Incumbents lose seats in problem plagued, high turnout primary

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Lines of voters were long in Central Lake Township during Tuesday's primary election, after the township ran out of ballots and voters were asked to use new equipment only recently supplied to the township for use by disabled and handicapped voters. Several other townships in Antrim County also ran out of ballots during the election, which saw the highest turn out of voters in years.


BELLAIRE – In an election fraught with problems that kept election officials up most of the night, two incumbent county commissioners lost their seats on the county board, while several road and fire millage proposals were approved and a township treasurer retained his seat in Antrim County's primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

District 2 Commissioner Melissa Zelenak, of Central Lake, a member of the county board for the last two years, lost her seat to political newcomer Joshua Watrous, of Bellaire, by 50 votes, with 291 votes cast for Watrous and 241 cast for Zelenak, while two-term incumbent Bryan Smith, District 5 commissioner for Kearney and small portions of Forest Home and Custer townships, lost his seat to former Bellaire Village Council Trustee Terry VanAlstine by 96 votes, with 299 voters opting for VanAlstine and 203 votes cast for Smith.

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