FLINT TWP. — In a show of confidence during challenging economic times, township voters retained all Board of Trustees incumbents in Tuesday’s primary election. All are Democrats and will move on to November’s general election unchallenged.
With all 15 precincts reporting, current Supervisor Karyn Miller got 2,243 votes (65 pct) to fend off challenger Shelly King nearly two to one. King, a former administrative assistant to the Flint Township supervisor for 11 years, received 1,221 votes (35 pct).
Two-term Clerk Kim Courts garnered 2,288 votes to defeat challenger Alex Clark who got 1,094 (32 pct) votes.
Marsha Binelli will be the only new face on the board after winning the open treasurer’s seat with 1,309 votes (40.7 pct.) to narrowly edge out Donald Thompson by only 24 votes. Thompson, a businessman, received 1,285 votes (39.9 pct) and Nathaniel Olivo, who works in banking and finance, came in third with 605 votes (18 pct).
Binelli is a former township assistant supervisor and code enforcement officer who was fired shortly after Miller defeated former supervisor Douglas Carlton in the 2008 election. Binelli sued the township unsuccessfully to regain her job. Miller, who chose not to have an assistant, has said that she eliminated Binelli’s position to cut costs.
Binelli was endorsed by current treasurer Sandra Wright, who is retiring.
In an 11-person race for four remaining trustee seats, incumbents Belenda Parker, Frank Kasle, George Menoutes and Barb Vert all emerged victorious.
Parker, who won her third term, was the top vote getter with 1,633 votes (14 pct). She’s worked as municipal worker in Mt. Morris Township for more than 30 years.
Kasle, a retired lawyer and certified public accountant, won re-election with 1,521 votes (13 pct.) and Menoutes, a retired pharmacist, received 1,475 votes (12.7 pct).
Vert, a retired hospital unit clerk, won a second term with 1,406 votes (12 pct).
Among the unsuccessful challengers, Deborah Nebraski, a Realtor, received the most votes – 1,173 (10 pct), followed by former township supervisor Douglas Carlton, who got 979 votes (about 8 pct). Mark A. Rowley, a retired Flint Township assistant fire chief, got 827 votes (7 pct); and Chuck Hughes, a computer systems analyst, received 811 votes (6.9 pct); followed by Michael R. Coburn, a former Flint Township treasurer, with 713 votes (6 pct). and David Huffman, a professional automotive sales consultant, with 580 votes (4.9 pct.) John Whiteside, a skilled tradesperson at GM Flint Metal Center, received 482 votes (4 pct).
In a statement Wednesday morning, Supervisor Karyn Miller thanked her supporters and said she was grateful for the opportunity to serve four more years.
“I’m very pleased to have been reelected,’’ Miller said. “It’s a vote of confidence in me from the citizens of Flint Township. In fact, the results of last night’s election shows a confidence in the entire board. It tells me our residents are pleased with the accomplishments we have achieved over the past 3 1/2 years and the direction we are heading in.”
Her opponent King issued a statement saying she was “obviously disappointed” by the results but humbled by the support received. She said that she and her Leadership Team ran a campaign they can be proud of.
“Flint Township is my home and I will continue to fight to better our community and to restore it to a safe and desirable place in which to live,” she said.
She also expressed congratulations to Binelli, a member of her Leadership Team, who won the treasurer’s race.