By: Benjamin J. Gohs, News Editor
Just over 65 percent of Charlevoix County’s 21,841 registered voters turned out for the Tuesday Nov. 6 election.
Republican incumbent Richard Gillespie won the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioner’s District 5 seat with 57.16 percent of the vote—or 1,609 votes—over Democrat Nancy Ferguson, who received 1,197 votes.
“I’m delighted that the voters decided to keep me in,” Gillespie said. “I have a lot of things I want to do and I will continue working on
making life better for all of us in Charlevoix County.”
Gillespie said he will continue working on the Ironton Ferry re-powering project and pushing to get a garage and maintenance facility built on Beaver Island.
Gillespie said he will also wants to begin discussions to determine the level of interest among commissioners and the public over whether the county should consider hiring some sort of administrative assistant for the board.
Political newcomer Larry Sullivan, a Republican, won the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioner’s District 6 seat with 80.22 percent of the vote over independent candidate Richard Clem. The final vote tally was 1,715-412 in Sullivan’s favor.
“I’m very happy,” Sullivan said. “I put a lot of work into my campaign and I had help from a lot of people who worked very hard on it and I think the results showed that.”
Some of Sullivan’s goals, once he takes over as commissioner in January 2013, will be to improve the local government, strengthen the
relationships between county and township governmental bodies, encourage economic growth in the county and to hire an experienced county administrator.
“I’m looking forward to working with my fellow commissioners,” Sullivan said. “Also, whether you voted for me or not, if anyone has
any ideas or concerns I would like to hear from them.”
Sullivan said he has long been a supporter of non-motorized trails for their value to the local population and for the potential to attract
tourists to the area.
And, despite a unanimous vote of the commission recently to reject the United Nations’ 1992 non-binding resolution Agenda 21, Sullivan said his goals will be to work on substantive issues that face county residents.
“If the United Nations were to say that newborns should be breast fed I wouldn’t say we should pass a resolution not to breast feed just
because some international organization says something,” Sullivan said. “That vote (county board’s rejection of Agenda 21) wasn’t good for Charlevoix County, and it is a good example of what I will bring to the county board: I will research and evaluate topics before I vote on them.”
Sullivan complimented his opponent, adding that he is a good man whom he respects.
Other contested county election results: