Democrats hold 11-3 margin on County Commission

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By Akshita Verma and Cameron Billes
Ingham County Chronicle

Democrats maintained their 11-3 domination of the Ingham County Commission in Tuesday’s election.

Every incumbent ran for re-election except for Dianne Holman in District 11, where Democrat Teri Banas won, and Don Vickers in District 14, where Republican Robin case Naeyaert won.

District 13 Commissioner Randy Schafer, a Republican, was the only candidate who ran unopposed.

Sarah Anthony, re-elected in District 3, took her niece to the polls with her just like she does every Election Day.

“It’s like I’ve been running the last two years,” Anthony said. “I was surprised by the high turnout. It was very busy.”

Anthony said she found out about the results at the Nuthouse Sports Grill in Lansing Charter Township with a couple other commissioners. She did not have her own party, but was happy to get congratulatory calls from her friends and family.

Anthony said she was not super surprised by the composition of the board and that selecting leadership for the board is now a top priority.

“We really want someone who is able to articulate our vision,” Anthony said.

Also staying on the board is Brian McGrain. He has represented District 10 since 2008 and says he has always been about staying connected with the community.

“I have gained the expertise by being in office for six years,” McGrain said. “There are a lot of needs in my community and someone needs to be the person who steps up for them.”

McGrain said his primary focus for the new term will be on improving local mass transit, as well as redeveloping the Grand River Ave. corridor.

Rebecca Bahar-Cook, a Democrat, re-ran in District 2 and won.

“Excited. I feel very excited,” said Bahar-Cook. “I love being county commissioner.”

Bahar-Cook acknowledged that she expected this outcome, saying “I am very lucky to be running in a county with such a strong Democratic base.”

During her next term, Bahar-Cook said she plans to focus on the trails millage and the Lansing River Trail. She also plans on working on finance and the new plan for either a new jail or the renovation of the current jail.

She also plans on making a big move. “I will be leaving the court and law section and moving to county services. I want to know more about how the county is run,” said Bahar-Cook.

Bahar-Cook said would celebrate by going up north for the weekend with her family.

Randy Maiville, a Republican who won a seat, represents the minority. To win, Maiville said, “I promote my local government and community experience.”

Maiville said e will be focusing on the economy. “As the economy recovers, (I will restore) the sheriff department staffing cuts made during the recent recession,” said Maiville.

Todd Tennis from District 5 won overwhelmingly over Rodd Kerr. He said this will be his fifth term as a commissioner.

“I am passionate about access to health care,” said Tennis. “I support renewal of the Ingham County Health Care millage.”

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