By Brian McGillivary
— TRAVERSE CITY -- The lone Democrat on the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners is out of a job.
Republican challenger Dan Lathrop of Peninsula Township ousted incumbent Ross Richardson of Traverse City in the redrawn District 1 race. Richardson’s advantage in Traverse City couldn’t overcome the highly Republican Peninsula Township, which had a greater voter turnout at 81 percent compared to 70 percent for Traverse City. The township, newly added to District 1, gave Lathrop a 322 vote win out of 7,622 cast.
Lathrop, a foot and ankle surgeon, spent about $20,000 on his campaign, more than doubling Richardson’s expenditures. Lathrop clung to a one-vote lead in the early hours Wednesday when all that remained to be counted were absentee votes for the east side of Traverse City and Peninsula Township.
Incumbents Christine Maxbauer, Herb Lemcool, and Addison Wheelock Jr. easily bested their opponents in the other three contested races for the county board.