Partisan primary at county board

MARQUETTE – In contested primary races for the Marquette County Board Tuesday, the field advancing was narrowed to three Democrats and one Republican, with one incumbent winning and another losing.

The county board has three of its six commissioners not seeking re-election. All of the panel’s seats are up for renewal this year with a total of 17 candidates competing and contested primary races in three of the six districts. The term of office is two years.

In Tuesday’s election in District 1, incumbent Steven Pence was defeated by challenger John DePetro in the Democratic primary. Both candidates are from Marquette. Pence got 381 votes; DePetro, 461. DePetro will face Republican Daniel Everson in the Nov. 4 general election.

In District 3, incumbent Bruce Heikkila beat back a Democratic primary challenge from Jason Schneider. Heikkila had 567 votes; Schneider, 417. Both candidates are from Marquette. There is no Republican candidate running for the seat in the Nov. 4 election.

District 6 had a Democratic and Republican primary Tuesday. Four candidates were running in the Democratic primary and two in a Republican primary. Democrat Karen Alholm will advance to the Nov. 4 general election to face-off against Republican Mark Curran.

Alholm was the top vote-getter among the four Democrats. Vote totals: Karen Alholm, 325; Erik Booth, 148; Dwight Brady, 292 and Randall Yelle, 142. The Republican vote totals were Nick Smaby, 349 and Mark Curran, 405.

The district vacancy occurred when Commissioner Gregory Seppanen decided not to seek another term.

The county’s remaining three voting districts had no contested primary races, but Democrats and Republicans representing those areas will square off in the fall. No independent candidates filed to run in the general election for county board seats.

In November in District 2, Democrat Joseph Derocha of Champion will meet Republican Justin Carlson of Negaunee. The vacancy in that district was created when Commissioner Paul Arsenault decided not to run for re-election.

In District 4, incumbent Gerald Corkin, a Negaunee Democrat, will be challenged for the seat by Republican Keith LaCosse of Negaunee.

In District 5, Democrat Bill Nordeen of Gwinn will face Republican Bob Struck of West Branch Township. Both candidates have served on the county board previously.

The vacancy was created when Commissioner Deborah Pellow decided not to run for another term.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.