After 11.8 percent of Gogebic County’s 13,481 registered voters submitted ballots at the polls Tuesday, the results are in.
Michigan voters approved the ballot’s Proposal 1, which looks to remove the state’s Personal Property Tax and replace it with a local community stabilization share.
With 86 percent of statewide precincts reporting, the proposal was set to pass with 69 percent support.
The measure is believed to increase the number of small businesses in Michigan, by reducing the amounts of taxes on businesses’ property, such as machinery and other equipment.
The measure was supported by Gogebic County voters with more than 73 percent voting yes.
At the county level, voters chose to renew a .2-mill levy to fund the Gogebic County Animal Control Program for four more years, which provides financial support to the HOPE Animal Shelter and an animal control officer for the county.
Nearly 80 percent of voters supported the millage.
Voters also approved a renewal of a .6-mill levy for Gogebic County’s Maintenance of Effort payments to the state of Michigan for operation of the Gogebic Medical Care Facility with 81.7 percent supporting the levy.
Wakefield and Marenisco township voters also approved renewals of previously accepted increases in ad valorem taxes to be levied for an additional four years—up to 3 mills in Wakefield, and 3.5 mills in Watersmeet—to be used for general operation purposes by the township.
Current U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls easily defeated challenger Alan Arcand, R-Iron River, as the top Republican candidate for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Benishek received about 70 percent of the votes district-wide and will go on to face Democratic candidate Jerry Cannon in November’s general election after receiving.
In one of the tighter primary races, Christopher Germain was ahead, by just 140 votes, of Chris LaMarche after 99 percent of the precincts reporting.
After battling it out in the primaries to represent the Democrats for District 38’s seat in the State Senate, Germain will now have a shot at dethroning State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, in November.
LaMarche received 59.4 percent of votes cast in Gogebic County, but only 49 percent district-wide.
Democrat Tom Laabs won the seat for Gogebic County’s Board of Commissioners District 2, after defeating Dave Ramme by a vote of 62.6 percent.
In District 6 of the county commission, Bob Orlich won the seat after receiving nearly 61 percent of votes to beat opponent Don Pezzetti.
Geraldine Burt squeaked past competitor DeLaine Maki with 51.2 percent of votes to win the spot as Bessemer’s Republican delegate to county convention.
Peter Koruga was named Wakefield’s Republican delegate to county convention, with Gail F. Maki-Dalbec taking the Democrat spot.
Bessemer Township’s Republican delegate to county convention is Sherry Forslund, and Charlie E. Best took the Republican delegate position for Ironwood’s Precinct 1.
Voter turnout for Gogebic County was lower than it was in the August 2010 midterm primary by more than 4 percent.
The county had 16 percent voter turnout for the August 2010 mid-term primary election.
In 2012, a presidential election year, turnout was at 22 percent for the primary and 57 percent for the general election.