghton County, where voters gave Huuki 7453 votes (50.87 percent) to Dianda's 7141 (48.74 percent).

Unofficial totals for all of the 110th District, as posted on the Michigan Secretary of State's Web site were 19,702 votes for Dianda and 18,617 votes for Huuki. The 110th District includes Baraga, Gogebic, Iron, Marquette and Ontonagon counties as well as Houghton and Keweenaw. Dianda had more votes than Huuki in Baraga, Gogebic, Iron and Marquette counties.

The six state proposals were all defeated by Houghton County voters, as they were statewide.

County contested races

Democratic incumbent Prosecuting Attorney Mike Makinen retains his position after a close race against Republican challenger Pam Dobbs. Makinen received 7131 votes (50.44 percent) to Dobbs' 6936 votes (49.06 percent).

For the position of Houghton County Treasurer, Republican incumbent Kathleen A. Beattie retained her position with 8791 votes over Democratic challenger Linda M. Pizzi, who received 5178 votes.

Three contested seats on the Houghton County Board of Commissioners resulted in two Republican winners and one Democrat.

For District 1, in a race to fill the seat of retiring County Commissioner Ed Jenich, Republican Tom Tikkanen received 1882 votes over Democrat Rick Kasprzak's 1068 votes.

In District 3, Democratic incumbent County Commissioner Anton Pintar retained his seat with 1334 votes against a challenge by Bill Manderfield (no Party affiliation), who received 834 votes.

District 5 voters gave 2177 votes to Republican incumbent Timothy Palosaari and 1442 votes to Democratic challenger Judith Rupley.

City of Hancock 

In the City of Hancock, a contested race for at-large City Councilor had only two write-in candidates. Former Hancock Mayor Barry Givens, with 239 votes, defeated Kevin Hodur, who received 52 votes.

Hancock voters defeated a Hancock City Millage Proposal -- for an increase in property taxes up to 15.00 mills from approximately 13.4215 mills to be used for general operating expenses.

Township contested races

In one of three contested races in Portage Township, Supervisor Bruce Petersen, a Democrat, retained his position against Republican challenger Mike Wilmers. Petersen received 788 votes and Wilmers 691.

A second contest in Portage Township -- for Treasurer -- resulted in a victory for Republican incumbent Carol Little, who received 1069 votes to defeat challenger Quincy Higgins Arney (no Party affiliation), who had 264 votes.

In the third race, four Portage Township Trustees were elected from among seven candidates. The winners were Republican Bill Bingham (former township supervisor), 793 votes; Democrat John Ollila, 727 votes; Democrat Peggy Lee Anderson, 720 votes; and Republican Andrew M. Kemper, 677 votes. The candidates not elected were Democrat James Zerbst, 671 votes; Mark Jalkanen (no Party affiliation), 502 votes; and Jonathan Stone (no Party affiliation), 419 votes.****

Two Chassell Township trustees were elected from three candidates: Republican Ryan Kuntze received 588 votes, and Democrat Daniel P. Palosaari received 544 votes. Democrat George M. Rajala received 363 votes.

The non-partisan contest for Duncan Township clerk resulted in 92 votes for Kathleen Allen and 12 votes for Rebecca M. Ferrell.

Elm River Township Supervisor Shawn Hagan (no Party affiliation) was re-elected with 73 votes, defeating Independent challenger Joe Siller, who had 61 votes.

Two Elm River trustees were elected among three candidates: Democrat John Kelly received 113 votes; Richard Trudgeon (no Party affiliation) was also elected, with 74 votes. Democrat Dale R. Baumler, Jr., received 54 votes.

The Franklin Township trustee election -- a close race -- also resulted in two out of three candidates being elected: Republican Daniel J. Dulong, Jr., received 369 votes; Republican Mary Sears was second with 338 votes. Democratic incumbent John Laitinen received 314 votes.

Two trustees were chosen from three candidates in Osceola Township as well: Democrat Donald D. Wareham received 461 votes; Republican Aaron Janke was also elected, with 457 votes. Democrat Bonnie J. Joyal received 384 votes.

In the Schoolcraft Township race for supervisor, Republican Joel Keranen, with 571 votes, defeated Democrat Sam Buschell, who received 268 votes.

The Schoolcraft Township clerk contest went to Republican Gary Wenberg, with 465 votes, defeating Democrat Mary Beth Hodges, who had 374 votes.

In the Schoolcraft Township trustee contested race, two Democrats -- Kevin P. Codere with 500 votes and Susan C. Marcotte with 432 votes -- defeated Republican Gerald J. Primeau, who had 423 votes.

In a contested race for township clerk, Torch Lake Township elected Democrat Mary A. Isola with 604 votes. Republican candidate Tamar Cieslinski received 370 votes.

In a contest for Torch Lake Township treasurer, Republican Diane Zurcher retained her office with 574 votes against challenger Dennis G. Pini (no Party affiliation), who received 342 votes.

For more details on Houghton County results, including village elections and results of uncontested races, visit the Houghton County Web site.

* For more details on Michigan unofficial election results, including totals from each county, visit the Michigan Secretary of State Web site.

** See our Oct. 30, 2012, article on Bridget Mary McCormack's skype visit in September with Houghton County Democrats.

*** Click here to read the Nov. 9 Upper Michigan Source article on McDowell and Benishek results.

**** See our Nov. 3, 2012, article on the Portage Township candidates' forum.

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