Two BOC incumbents face challenges in upcoming primary election

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA COUNTY – Only two of the seven members of the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners will be challenged in the upcoming Aug. 7 primary election.

District No. 2 Commissioner Stuart McKinnon, who currently serves as chairman of the county board, and District No. 1 Commissioner Truman Bicum, both Republicans, will need to win their party’s primary before the incumbents can move on to the November general election.

McKinnon is seeking his fifth two-year term as the representative for District No. 2, which includes Coldsprings and Rapid River townships. But, the veteran commissioner will need to top fellow GOP candidate Leigh Lewis in the primary in order to move on and face Democratic challenger Fred Vonalt in November.

Bicum is battling to win his first full term on the county board. The Republican was appointed to the board early this year, replacing former District No. 1 Commissioner Michael Buchanan, who resigned after announcing he was moving out of state.

Bicum with face John West in the Aug. 7 primary, with the winner battling Democrat Gerald Grieve in the general election to represent District No. 1, which consists of Clearwater Township.

The other five incumbents seemingly have little to worry about in the upcoming primary, where they won’t be challenged. And, three of the current board members, including District No. 3 Commissioner Kohn Fisher, District No. 5 Commissioner Dave Comai and District No. 7 Commissioner Patty Cox, have a clear path to being re-elected, with no one currently set to challenge them in either the primary or general elections.

District No. 4 Commissioner James Sweet also has an open road to the general election, without a challenger for the Aug. 7 Republican primary. But, in a repeat of the previous two elections for the district that includes Garfield and Springfield townships, Sweet will again face Democrat Kevin Stein.

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