By VANESSA McCRAY
---- — TRAVERSE CITY-- Voters appeared to reward two incumbents by giving them both another term on the Northwestern Michigan College board.
Incumbents Cheryl Gore Follette and Bob Brick led in the polls late Tuesday, and were poised for re-election to the NMC board. They were challenged for the six-year seats by Bruce Byl and Kennard Weaver.
Local attorney Follette is a long-serving trustee first elected in 1992. Brick, a real estate broker, won his first term in 2004 and was leading the race with about 32 percent of votes counted by 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Follette said her campaign style reflected her years of college involvement.
"I've served the voters for 18 years, and I assumed that if they were satisfied with my work that they would re-elect me," she said.
The biggest challenge facing the college board in the next six years is finding new funding while "continuing to provide the quality product" and not burdening students.
"I just love the college, and I just feel as though the work that I've been doing there has been important work. And, I'm just committed to doing a good job for the members of the community and for the students of the college," she said.
Brick could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.
Barbara Ance, of Traverse City, cast her vote at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center for Brick.
"I know him. He's a wonderful man," she said.
Others weren't as familiar with the college board contenders. Lew Burden, of Traverse City, is a regular voter who is "sick and tired" of this political season's commercials.
He wasn't familiar, however, with the NMC candidates, so he left that part of his ballot blank.
"I had no idea who any of them were," he said.