Measures pass in Houghton County

HOUGHTON — Here are the results from Tuesday’s primary races in Houghton County. 

U.S. Senate

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters (3,383) and Republican challenger John James (3,853) faced uncontested primaries.

U.S. House 

Rep. Jack Bergman (3,984) ran unopposed in the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, primary winner Dana Ferguson also won the Houghton County vote, getting 2,337 votes to Linda O’Dell’s 983. 

For the 110th District in the State House, incumbent Rep. Greg Markkanen (3,970) ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Democratic primary winner Janet Metsa (2,648) was also the clear favorite in Houghton County, beating out Lawrence Dale (386) and Casey VerBerkmoes (342). 

County-wide races

In the sheriff race, incumbent Sheriff Brian McLean (2,831) defeated challenger Steve Laux (1,662) in the Republican primary. Democratic write-in candidate Anne Newcombe received 394 votes.

In the clerk race, incumbent Democratic Clerk Jennifer Kelly (3,218) and Republican challenger Justin Kasieta (3,383) ran unopposed in their primaries.

Prosecutor Brittany Bulleit (3,127), Treasurer Lisa Mattila (3,212), Mine Inspector Murray Gillis (3,123), and Drain Inspector John Pekkala (3,130) ran unopposed. 

County board

In District 1, incumbent Republican Vice Chair Tom Tikkanen (715) and Democratic challenger Amber Brodersen (519) were the sole candidates in their primaries. In District 2, incumbent Republican Chair Albert Koskela (891) will face Democratic challenger Mark Pavolich (625) in November. District 3 also had uncontested primaries for Democratic Commissioner Glenn Anderson (641) and Republican challenger Dan Holcomb (528). 

District 4 Democratic Commissioner Gretchen Janssen (597) and District 5 Republican Commissioner Roy Britz (1,128) ran unopposed. 


• Adams Township: Gerald Heikkinen (D) received 206 votes for supervisor, Debra Pindral (D) received 221 votes for clerk, Tracy Immonen (R) received 215 votes for treasurer, and Diane Keranen (R) received 214 votes for trustee.

• Calumet Township: Timothy Gasperich (R) received 691 votes for supervisor; Beth Salmela (R) received 706 votes for clerk; Fay Mattson (R) received 702 votes for treasurer; David Yeo (R, 475), Paul Lehto (R, 523), Jeff West (R, 491), Robert Zander (R, 412) and Thomas Helppi (R, 409)   ran for four trustee positions. 

• Chassell Township: Kelly Holmes (R) received 291 votes for treasurer; Ryan Kuntze (R, 228 votes) and Daniel Palosaari (R, 272 votes) ran for two trustee positions. 

• Elm River Township: Sherri Brandt (D) received 42 votes for clerk, Richard Trudgeon (D) received 39 votes for trustee.

• Franklin Township: Tara Dulong (D) received 92 votes for clerk; Jodi Mikesch (D) received 93 votes for treasurer; Lawrence Julio (D) received 82 votes and Daniel Dulong Jr. (R) received 132 votes for two trustee positions.

• Hancock Township: Michael Scott Young (R) received 59 votes for supervisor, Lori Makela Young (R) received 57 votes for clerk, Ronald Racine Sr. (R) received 56 votes for trustee.

• Laird Township: Brian Wilder (R) received 87 votes for supervisor to 51 for Patrick McLaren (D). Robin Henry (R) received 113 votes for clerk; Nicole Krajnak (R) received 113 votes for treasurer; Patricia Spencer (D, 51) and John Juntunen (R, 114 votes) ran for two trustee positions; Francis Tossava (D) received 43 votes for constable while Paul Peterson (R) received 100.

• Osceola Township: Tracy Sleeman Houle (R) received 216 votes for clerk, Christa Gardner (R) received 213 votes for treasurer; Donald Wareham (D) received 151 votes and Aaron Janke (R) received 206 votes for two trustee positions.

• Portage Township: Bruce Petersen (D) received 340 votes for supervisor, Amy Skewes (R) received 216 votes for clerk, Betsy Smith (D) received 335 votes for treasurer; Peggy Anderson (D, 288), Bill Fink (D, 261), John Ollila (D, 258) and Bill Bingham (R, 372 votes) ran for four trustee positions; Roy Britz (R, 333) and Robert Laux (R, 253) ran for two constable positions. 

• Quincy Township: Glenn North (R) received 36 votes for supervisor, Beth Helminen (R) received 37 votes for clerk, Cheri Raasio (R) received 34 votes for treasurer; Dennis Raasio (R) received 35 votes for trustee. 

• Schoolcraft Township: Joel Keranen (R) received 222 votes for supervisor; Gary Wenberg (R) received 224 votes for clerk; Dennis Racine (D) received 148 votes for treasurer; Susan Marcotte (D, 143) and Josh Loukus (R, 214) ran for two trustee positions. 

• Stanton Township: John Mattila (R) received 218 votes for supervisor to 157 for Glenn Ekdahl (D). Kara Heinonen (R) received 230 votes for clerk; Lori Anderson (R) received 233 votes for treasurer; Mark Haataja (R, 195) and Michael Pionke (R, 166) ran for two trustee positions. 

• Torch Lake Township: Brian Cadwell (D) received 198 votes for supervisor, Mary Isola (D) received 199 votes for clerk, Kathryn Moore (D) received 197 votes for treasurer; Scott Sapino (D, 195) and Lou Ambuehl (R, 288) ran for two trustee positions.


Houghton voters approved a non-binding proposal asking for great public input into the fate of city property on the site of the big parking deck on Lakeshore Drive. It passed 830-226. 

Houghton County voters backed the renewal of an 8-mill, four year operating millage 5,218 to 1,716. 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 approved an eight-year, 1-mill renewal for operation, maintenance, and repair of the Calumet Colosseum Community Center 872-405. The millage had dropped to .9781 mills through Headlee rollbacks. 

Franklin Township voters passed three millage proposals. The first, which passed 223-77, reduced the existing 1.25 mills for the Quincy-Franklin and Ripley fire department funds to 1 mill for four years. There is also a .25-mill, four-year renewal to purchase fire trucks and other firefighting apparatus, which passed 230-70. Also up for renewal was the 2-mill, four-year road millage, which passed 227-72.

Hancock voters approved an 0.8-mill, 15-year renewal for fire department capital expenditures 762-136. In the first year, it will raise an estimated $93,700.

In Laird Township, a 1-mill, six-year millage for maintaining and improving roads passed 134-41. Identical 1-mill six-year renewals also passed for the fire department and ambulance funds. The fire millage, which provides funds for fire protection and fire department operating expenses, passed 148-27. The ambulance fund millage passed 148-28.


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