TRAVERSE CITY — Incumbent Sheriff Tom Bensley was poised to reclaim his Grand Traverse County seat as ballots trickled in Tuesday night.

His opponent in the Republican primary, newcomer Scott Sieffert, took 26.04 percent of the day’s votes, which were still short by a couple precincts as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Election officials told the Record-Eagle those precincts were still being waited on.

Bensley shared optimism as early totals offered him an early lead.

“I would surely hope that margin continues,” he said just before 10 p.m. “It’s encouraging.”

Sieffert did not return a late-night call for comment as results rolled in at a snail’s pace.

The race’s winner will face a first-time challenger in Democratic candidate Greg Hall, who has spoken out repeatedly against Bensley and issues surrounding Grand Traverse County’s Jail.


Results were scarce from Antrim County’s clerk’s office, which did not release significant results to the Traverse City Record-Eagle as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Antrim County Sheriff candidate Triston Cole said he’d “come up short” in the race, and left the clerk’s office after 11 out of the county’s 14 precincts had been tallied.

“I felt my deficit was too steep to overcome,” Cole said. “But I think one of the takeaways here is there was a lot of positive messaging that went out that hopefully the sheriff takes to heart, and can only mean good things for the county.”

Incumbent Sheriff Dan Bean did not return a call around 12:15 a.m.

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