County, state incumbents win re-election with ease

By: Jeremy Selweski | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published November 5, 2014


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — There were no closely contested races in Macomb Township on Nov. 4, as incumbents at the county and state levels were re-elected by double-digit margins.

On the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, a pair of local incumbents each won another two-year term in office. Commissioner Joe Sabatini, R-Macomb Township, received 13,298 votes, or 64.8 percent, to handily defeat challenger Martha O’Kray. O’Kray, a Macomb Township Democrat, received just 7,224 votes, or 35.2 percent. Meanwhile, Commissioner Fred Miller, D-Mount Clemens, earned 10,076 votes, or 58.6 percent, to overcome a challenge from Douglas M. Trost. Trost, a Clinton Township Republican, earned 7,122 votes, or 41.4 percent.

In the Michigan House of Representatives, Rep. Anthony Forlini, R-Harrison Township, received 16,358 votes, or 58.3 percent, to be elected to another two-year term. Forlini defeated Philip Kurczewski — a Clinton Township Democrat, who received 10,893 votes, or 39 percent — and Daryl L. Smith — a U.S. Taxpayers candidate from Macomb Township, who received 690 votes, or 2.5 percent. Rep. Ken Goike, R-Ray Township, also easily retook his seat, beating challenger Joe Ruffin by nearly a 2-1 margin. Goike earned 18,148 votes, or 65.9 percent, while Ruffin, a Macomb Township Democrat, earned just 9,398 votes, or 34.1 percent.

In the Michigan Senate, Sen. Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights, will serve another four-year term after receiving 51,464 votes, or 62.7 percent. Rocca defeated Macomb Township Democrat Kenneth Paul Jenkins, who received 30,656 votes, or 37.3 percent.

Voters in Macomb Township chose to re-elect Republican Gov. Rick Snyder by an even larger majority than Michigan as a whole. Locally, 58.1 percent of voters picked Snyder over Democratic challenger Mark Schauer, who received just 38.5 percent of the vote. At the state level, Snyder earned 50.9 percent of the vote, while Schauer took 46.9 percent.

Likewise, township voters re-elected Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson by a 62.4 percent majority compared to 53.5 percent at the state level, while Democrat Godfrey Dillard received 31.1 percent of the vote locally compared to 42.9 percent statewide. In addition, Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette received 58.6 percent of the vote in Macomb Township, exceeding his statewide total of 52.1 percent, to defeat Democrat Mark Totten, who earned 34.4 percent of the vote at the local level and 44.2 percent at the state level.

In the race for U.S. Senate, there was once again a striking disparity between the results in Macomb Township and those across the rest of Michigan. Democrat Gary Peters easily defeated Republican Terri Lynn Land to win the highly coveted seat, receiving 54.6 percent of the vote statewide but only 47.5 percent township-wide. Land, meanwhile, brought in just 41.3 percent of the vote at the state level but 45.9 percent at the township level. Peters will take over for incumbent Sen. Carl Levin, who is retiring after serving 36 years in the Senate.

Macomb Township’s voter turnout on Nov. 4 came in at 48.3 percent, exceeding the overall Macomb County average of 43.2 percent. This represented a slight increase from the previous gubernatorial election in 2010, which saw a 47.1 percent turnout across the township. Still, the number was a little lower than expected, as Township Clerk Michael Koehs noted that his department typically aims for a 50 percent turnout during mid-term elections.

According to Koehs, Election Day ran relatively smoothly at Macomb Township’s 18 polling locations, which service 35 voter precincts. He admitted, however, that there were some problems with the voting machines at some locations. These machines are all 12 to 14 years old, he said, so township officials may need to look into replacing them before the next election.