TRAVERSE CITY — Just shy of 5 a.m. elections officials in Grand Traverse County posted a final vote tally, including nearly 31,000 absentee ballots.
Grand Traverse County residents cast 55,601 ballots, more than 68 percent turnout. The results are the "unofficial" count and will be finalized when elections workers certify the results in the coming days.
Here are some of the winners:
- Republican John R. Roth edged out Democrat Dan O'Neil in the race for the 104th State House District.
- Voters renewed Grand Traverse County's road millage by about a two-to-one vote margin.
- An increased surcharge to support Grand Traverse 911 services also passed by more than an 8,000-vote margin.
- All three incumbent members running for new terms on the Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education lost their seats. Challengers Josey Ballenger, Flournoy Humphreys and Scott Newman-Bale all were elected by more than a 2,000-vote margin. Ballenger garnered more than 18,000-votes, about 8,000 more than Jane Klegman, the closest incumbent challenger.
- Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley was elected to another term, surpassing challenger Greg Hall by about 6,000 votes.
Incumbents hung on to their seats on the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners in contested races. Newcomer Republicans Penny Morris and Darryl V. Nelson will join the board to fill seats vacated by outgoing commissioners Sonny Wheelock and Gordie La Pointe.
District 1: Democrat Betsy Coffia edged out Republican challenger Josephine Ferry, 5,288 votes to 3,833.
District 2: Democrat Bryce Hundley, uncontested, got 5,840 votes.
District 3: Republican Brad Jewett won 4,521 votes to Democratic challenger Melissa Hogan's 3,791.
District 4: Republican Penny Morris won 4,948 votes to Democratic challenger Brace Kern's 3,579.
District 5: Republican Ron Clous won 4,276 votes to Democratic challenger Jade Prang's 2,341.
District 6: Republican Darryl V. Nelson won 4,533 votes to Democratic challenger Bruce Moore's 3,492.
District 7: Republican Robert D. Hentschel, uncontested, got 5,793 votes.
Republican candidates swept a number of contested township board races in Blair Township, East Bay Charter Township, Garfield Township, Green Lake Township and Long Lake Township.
Top vote-getters in a seven-way race for three slots on the Northwestern Michigan College board are Rachel Johnson, Laura Oblinger and Ken Warner.
Follow record-eagle.com throughout the day for full coverage of these races and many more.