Council candidates narrowed down to six

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published August 9, 2017

Only 15.5 percent of registered St. Clair Shores voters turned out to cast their ballot to eliminate one resident from the running for three city council seats Aug. 8.

Robert Muha, with 851 votes, received the least amount of votes, with 4.3 percent of the total votes cast, and was eliminated from the race. The top three vote-getters were incumbent City Council members Candice Rusie, Peter Rubino and John Caron. Residents Erin Stahl, Jim Lewis and Scott Dodich will also advance to the November general election.

Rusie brought in the highest number of votes, at 4,698. Rubino had 4,182 votes, Caron had 3,594 votes and Stahl received 3,328 votes. Lewis had 1,682 votes cast for him and Dodich received 1,665, according to the unofficial results released by the city.

“I’m a little surprised, I ran pretty hard,” said Muha when unofficial results from the election were released. “That’s a little disappointing.”

He said he hoped that whoever was elected would continue to fight to fill vacant buildings on Harper Avenue.

“That was something I had hoped to work hard on if I had been elected because we have so many business vacancies on Harper,” he said.

City Clerk Mary Kotowski said it was a very slow day at the precincts, with the lowest precinct recording just 32 voters all day. In total, 5,740 absentee ballots were cast and 1,670 ballots were cast at the precincts.

“The lowest turnout election is (typically) when just three council seats are on the ballot,” she said.

But some voters said it was their duty to come out every election, no matter what was on the ballot.

“It’s always important to vote just to be able to say we have that freedom,” said Kathy Gilles. “I think all the candidates were viable.”

Resident Lynn Rojewski said she has been happy, so far, with the actions of the current City Council, but thought all the candidates running were good.

“I believe in my community,” she said. “Without a good solid council, the infrastructure of our city could fail.”

Kotowski said voters can look forward to checking out new voting equipment when they come out for the November election, which is when residents will choose three City Council members from the remaining six candidates.