Raines elected Montcalm County drain commissioner

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 1:42 am on Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Republican Sandy Raines of Sidney talks to a reporter on her cell phone while browsing election results on a laptop tuesday night at Turk Lake Bar in Montcalm Township upon hearing that she was elected Montcalm County Drain Commissioner. Daily News/Cory Smith

Neither candidate vying for the Montcalm County drain commissioner’s post expressed much surprise at the outcome of Tuesday’s election.

With 29 of 31 precincts tallied, Republican Sandy Raines of Sidney beat out Democratic challenger Shane Jacobs of Howard City with a vote of 13,240 to 9,111.

“I felt pretty confident going into it tonight,” Raines said. “It’s a humbling experience, but now I’m looking forward to the next step in my career.”

Raines credited her strong showing at the polls to her years of experience.

“I have worked side-by-side with the current, retiring drain commissioner for 26 of my 34 years,” said Raines during a recent campaign stop. “I am ready, day one, to assume the drain commissioner’s duties without any learning curve or without extensive and costly training courses necessary for an inexperienced candidate.”

After learning of her win, Raines said her years of experience “counted for something” with voters.

“The people believed in who I am,” Raines said. “I’ve been around a long time and made a lot of relationships around here.”

Her goal for the immediate future is to work with the outgoing drain commissioner to make the transition to her administration as smooth as possible.

According to Jacobs, the final poll numbers “could have been worse.” He said he knew going into the race that it would be an uphill battle against an entrenched candidate.

“It was my first real election,” Jacobs said. “You learn a little along the way, but I’m not really surprised by the outcome. Toward the end of the campaign I felt that, if there was a real high voter turnout in Greenville, I might have stood a chance, but I knew it was going to be a hard road.”

Jacobs said he was satisfied with the numbers and felt comfortable with his campaign.

“I still have my landscaping business,” he said. “And who knows, maybe in three or four years I might make another run. Not for that office, but maybe for another one.”

Jacobs added he was very appreciative of his supporters throughout his campaign, as well as the voters who turned out to support him at the polls.

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