By NIKKI YOUNK
CRYSTAL FALLS - Iron County Board of Commissioners Chair Wayne Wales was narrowly defeated in the August primary election, but he has now decided to seek re-election as a write-in candidate.
Iron County Clerk Joan Luhtanen confirmed that Wales filed a declaration of intent to run as a write-in candidate earlier this week.
Wales said that he chose to run for re-election as a write-in candidate because there are several ongoing projects, such as the Iron County Heritage Trail bike path, that he would like to see through.
"It would be hard for me to just walk away from something like that," he said.
Wales added that he did not want any of his supporters' write-in votes to go to waste, which would happen if he did not file a declaration of intent.
Anyone who wishes to run as a write-in candidate in Michigan must file a declaration of intent in order for write-in votes in their name to be counted. Any write-in votes for a candidate who has not filed a declaration of intent are not counted.
Names of write-in candidates do not appear on the ballot.
This means that Wales will again be facing former board chair Patti Peretto in the race for the district one commissioner seat in the November general election.
District one covers the city of Gaastra and the townships of Iron River and Stambaugh.
In the August primary election, Peretto defeated Wales by a vote of 311 to 294. Both ran as Democrats. There were no Republican candidates for the seat.
In February, Wales survived a recall by a vote of 381 to 237. The recall proposal was submitted by a special interest group that alleged that Wales had been negligent in overseeing the county budget and in ensuring that senior citizen needs were met through the Dickinson-Iron Community Services Agency.
Wales was first elected to the county board in 2011. He had previously served on the Iron County Road Commission, as mayor of Stambaugh, and on the Stambaugh City Commission.
Other contested county-wide races in the November election in Iron County include:
- Probate court judge. Incumbent Judge C. Joseph Schwedler will face attorney Mark D. Tousignant. The seat is non-partisan.
- Iron County Road Commission. Three candidates, Democrat Dan Germic, Democrat Christopher Sholander, and independent Chalmers McGreaham, are seeking two seats on the board.
- District three county commissioner. Incumbent Rosalie King, a Democrat, will face Ray Coates, an independent. District three covers the city of Caspian and the southern half of the city of Iron River.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.