11-10-2016 Trump Wins: Local election results; Share your blessings, help the Tri-city Angel help ot

 Donald Trump wins, President-elect urges Americans to come together as united people

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By Annette Christie

With the polls being described as closer than ever, and four states still too close to call, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton called Republican candidate Donald Trump and conceded the presidential election at approximately 2:42 a.m. on November 9, 2016.  This was shortly after her campaign manager addressed a crowd that was waiting to hear from her, telling them that it would not be decided tonight and that they should go home.

Donald Trump, a businessman who has never held political office, addressed a crowd of his supporters soon after.  Trump said that Clinton fought hard and that she was owed gratitude for her years of service to this country.  He urged Americans to come together as one united people.  “We will work together and unify our great country,” Trump told supporters.  Following a long list of thanks to his family and those in his inner circle that worked so hard, he stated, “The campaign is over but this movement is just beginning.”

The future vice president, Mike Pence, is the former congressman and governor of Indiana.

Upton Wins

 Fred Upton sealed another term as the congressman for the 6th District which includes Berrien, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Cass and St. Joseph counties and a part of Calhoun and Allegan counties.  He defeated Democratic challenger Paul Clements, a professor of political science at Western Michigan University. Libertarian Lorence Wenke also opposed Upton.

Fred Upton has represented southwest Michigan for the last 30 years.  He is a Republican.

State Representative  79th District northern part of Berrien County

 Due to term limits, Representative Al Pscholka’s seat will be vacated.  The 79th District covers the northern part of Berrien County.

Republican Kim LaSata won the seat against Marletta Seats (Democrat) and Carl Oehling (U.S. Taxpayers Party).  LaSata received 23,567 votes; Seats received 15,462 votes; and Oehling received 1,129 votes.

State Representative 66th District Van Buren County 

 Due to term limits, Representative Aric Nesbitt’s seat will be vacated.  The 66th District covers all of Van Buren County and a portion of western Kalamazoo County.

Beth Griffin, 49, is currently the vice chairperson of the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners but will now be serving at the state level.  Griffin defeated Annie Brown with 17,418 to 14,899 votes.

Judicial Elections  Supreme Court

 While the numbers were not in state wide, it was Joan Larsen and David Viviano that won the people’s vote in Berrien and Van Buren counties.   Both are Supreme Court Justices that were appointed by Governor Rick Snyder.

McKay wins for Judge

 Mike McKay defeated Cirilo Martinez for the Van Buren County Seventh District Court seat being vacated by Judge Robert Hentchel.

Mike McKay, 44, is currently an assistant prosecutor in the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office.  He turned to a law degree after a career with the Michigan State Police.

McKay has a bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University.  In 1997, he became a Michigan State Police trooper.  Following two on-duty serious injuries, he went to law school.  He obtained his law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law.  He passed the bar in 2011.  He worked in the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office before his career in the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office.

He received 13,542 votes to Martinez’s 11,866 votes.

Sheriff Bailey wins

 Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey was challenged by Rick Briand of the Natural Law Party. Bailey is a Republican.  Bailey defeated Briand with 48,586 votes to his 9,164 votes.

Bailey will be starting his fifth term as sheriff.  He has been a police officer in and around Berrien County for 33 years and was first elected for sheriff in 2001. Bailey is a graduate of Eau Claire High School and has attended Lake Michigan College, Wilmar Community College and Western Michigan University.

Bailey is married to his high school sweetheart, Peggy.  They have four children and four grandchildren.

His undersheriff is Chuck Heit.  Heit joined the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department in 1993, although in 1999 he left to become the chief of police in New Buffalo.  He returned to the sheriff’s department in 2002 and has served as undersheriff since January 1, 2003.

Heit is a graduate of New Buffalo High School, attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Central Michigan University, where he studied sociology and criminal justice. He graduated from the Kalamazoo Valley Regional Police Academy.   He and his wife Michelle have three children and reside in New Buffalo.

Bainbridge Township

Election totals for Bainbridge Township were as follows:  Supervisor Bill Hodge 1,182; Clerk Patty Hiler-Molter, 1,191; Treasurer Nancy Weber, 1,200; Trustees Donald Baiers, 1,131 and John Yetzke, 1,125.

Coloma Charter Township

 Election totals for Coloma Charter Township are as follows: Supervisor Ken Parrigin, 1,849; Clerk Sandy Kraemer, 1,870; Treasurer Jim Fulton (formally a trustee), 1,810; and trustees Matt Moser, 1,633,  Rob Harper, 1,612, Bryan Duffield, 1,751; and newly incoming trustee Jerry Willmeng, 1,600.

Hagar Township

 Hagar Township Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio held off Democrat Dennis Knuth to win another term as the Hagar Township leader.  DiMaggio received 1,097 votes to Knuth’s 560.

Clerk Ian Haight ran as an independent and was unopposed (1,029 votes); Treasurer Marlene Davis ran unopposed (1,324) as did trustees Beth Raiser (722) and Andrew Ulleg (1,206).

Voters favorably renewed the township’s general operating millage of .3638 mills ($.3638 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) in the years 2016 through 2019 inclusive, for general operating purposes.   The ballot proposal passed with 886 yes votes vs. 708 no votes.

Watervliet Charter Township

 Election results for Watervliet Charter Township were as follows:  Supervisor Dan Hutchins (1,027), Clerk Patt Bambrick (1,004), Treasurer Tom Scheid (999), and trustees Bob Wallace (896), Joe Stepich (856), Joe Matthews (887), and the new face on the township board Matt Clay (886).

Van Buren County Elected Officials

 Daniel Abbott defeated challenger Robert Overheul to win the Van Buren County Sheriff seat.

Abbott, 47, is a lifelong resident of Van Buren County.  He and his wife have three children and reside in Bangor.  Abbott was hired by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office in 1993 following his graduation from Ferris State University.  He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

His career started with the position of corrections officer.  In 1995, he began working as a road patrol deputy.  He was promoted to Road Patrol Sergeant in 2011.

Abbot received 21,498 votes to Overheul’s 9,969 votes.

Republican Suzie Roehm was facing Independent Aaron Mitchell for the Van Buren County Clerk seat.  Roehm (16,821) defeated Mitchell (9,548).

Roehm, 52, resides in Decatur.  She has been the chief deputy for 13 years and has worked in the clerk’s office for 21 years.  She is finishing her second term as a Decatur Township Trustee.  She was appointed as acting county clerk by the chief judge in 2004 due to the early retirement of Clerk Shirley Jackson.  She has worked on every primary and general election since 1996.

Keeler Township voters say no to Senior Services Millage

 Voters in Keeler Township voted down the Senior Services Millage that would have added .25 mills to their tax bills.  The ballot issue has been up before and failed.  In all, 408 voters said no to add the millage.   Members of the Keeler Township Board faced no opposition.

Hartford Township voters say yes to roads and fire equipment

Hartford Township voters renewed two millage renewals, one for fire apparatus and equipment and one for roads.  The Fire Apparatus and Equipment Renewal will remain at 0.7116 mill ($0.7116 for each $1,000) on taxable valuation of real property for the years 2017 through 2020 to provide funds for purchasing fire apparatus and equipm