IONIA — Tonda Rich of Belding successfully fended off challenger James Lower of Ionia in her bid to be the Republican candidate for Ionia County Clerk in Tuesday’s primary election.
Rich finished with 2,457 of 4,543 total votes (54 percent) to win the election against Lower, and with no Democratic challenger, Rich’s re-election bid for another four years was secured as Tuesday night came to an end.
“I’d like to thank the voters and my husband, staff and my township and city clerks,” she said. “It was a well-fought race and I look forward to focusing on the job again.”
Rich said she will work to offer the ability to do record searches securely online while still being able to offer public access to record books.
For Lower, who currently serves as one of the Ionia County Board of Commissioners, he said he will continue to do what he can as a commissioner to help the citizens of Ionia County.
“I want to thank everybody who supported my campaign,” he said. “I had a lot of people who donated their time, going door to door and I definitely appreciated that.”
Lower said he wished that had been a higher turnout of voters for this year’s primary vote, citing that an increase in voters could have made a difference in the outcome of the race.
“Leading up to the election. one thing that surprised me was the turnout was a bit lower than I expected, especially for a primary,” he said. This one was historically lower than the average and at the end of the day that might have been the difference, you never know.”