Voters to decide BOC, judge seats, school proposals in August primary

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

BELLAIRE – With the April 24 filing deadline for candidates now past, Antrim County's registered voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 7 to decide all nine county commissioners' positions, one probate judge's seat, one township position, and two school proposals up for consideration during Michigan's 2018 primary election.

With no Democrats having filed to oppose any of the nine Antrim County incumbent commissioners, all of whom are Republicans, the entire board of county representatives for the next two years will effectively be decided during the August primary. All of the winning August commissioner candidates will also appear on the November general election ballot, where they may face opposition from write-in candidates.

Of those incumbents, only two – District 2's Melissa Zelenak and District 5's Bryan Smith – will face party challengers during the August primary.

Zelenak, who represents Central Lake Township and a portion of Forest Home Township – in addition to serving as a village trustee for Central Lake – is being challenged by Joshua Watrous, a resident of Forest Home Township and a newcomer to the political arena. Zelenak was first elected as a county commissioner in 2016.

Running against Smith, who is finishing his second term of office as the county's representative to portions of Custer and Forest Home townships and Kearney Township, is Terry VanAlstine, owner of Bellaire's Auto Value, who is also a newcomer to the political arena.

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