Montcalm County saw its highest voter turnout in a nonpresidential primary election in more than a decade Tuesday. A total of 23 percent of Montcalm County’s registered voters — 9,844 people — participated at the polls. Past primary elections saw 15 percent in 2014, 17 percent in 2012, 21 percent in 2010, 17 percent in 2008 and 11 percent in 2006.
A former prosecutor turned judge emerged as the frontrunner over two attorney challengers Tuesday in the race for 8th Judicial Circuit Court, which covers Ionia and Montcalm counties. Former Ionia County prosecutor Ron Schafer was appointed to the bench in March after Judge David Hoort resigned. Hoort’s term ends this year and Schafer is now running for election. He was challenged by Ron Finegood and Monica Tissue-Daws, both Stanton-based attorneys.
In the two Republican primary races for local state representatives, one challenger walked away with an easy victory, while the second race proved to be a very close call. Voters elected Jim Lower of Cedar Lake to run for Michigan’s 70th State House District and Thomas Albert of Grattan Township to run for Michigan’s 86th State House District.
The tightest race in Montcalm County came down to the sheriff’s next man in command. Voters convincingly chose Undersheriff Mike Williams to succeed longtime Sheriff Bill Barnwell on Tuesday. Barnwell is retiring at the end of this year and endorsed Williams to follow in his footsteps.
With 39 of 39 precincts reporting, voters have elected Jim Lower of Cedar Lake as the representative of the Republican party to run for the 70th District House in November.
The three candidates in the hottest race in Montcalm County were given one last chance to earn votes. Charlie Mahar, Charles Noll and Michael Williams had their final face off during a candidate forum Monday evening at Montcalm Community College’s Ash Technology Learning Center in Gr
The Daily News utilized the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain the personnel files of five candidates running for sheriff in two counties, in an effort to research the character and job performance of all five men.
The chief judge of Ionia and Montcalm counties has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Montcalm County against The Daily News and two sheriff candidates after The Daily News filed a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain the candidates’ personnel files.
The entire Montcalm County Board of Commissioners were left in the dark when Montcalm County sued The Daily News, Undersheriff Mike Williams and Deputy Charlie Mahar on Friday. Commissioners were not told about the lawsuit when they met for their regular monthly meeting Monday and they did not know the case went to trial and was dismissed by a judge Tuesday.
Read the 2016 Daily News Primary Election Guide.