Janssen, Britz added to board

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Volunteer Phil Verville (left) helps Josh Joyval (right) feed his ballot into the polling machine in Hancock's Second Precinct Tuesday. One of the referendums on the correctional officer’s ballot was a proposal to build a new county jail, which was defeated.

HOUGHTON — All three returning members of the Houghton County Board were re-elected, with two new members winning contested races.

In District 2, Republican Chairman Al Koskela held off Democrat Melissa Davis, winning 1,870-1,515 (55.2 percent to 44.8 percent).

Koskela said he thinks the new-look board will run smoothly.

“I think it’ll function alright,” he said. “There’s some good people that got elected.”

One new addition comes in District 3, where Democrat Glenn Anderson defeated Republican write-in candidate Ben Jaehnig. Anderson received 1,946 votes, versus 165 write-ins cast. The seat is now held by Anton Pintar, who announced he would run again earlier this year.

In District 4, interim Democrat Commissioner Gretchen Janssen earned a full term with a win over Republican John Sullivan, 1,053-543 (66 percent to 34 percent).

Janssen, who was named as replacement for former Commissioner Scott Ala in June, thanked voters for their support.

“I look forward to beginning my informal public sessions, where people can come and ask questions and opinions,” she said.

A schedule for the sessions will be set up before the end of the year.

In another race between board newcomers, Republican Roy Britz defeated Democrat Sharon Stoll in District 5 2,354-1,236 (65.6 percent to 34.4 percent).

Britz defeated Vice Chairman Tim Palosaari in the Republican primary in August.

Britz said he appreciated the support and is “100 percent” open to conversations with residents.

“I’m very willing to meet with whoever and whenever they want to have a discussion about where we should go as a county,” he said.

Republican Tom Tikkanen ran uncontested in District 1. He received 2,204 votes.