Write-in candidates contending in two races in Bedford Township

  • bedford-school-board-1

    Bedford School Board candidates.

  • Bedford School Board candidates.
    Bedford School Board candidates.

    TEMPERANCE -- In Bedford Township, this might be called the election of the write-in candidates, given that the races for supervisor and school board involve hopefuls running on that basis.

    There are other races: the offices of township clerk and treasurer, both of which are full time, and the part-time trustee and park commission seats.

    The supervisor's race pits endorsed Republican Greg Stewart against incumbent Walt Wilburn, who is running for a third term as a write-in.

    Mr. Stewart is the municipal administrator in Luna Pier, a post he will resign if he becomes supervisor. He defeated Mr. Wilburn by 231 votes in the Aug. 7 Republican primary and seemed a sure bet for election because no Democrat ran.

    But Mr. Wilburn then decided to run as a write-in, believing he had been defeated more by Michigan's primary election rules than he was by Mr. Stewart. The rules requires primary voters to follow a straight party ticket, and Mr. Wilburn felt that many of his supporters, convinced that he was assured of victory, voted in the high-profile Democratic primary for Monroe County sheriff.

    READ MORE: The Blade 2012 Voters Guide

    Mr. Stewart, a Lambertville resident, has been campaigning on his background in economic development, saying that as supervisor he would put it to work for the township. Mr. Wilburn, who lives in Temperance, said he wants to continue focusing on road improvements and other projects he has worked on during his almost eight years in office.

    The races for township clerk and treasurer feature two Republicans running unopposed. The respective candidates for the offices are incumbent Trudy Hershberger and Paul Francis, a township trustee. 

    Ms. Hershberger served as deputy clerk under Bob Schockman and was appointed clerk after his death in January. Mr. Francis has been a certified public accountant for 43 years and served as a member of the Bedford Board of Education. The new treasurer will replace Sherri Meyer, who is retiring after 30 years in office.

    Six candidates are vying for the four township trustee seats. They are Republicans Paul Pirrone, Rick Steiner, Nancy Tienvieri, and Jeffery Zink, and Democrats Mark Ellsworth and Larry O'Dell, the only incumbent.

    The contest for the five park commission seats features Democrats John Mohr and Connie Velliquette, both incumbents, and John Bomyea, Kathryn Schafer, and Joan Schockman. The Republican candidates are Garnet Francis, an incumbent, and Sally Dunn.

    Three write-in candidates are the only contenders for the two open Bedford Board of Education seats. They are Denise Ellsworth and Ronald Koch, both retired music teachers with the Bedford Public Schools, and Troy Weyher, an executive with Owens Corning in Toledo.

    In Erie Township, Cynthia Wisbon faces a write-in challenge from incumbent Cynthia Baum in the treasurer’s race. Ms. Wisbon upset Mrs. Baum in August’s Democratic primary, winning by 42 votes. Mrs. Baum has held the office for 17 years.

    Incumbent trustee Michael Grodi and Chad Yenor, who were the top vote getters in the Democratic primary, are running against independents Keth Daum, Michael Demski, and William Jacobs, for two trustee seats. Mr. Demski is the township building and zoning inspector. Mr. Jacobs ran unsuccessfully four years ago for township supervisor.

    Voters also will decide the clerk’s race between incumbent Democrat Jolene Upchurch and Cheryl Howard-Fascik. who is running as an independent.

    Kevin Skaggs, Joneil Upchurch, and Ryan Upchurch are seeking election as write-in candidates to the five open seats on the township park board.

    (SP?) Whiteford Township voters will decide the rematch between Angela Christensen and Patricia Nidek for clerk. Mrs. Christiansen, the Republican incumbent, defeated Mrs. Nideck, a Democrat, four years ago.

    In the race for two trustee seats, incumbents Christine Hauser and Donald Sahloff, who are both Republicans, are opposed by former Supervisor Bernice Heidelberg, who is a Democrat.

    Summerfield Township Supervisor Kevin Iott, a Republican, is being challenged by Democrat John Chandler.

    Voters also will decide the race between Republican Jamie Dean and Democrat Trudy Goodin for clerk.

    Treasurer Joan Wiederhold, a Republican, faces a challenge from Democrat Leanne Goodin.

    Incumbent Dale Wagenknecht and fellow Republican Gary Missler, along with Democrat Tammy Harbaugh and independent Amy Reiter, are running for two trustee seats.

    Mark Larocca, Thomas Harbaught, Mark Lada, Amanda Neiding, and James Nevel are running for township constable.

    Staff writer Mark Reiter contributed to this report.

    Contact Carl Ryan at: carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6183.