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St. Clair Shores

November 7, 2012

Familiar names will fill state, county seats

By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer

Old names and familiar faces will fill local seats after a very long election day in Michigan and around the country.Voting was steady in St. Clair Shores the morning of Election Day, with some voters having to wait an hour or more to cast a ballot.

Nevertheless, voters at Lakeview High School said it was important they be there to be heard.

“I think that it’s going to make a huge difference as to who wins president,” said Lakeview Schools employee Cynthia Garfield. “I feel like the union is important and I do support police and fire.”

In the race for the 18th District of the state Legislature, Democrat Sarah Roberts pulled ahead of city Councilwoman Candice Rusie, the Republican candidate, to win the seat by almost a 2-1 margin. Roberts took in 29,435 votes, or 63.5 percent, compared with Rusie’s 15,671 votes and Libertarian candidate Daniel Flamand’s 1,223 votes.

“I really want to say thank you. It was a tremendous display of support,” Roberts said.

She plans to tackle issues that include strengthening education, fighting the new tax on pensions, keeping the Great Lakes clean and fighting to bring more jobs to the area.

“We need good paying jobs for people, so I want to make sure that that’s a priority for me, as well,” she said.

Rusie could not be immediately reached for comment.

Heading in to vote at Lakeview High School, Marvell Ross of St. Clair Shores said he wanted his voice heard.

“They are trying to take our rights away from us, for one thing,” he said, adding that Proposal 2 was also very important to him. “Collective bargaining is a very big issue … not just for me, I just think they’re trying to break up the unions and do what they want to do and I just think that’s not right.”

For the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, former Eastpointe City Councilwoman Veronica Klinefelt, a Democrat, won 19,369 votes to Republican challenger Randell Shafer’s 8,984 votes for the District 3 seat that includes Eastpointe and part of St. Clair Shores. The rest of the city is in District 10 with Harrison Township, where former St. Clair Shores city councilman and county commissioner Michael Boyle of St. Clair Shores received 17,481 votes compared with Republican Zach Eineman of Harrison Township, who had 12,489 votes.

“I’m pretty disappointed,” Eineman said. “I am pretty surprised by the results, I thought I would have done better.”

Boyle said he wants to bring more transparency and less fighting to county government.

“They’re tired of the power struggle and the bickering between the commissioners and the executive,” Boyle said. “People are getting real fed up with that and they don’t quite understand why there’s a problem.”

In local school board elections, incumbents won the day with South Lake Board of Education members Christi Franklin and Allan Innes keeping their seats again with no challengers, and Lake Shore Board of Education incumbents Susan Jamieson and Kurt Ziegler pulling ahead of challenger Norma Rusie, who garnered 28 percent of the vote.

On Election Day, local voters said they were looking for change on the ballot.

Business owner Rosalie Lavigne said she had hoped Mitt Romney’s business experience would be good for the country.

“I’m just so not happy with the president,” she said. “The promises weren’t kept.”

As to the six proposals on the Michigan ballot, she said she made sure to vote for Proposal 2 to support her daughter, a teacher.

“They’ve been through a lot of struggles,” she said. “We just want to make sure all the hard work they do for the students, they get back.”

As a teacher herself, Theresa Markus said she is worried about how the healthcare legislation enacted by President Obama will affect her students.

“Change is needed. I don’t like the way things are, now, with the current president,” she said. “I’m a special education teacher, so who knows what they’re going to do to people who are disabled.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske at kdemske@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1041.