Cone withdraws from race

HOUGHTON – James Cone, the Republican candidate for Houghton County Prosecuting Attorney, announced Thursday he is withdrawing from the race to accept a job at a law firm in Georgia.

“This was a very, very difficult decision,” he said. “I didn’t enter the race lightly, and I don’t leave it lightly.”

Still in the race are current Prosecutor Michael Makinen, a Democrat, and former Prosecutor Douglas Edwards, who is running as an independent.

Of the remaining candidates, Cone is endorsing Makinen.

“I think he is hard-working, smart and I think he does a lot with a pretty limited and small staff,” he said. “That’s not to say that Mr. Edwards isn’t qualified either.”

After seeking advice on the matter from family, Cone made a final decision about two days ago. Cone said he will be doing large scale litigation and litigation management at the Georgia firm.

Cone said the new position offered more opportunities for advancement, and would make life easier for his family.

“A lot of people in the Copper Country have had to make sacrifices for the well-being of their family,” he said. “I would hope that even though people would be disappointed by this, they would understand, because pretty much everyone has been in this situation before, or know people who have been in this situation before. It’s tough, but most of us simply don’t have the luxury of only doing what we want without taking economics or how their family’s economic situation would be affected by their decision.”

Cone will also resign from his current firm, Vairo, Mechlin & Tomasi, and his post as Houghton’s city attorney.

“The city is a fantastic group of people, with fantastic leadership, and they’re doing great, great things in Houghton, and I anticipate they’ll continue to do great things,” he said. He also praised the “fantastic mentorship and training” he received at his current firm, as well as the members of the local bar.