Monday, Jul 16, 2018
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MICHIGAN ELECTIONS

Pirrone beats Stewart in Bedford Township primary

Current township trustee tops incumbent in supervisor race

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    Ron and Gail Hurley sign in to vote at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Temperance, Mich., Tuesday.

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    Campaign signs crowd the lawn at Urbanski's Bedford Funeral Chapel on Lewis Avenue in Temperance, Mich., today.

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TEMPERANCE — There will be a new supervisor in Bedford Township after Paul Pirrone topped incumbent Greg Stewart in Tuesday’s primary election.

Mr. Pirrone, a current township trustee, received 2,054 votes to 1,900 for Mr. Stewart, according to unofficial results.

“I’m excited and I’m ready to get to work,” Mr. Pirrone said. “I’m going to continue to build on the last three years [as trustee] to keep pounding away and move the township forward.”

Mr. Pirrone is backed by Bedford Township political action committee Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility and part of their five-candidate “Dream Team” seeking office. He will face Democrat Larry O’Dell, who received 1,266 votes, in November.

Mr. Stewart left his post as city administrator in Luna Pier upon winning the election for supervisor in 2012.

“I’m too stoic to really feel anything, but the result is what the people decided,” he said. “I believe in democracy.”

Mr. Stewart, 66, said he’s going to enjoy retirement. He has no current plans to jump back in Bedford Township politics, but wouldn’t rule it out.

“I’m a community man,” he said. “If there’s something I feel I can do, I will.”

Mr. Pirrone, a member of Iron Workers Local 55 and a 2000 Bedford High School graduate, said his Republican opponent ran a clean race.

Mr. Stewart said he would have liked to see more civility on social media among residents, but said Mr. Pirrone wasn’t to blame.

Trudy Hershberger kept her seat as clerk, receiving 2,226 votes to Austin Mack’s 1,744. Ms. Hershberger was appointed deputy clerk in 2000 and was elected clerk in 2012.

Paul Francis beat David Dunnigan 2,001 to 1,837 in the race for treasurer. Mr. Francis was elected in 2012 and has worked as a certified public accountant for over 40 years.

No Democrats ran for clerk or treasurer.

Republicans Michelle Bork received 1,946 votes, Nancy Tienvieri received 1,837, Rick Steiner received 1,826, and T.C. Clements received 1,563 — the most votes in the township trustee race, meaning they will move on to the November ballot against Democrat Greg Robinson, who received 1,219 votes. Ms. Tienvieri and Mr. Steiner are incumbents.

The four candidates with the most votes will fill the seats up for grabs.

James Nyhan, George Welling, Mike Sprott, Bob Stammer, and Brent Cook also ran for trustee as Republicans.

Ms. Bork, Ms. Tienvieri, Mr. Mack, and Mr. Dunnigan are the other four candidates of the so-called “Dream Team.”

With all precincts in Bedford Township reporting, the fire department 1-mill fire protection renewal passed 4,651 to 890, according to unofficial results. The measure is renewed for four years starting in 2017.

The Bedford Township public transportation renewal of a service millage that expired in 2015 passed 3,977 to 1,393.

With about all precincts reporting, Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone defeated Democratic challenger James Reaster with 7,370 votes to 1,180. The winner will face Republican David Uhl in the fall.

A Monroe County senior citizen millage renewal and an additional senior citizen levy also passed, the former with 78.3 percent of the vote and the latter with 55.5 percent.

Contact Jay Skebba at: jskebba@theblade.com, 419-376-9414, or on Twitter @JaySkebbaBlade.

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