August primary ballot set

FILE - In this combination of 2018 and 2019 file photos are, from left, Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James. James has been called a rising star of the Republican Party so many times it's become a cliche. Now Republicans are looking to the African American combat veteran, business owner and father of three to flip a Senate seat to help the party hold its precarious majority. But James' race against Sen. Gary Peters in a presidential battleground state has suddenly gotten dicier. Although Trump narrowly won Michigan in 2016, the mood seems to be turning away from the president and the GOP. (AP Photos, File)

HOUGHTON — Though not as packed as the November ballot, Houghton County voters will have millages and multiple contested races to consider on the Aug. 4 primary ballot. 

U.S. Senate

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters and Republican challenger John James are running in contested primaries.

U.S. House 

Rep. Jack Bergman is unopposed in the Republican primary. Running on the Democratic side are Dana Ferguson and Linda O’Dell. 

For the 110th District in the State House, incumbent Rep. Greg Markkanen is unopposed in the Republican primary. Running on the Democratic side are Lawrence Dale, Janet Metsa and Casey VerBerkmoes. 

County-wide races

In the sheriff race, incumbent Sheriff Brian McLean is running against challenger Steven Laux in the Republican primary. 

In the clerk race, incumbent Democratic Clerk Jennifer Kelly and Republican challenger Justin Kasieta are running unopposed.

Prosecutor Brittany Bulleit, Treasurer Lisa Mattila, Mine Inspector Murray Gillis, Drain Inspector John Pekkala are running unopposed in the Democratic primary, and face no opposition in the general election. 

County board

In District 1, incumbent Republican Vice Chair Tom Tikkanen and Democratic challenger Amber Brodersen are the sole candidates in their primaries. The same is true in District 2, where incumbent Republican Chair Albert Koskela will face Democratic challenger Mark Pavolich in November, and District 3, where voters will decide between Democratic Commissioner Glenn Anderson and Republican challenger Dan Holcomb. 

Commissioners Gretchen Janssen (D) and Roy Britz (R) are running unopposed. 


• Adams Township: Gerald Heikkinen (D) is running for supervisor, Debra Pindral (D) is running for clerk, Tracy Immonen (R) is running for treasurer, and Diane Keranen (R) is running for trustee.

• Calumet Township: Timothy Gasperich (R) is running for supervisor; Beth Salmela (R) is running for clerk; Fay Mattson (R) is running for treasurer; Thomas Helppi (R), Paul Lehto (R), Jeff West (R), David Yeo (R) Robert Zander (R) are running for four trustee positions. 

• Chassell Township: Kelly Holmes (R) is running for treasurer; Ryan Kuntze (R) and Daniel Palosaari (R) are running for two trustee positions. 

• Elm River Township: Sherri Brandt (D) is running for clerk, Richard Trudgeon (D) is running for trustee.

• Franklin Township: Tara Dulong (D) is running for clerk; Jodi Mikesch (D) is running for treasurer; Lawrence Julio (D) and Daniel Dulong Jr. (R) are running for two trustee positions.

• Hancock Township: Michael Scott Young (R) is running for supervisor, Lori Makela Young (R) is running for clerk, Ronald Racine Sr. (R) is running for trustee.

• Laird Township: Patrick McLaren (D) and Brian Wilder (R) are running for supervisor; Robin Henry (R) is running for clerk; Nicole Krajnak (R) is running for treasurer; Patricia Spencer (D) and John Juntunen (R) are running for two trustee positions; Francis Tossava (D) and Paul Peterson (R) are running for constable. 

• Osceola Township: Tracy Sleeman Houle (R) is running for clerk, Christa Gardner (R) is running for treasurer; Donald Wareham (D) and Aaron Janke (R) are running for two trustee positions.

• Portage Township: Bruce Petersen (D) is running for supervisor, Amy Skewes (R) is running for clerk, Betsy Smith (D) is running for treasurer; Peggy Anderson (D), Bill Fink (D), John Ollila (D) and Bill Bingham (R) are running for four trustee positions; Roy Britz (R) and Robert Laux (R) are running for two constable positions. 

• Quincy Township: Glenn North (R) is running for supervisor, Beth Helminen (R) is running for clerk, Cheri Raasio (R) is running for treasurer; Dennis Raasio (R) is running for trustee. 

• Schoolcraft Township: Joel Keranen (R) is running for supervisor; Gary Wenberg (R) is running for clerk; Dennis Racine (D) is running for treasurer; Susan Marcotte (D) and Josh Loukus (R) are running for two trustee positions. 

• Stanton Township: Glenn Ekdahl (D) and John Mattila (R) are running for supervisor; Kara Heinonen (R) is running for clerk; Lori Anderson (R) is running for treasurer; Mark Haataja (R) and Michael Pionke (R) are running for two trustee positions. 

• Torch Lake Township: Brian Cadwell (D) is running for supervisor, Mary Isola (D) is running for clerk, Kathryn Moore (D) is running for treasurer; Scott Sapino (D) and Lou Ambuehl (R) are running for two trustee positions.


Houghton County voters will decide on the renewal of an 8-mill, four year operating millage. Of that, 6.3 mills go to Houghton County, 1.3 to townships within the county and 0.4 to the Copper Country Intermediate School District.

Calumet Township voters will decide on an eight-year, 1-mill renewal for operation, maintenance, and repair of the Calumet Colosseum Community Center. The millage had dropped to .9781 mills through Headlee rollbacks. In its first year, the millage will generate an estimated $105,915.58.

Franklin Township voters will have three millage proposals on the ballot. The first would reduce the existing 1.25 mills for the Quincy-Franklin and Ripley fire department funds to 1 mill for four years. The reduced millage would raise an estimated $33,752.36 in the first year. There is also a .25-mill, four-year renewal to purchase fire trucks and other firefighting apparatus. It would raise an estimated $9,349.12 in the first year. Also up for renewal is the 2-mill, four-year road millage. That would raise an estimated $74,792.97 in its first year.

Hancock voters will decide on a 0.8-mill, 15-year renewal for fire department capital expenditures. In the first year, it would raise an estimated $93,700.

Laird Township voters will consider three millage renewals. A 1-mill, six-year road millage will be up for renewal after having dropped to .9756 mills through Headlee rollbacks. The fund will be used for maintaining and improving roads. In its first year, the millage would raise an estimated $17,000. Identical Headlee rollbacks occurred with a fire department millage and ambulance fund millage, which the township is looking to renew at 1 mill for six years. The fire millage, which provides funds for fire protection and fire department operating expenses, would raise an estimated $17,000. So would the ambulance fund millage, which is used solely for providing funds for ambulance services in the township.


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