2012-08-11 / Top News

County Voters Nix Enhancement Millage

Select Spencer for Prosecutor, Strait for Sheriff

Mackinac County voters soundly defeated a so-called economic enhancement millage in the Tuesday, August 7, primary election, and narrowly elected Stuart Spencer over incumbent Fred Feleppa in the Republican run-off for prosecuting attorney.

Mr. Spencer, an attorney from Cedarville, will have no opposition from the Democratic Party in the November General Election. County voters favored him, 1,295 to 1,255, with 50.72% of the vote. Mackinac Island voters favored Mr. Feleppa, with 51.56% of the vote, 31 to 29.

Michigan’s Primary Election had a 16.4% state-wide voter turnout, and 3,232 of Mackinac County’s 9,659 registered voters (33.46%) cast ballots, but only 108 of Mackinac Island’s 759 registered voters went to the polls Tuesday, a 14.23% turnout, the lowest in the county.

In a Republican race for Mackinac County Sheriff, incumbent Scott Strait held out against his challenger, Ivan Wilde, 1,824 to 711. Mackinac Island voters favored Strait 38 to 22. There will be no Democratic opposition in the November election.

The county’s economic enhancement millage, which would levy 0.25 mill for three years for projects in each of the townships and cities, failed decisively, 1,694 to 646, capturing less than 28% of the vote and losing in every precinct across the county. Mackinac Island voters defeated the measure, 88 to 16, a support rate of just over 18%.

The taxes from the assessment would have been collected by the county and then dolled back out to each community in the amount the community contributed. Most units felt they could levy their own taxes as needed, and saw little advantage to the proposal, which was proposed by county commissioners after rejecting a county planning commission recommendation to fund an office to coordinate economic development throughout the county.

In federal and state races, Pete Hoekstra, with 387,869 votes, won the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate and a chance to challenge Democrat Debbie Stabenow in November. Clark Durant received 244,452 votes, Gary Glenn received 70,572, and Randy Heckman got 47,827.

State-wide, Mr. Hoekstra received 51.67% of the vote to Mr. Durant’s 32.6%. In Mackinac County, he received 47.3% of the vote to Mr. Clark’s 38.7%, and on Mackinac Island he received 58% of the vote to Mr. Durant’s 34%.

In the Democratic contest for 107th District State Representative, Suzanne Shumway of Petoskey defeated Jim Martin, 1,731 to 1,704. Mr. Martin, of Sault Ste. Marie, won heavily in Chippewa County, 1,092 to 408, and narrowly in Mackinac County, 223 to 198, but lost in Cheboygan County, 150 to 162, and in Emmet County, 963 to 239. Mackinac Island gave 74% support to Mrs. Shumway, voting 17 to 6.

She will run against incumbent Republican Frank Foster in November.

The general election is Tuesday, November 6, and the last day to register for that election, if not already registered, is Tuesday, October 9. The last day for write-in candidates to file a Declaration of Intent is Friday, October 26.

Complete election returns for the Primary Election are posted on the Web site of The St. Ignace News in the left-hand tab labeled “Documents” and are accessible free: www.stignacenews.com.

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