Democrats Finish Strong in County Races

There were few surprises in the races for Washtenaw County elected offices, with Democrats – and two out of three Republican incumbents – winning their respective races on Nov. 6.

The three seats representing Ann Arbor districts on the Washtenaw County board of commissioners were on the ballot for two-year terms. Due to redistricting that takes effect with this election cycle, the county board will shrink from 11 districts currently to 9 districts on the new board, starting in January 2013. [.pdf file of 9-district county map] District 2 also includes a small portion of Ann Arbor, but the incumbent in that district, Republican Dan Smith, was unopposed.

In District 7, Democrat Andy LaBarre defeated Republican David Parker with 12,817 votes (77.37%) compared to Parker’s 3,675 votes (22.18%). The incumbent, Barbara Bergman, did not seek re-election.

Democrat Yousef Rabhi was re-elected to serve as District 8 representative with 10,562 votes (77.75%) compared to 2,922 votes (21.51%) for Republican Joe Baublis. And in District 9, incumbent Democrat Conan Smith won with 15,849 votes (79.88%) over Republican John Floyd’s 3,878 votes (19.55%).

Most incumbent commissioners fared well in other parts of the county, but not every current commissioner was returned to office. In a close race in District 1 on the west side of the county, Democrat Kent Martinez-Kratz defeated incumbent Rob Turner by a vote of 10,904 (51.34%) to 10,258 (48.3%).

District 7 – covering Pittsfield Township – saw the re-election of Democrat Felicia Brabec with 10,506 votes (66.61%) over Republican Richard Conn’s 5,186 votes (32.88%).

On the east side of the county, District 5 incumbent Democrat Rolland Sizemore beat Republican Richard Deitering with 12,850 votes (71.49%) to Deitering’s 5,035 votes (28.01%). And District 6 incumbent Democrat Ronnie Peterson prevailed over Republican David Raaflaub with 13,462 votes (83.44%) to Raaflaub’s 2,544 votes (15.77%).

Because of redistricting, two incumbents – Democrat Wes Prater and Republican Alicia Ping – faced each other on Nov. 6 for District 3, covering parts of southern Washtenaw County, including Saline. Ping won that race with 10,896 votes (55.69%) compared to 8,603 votes (43.97%) for Prater, who had served for five previous terms.

Several other elected county incumbents – all Democrats – prevailed in their races for four-year terms.

County prosecuting attorney Brian Mackie defeated Libertarian Justin Altman with 123,148 votes (85%) compared to Altman’s 21,032 votes (14.52%). There was no Republican in this race. For Washtenaw County sheriff, Jerry Clayton was re-elected over Republican Jeffrey Gallatin with 115,731 votes (70.53%) compared to Gallatin’s 47,621 votes (29.02%).

For the county clerk/register of deeds race, Larry Kestenbaum was re-elected with 109,324 votes (68.39%) over Republican Stanley Watson, who received 49,649 votes (31.06%). County treasurer Catherine McClary won re-election over Republican Marlene Chockley, with McClary drawing 109,236 votes (68.51%) to Chockley’s 49,528 votes (31.06%).

The current county water resources commissioner, Democrat Janis Bobrin, did not seek re-election. In that race, Democrat Evan Pratt – who was endorsed by Bobrin – defeated Republican Eric Scheie. Pratt received 108,354 votes (68.76%) compared to 48,498 votes (30.78%) for Scheie.