TEMPERANCE — Bedford Township will be getting a new supervisor.
Incumbent Walt Wilburn conceded Tuesday evening after it became apparent that his write-in campaign against endorsed Republican Greg Stewart was unsuccessful.
"We gave it a good fight. My supporters urged me to do it, and we gave it a good shot," he said.
The unofficial, incomplete count had Mr. Stewart defeating Mr. Wilburn 6,859 to 1,834, according to the Bedford Republican Club precinct watchers who visited the township's 14 precincts.
Mr. Stewart will take the supervisor's office at noon on Nov. 20, when he is sworn in along with other members of the new township board. He defeated Mr. Wilburn by 231 votes in the Aug. 7 GOP primary and seemed a shoo-in to win the general election because no Democrat was in the race.
Then Mr. Wilburn decided to seek a third term as write-in candidate, attributing his loss to the the low turnout of 25 percent and Michigan's primary election rules that require voters to follow a straight party ticket. He believed that many of his supporters, convinced he was assured of victory, cast their votes for one of the three Democrats in the high-profile contest to be their party's nominee in the Monroe County sheriff's race, thereby disqualifying themselves from voting for him.
Mr. Stewart is the municipal administrator for the city of Luna Pier and will leave that job to take the supervisor's position, the township's highest elective office. He and his wife, Marti, are Lambertville residents.
In his campaign, he touted his background in economic development and said Tuesday he intended to work with Monroe County to bring more businesses to Bedford.
"We need to be more collaborative," he said.
He said he also planned to speed up adoption of the new Web site Bedford officials have been constructing and would post the township's financial statements on it as part of what he called his commitment to transparency.
As for his impending accession to the supervisor's position, Mr. Stewart said he had "a feeling of responsibility" along with sense of relief that his campaigning was over.
Mr. Wilburn said he would help in the transition if needed, and was proud of the projects completed while he was supervisor, including the new township hall, the fire station on Lewis Avenue, and the Bedford Branch Library.
"We improved more than 30 miles of roads and attracted $18.5 million in state and federal funds," he said. "We have a balanced budget in the worst economic downturn in 30 years."
The candidates for the township's full-time offices of clerk and treasurer were, respectively, Republicans Trudy Hershberger and Paul Francis. Both were unopposed.
In the contest for four Bedford Township trustee seats, Paul Pirrone, Larry O'Dell, Rick Steiner, and Nancy Tienvieri were winning Tuesday night.
Summerfield Township voters removed Supervisor Kevin Iott, a Republican, from office, and instead elected Democratic challenger John Chandler.
Democrat Leanne Goodin was elected clerk and Republican Joan Wiederhold won re-election to treasurer. Republicans Gary Missler and Dale Wagenknecht won the trustee races.
In Whiteford Township, incumbent Republican Angela Christensen withstood a challenge from Patrick Nidek to win re-election to clerk and Republican Donald Sahloff and Democrat Bernice Heidelberg won trustee seats.
Partial election results showed that Democrat Dale Malone of Carleton was winning by large margin for Monroe County sheriff and voters were choosing to retain Temperance resident David Thompson as drain commissioner.
Mr. Malone, a retired major who worked in the office for 29 years, was opposed by Republican candidate Jan Jay to replace Sheriff Tilman Crutchfield, who is stepping down after 16 years.
Mr. Thompson, a Democrat and longtime employee of the county's drain office, was holding off a challenge from Republican Joe Lehmann.
In other contests, attorney Daniel White of Monroe had a slight lead in the 28th Circuit Court judge race against Cheryl Sweeney of LaSalle. Mr. White was appointed to fill the remainder of the term of Judge Joseph Costello, Jr.
Frank Arnold had a slim lead over Jill LaVoy in the election for probate judge in Circuit Court. Both are Monroe residents.
Mr. Arnold was appointed by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm in July, 2010.
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