Kalamazoo County election results: Candidates who won their contested races
Read this article to find out which candidates from our Community Voter Guide won their contested elections; including Kalamazoo Township, Comstock Charter Township and Oshtemo Charter Township. Congratulations to all candidates for a race well run. For more election results, visit the Kalamazoo County Clerk's website.
Nearly 150,000 votes were cast in Kalamazoo County in the November 2020 election. Below, we have included candidates from our Community Voter Guide, including Kalamazoo Township, Comstock Charter Township and Oshtemo Charter Township, that won their contested races. Congratulations to all candidates for a race well run. For more election results, visit the Kalamazoo County Clerk's website.
Edit- First version of story had wrong candidate listed for Kalamazoo County Treasurer.
State Representative 60th District
Julie Rogers - Democratic Party
Julie Rogers was first elected to the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners in 2012 and is currently serving in her fourth term. She was elected Board Chair by a majority of her peers in January of 2019. She has served on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Health Steering Committee for the past six years and was one of their vice chairs.
Locally, she serves on the Kalamazoo County Public Arts Commission and Kalamazoo County Community Corrections Advisory Board.
Rogers practices physical therapy at a local hospital and is the only health care provider on her board. Her background drives her to be a champion of public health. She has also served on the West Michigan Cancer Center Board, coached Girls on the Run, is a member of the Borgess Hospital Diversity Council and Lifetime Member of NAACP.
State Representative 61st District
Christine Morse - Democratic Party
Christine Morse is a mother, spouse of a Navy Veteran, former attorney, and cancer survivor. She knows that the opportunity to be successful, and even just safe and healthy, is getting harder to come by.
When Christine was elected Kalamazoo County Commissioner in 2018, she tackled problems head on, working cooperatively with a bipartisan county board to make sure the budget was allocated to areas it was needed most. In addressing issues like the recent flooding in Texas Township,
Christine made sure to solve the underlying problems before they spiraled into larger economic and public health concerns. Christine is running to bring this approach to Lansing, where she can have a greater impact on legislation and driving statewide policies that hard-working families need and deserve.
State Representative 63rd District
Matt Hall - Republican Party
Matt Hall is state representative for the 63rd District in the Michigan House of Representatives. He assumed office in January 2019. While in college, Matt Hall served as Western Michigan University GOP chairman from 2003 to 2005. Hall graduated from Western Michigan University in 2006 with a bachelor's in business management and public administration. Between 2005 and 2006, prior to graduation, Hall worked as a field director for Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.
State Representative 66th District
Beth Griffin - Republican Party
Beth Griffin is a teacher by trade. Prior to seeking elected office, she taught 6th grade special education and 8th grade English in Parchment.
This fall, Griffin is once again running for re-election for State Representative because she has a passion for serving the community. Through the eyes of her kids, friends, neighbors, business owners, and fellow elected officials, Griffin sees the concern for the future direction of Michigan. Griffin is confident the community can continue to address this concern, and together, leave for our kids and grandchildren a better Michigan.
In Lansing her focus has been on keeping taxes low, supporting job creators, investing in education, and fighting to lower auto insurance rates. She is proud to have voted for record funding for our K-12 schools, increased funding for our roads and bridges, and for a plan that would lower auto insurance costs.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff
Richard Fuller - Democratic Party
Sheriff Richard Fuller is entering his 4th term as Kalamazoo County Sheriff. "As your Kalamazoo County Sheriff since 2008, I know the past, live in the present, and plan for the future." Fuller has plenty of experience with 31 years in Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, an associates degree in law enforcement, a bachelor’s degree in organizational management and not to mention supervising a staff of 220+ and 100 reserves. Fuller pledges to continue bringing best practices in policies, training and response, technology improvements, and inmate services to my office, along with positive community relationships.
Kalamazoo County Clerk and Register of Deeds
Meredith Place - Democratic Party
Meredith Place is Kalamazoo County’s next Clerk/Register of Deeds. Place currently serves on the County Commission and is the only candidate in this race with elected office experience; including overseeing and voting on the budget of the Clerk/Register. Place not only has been accountable to the voters but has an intimate understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the office. Place is asking you for your vote because as your next Kalamazoo County Clerk it doesn’t matter whether you're a Democrat or Republican: your voice matters. As County Clerk, Place will prioritize the security and integrity of our elections while working to increase participation in our democracy. Place plans to work collaboratively with existing groups and local clerks to improve voter education efforts and together make voting easier. Growing up in a small town in Iowa, Place learned that hard work and determination are recipes for success, and caring for your neighbors is a moral responsibility. Our neighbors value honesty, hard work, and integrity. With your support, Place plans to bring all three to the County Clerk/Register’s office
Kalamazoo County Treasurer
Thomas Whitener - Democratic Party
Southwest Michigan is where Thomas Whitener calls home. As a Realtor, a father, and a homeowner, he understands the importance and value of keeping homeownership in the hands of Kalamazoo families. Whitener says that public service runs in his family; his grandfather was a Democratic US House of Representatives member in North Carolina for many years, and a Naval Officer before that. His family is full of teachers and service members, professors, and community leaders, a tradition that he is proud to be continuing.
Kalamazoo County deserves a Treasurer who believes in its citizens and is willing to work with them, says Whitener. With all the challenges facing everyday Michiganders, Whitener is running for office to help bring back transparency, accountability, and equitable change to the Kalamazoo County Treasurer’s office.
Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner
Jason Wiersma - Democratic Party
As part of the Drain Office this last four years, Jason Wiersma has demonstrated solid support for the environment while maintaining friendly regulatory relationships with the State of Michigan, local officials, landowners, developers, and construction site workers. When responding to flooding concerns, every person who comes to Jason knows that he hears them and will respond to their special circumstances. Jason honorably served in the Air Force, he is a journeyman carpenter, and is accustomed to assessing field conditions and supervising skilled operations.
Though he always conveys a clear sense of mission, he simultaneously conveys the message that whomever he is working with is important and worthy. This unusual personal skill set reflects the very essence of the Drain Office commitment to the residents of Kalamazoo County and is the reason that all of us in the Drain Office are convinced that Jason Wiersma will be the best Drain Commissioner.
Kalamazoo County Commissioner, District 4
Jen Strebs - Democratic Party
Jen is a summa cum laude graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in both American Public Policy and Psychology. She is a Program Coordinator and Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional at Residential Opportunities, Inc. She serves on the Board of Directors for Public Media Network, the County ID Advisory Board, the County Equity Taskforce, the Public Transit Human Services Committee, and the Regional Water and Waster Water Commission. She has previously served on the Kalamazoo Township Election Commission, was Chair of the Bronson Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council, and the Chair of the County ID Taskforce Finance Subcommittee and has volunteered with many other organizations. Jen has been an involved activist for 15 years supporting Democratic candidates and progressive initiatives. She has helped build several grassroots organizations to bring people into an active role in their democracy.
Jen lives in the Westwood neighborhood in Kalamazoo Township, she loves to spend time with her children Jude and Olive. She enjoys singing (badly) and dancing whenever there is the chance. She loves being near trees, reading, or baking something delicious in her “downtime.”
Kalamazoo County Commissioner, District 5
Veronica McKissack - Democratic Party
Veronica McKissack is a long-time resident of Kalamazoo County. She has been married for 17 years and has four children. McKissack is a Clinical Social Worker at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. She has over 13 years working in the field of Public Services including education, mental health, child welfare, and non-profit sectors within Kalamazoo County. McKissack has served as a member of the Kalamazoo County Equity Taskforce since 2017, partnering with public service agencies to promote education surrounding trauma, specifically adverse childhood experiences ACEs). McKissack will be a catalyst to bringing comprehensive strategies to the Commission by working with other elected officials to advance the interest of all citizens. She is looking forward to serving the community in a larger capacity.
Kalamazoo County Commissioner, District 6
Jeff Heppler - Republican Party
Jeff is the Kalamazoo County Commissioner for District 6. He has had 40 years experience in government offices. He was a county commissioner for 14 years. He was on the Richland village board as a member and as the president. Jeff has been the police chief of Augusta for 38 years and is also the village manager. Jeff has been on the Richland Township fire department for over 40 years and has also served on Galesburg fire department and Ross Augusta fire dept. Jeff has also owned businesses for over 47 years. Jeff has lots of experience being in county offices and getting things done.
Kalamazoo County Commissioner, District 7
Roger Tuinier - Republican Party
Roger Tuinier has been a Kalamazoo County Commissioner since 2012. Tuinier is an Army National Guard veteran, and has owned and operated a greenhouse for 48 years. Tuinier serves as the Kalamazoo Valley Plant Growers president, is a member of the Greenstone Farm Credit board, and Kalamazoo Christian School board and school council. His top priorities for 2020 and 2021 involve improving quality of life in Kalamazoo County; including diversity and inclusion initiatives and assisting the county through the uncertain times of the Pandemic.
Kalamazoo County Commissioner, District 9th
Dale Shugars - Republican Party
Dale Shugars is Kalamazoo County Commissioner in District 9, a position which he also held from 2014-2018. In addition to serving the District 9 county commissioner, Shugars was a state senator for eight years, served in the state house for four years and sat on the Portage City Council for seven years.
Shugars is an alumnus of Western Michigan University, where he received a degree in accountancy and policy. Shugars is also self-employed, a registered CPA, and performs management and consulting services.
Kalamazoo County Commissioner, District 10
Mike Quinn - Democratic Party
Mike Quinn was the incumbent for Kalamazoo County Commissioner in District 10. Quinn has a bachelor's degree is applied mathematics and a master's degree in statistics from Western Michigan University. Quinn owns Shamrock Montessori. He serves in the U.S Marines, and also in the Peace Corps. He is a member of the NAACO and the Marine Corps League. For his upcoming term, Quinn is prioritizing helping the people in the community who need help the most, taking care of our county’s financial stability and infrastructure, and building resilience in the community.
Kalamazoo County Commissioner, District 11
Fran Bruder Melgar - Democratic Party
Dr. Fran Bruder Melgar, 59, has been a resident of the 11th district for 25 years. She is a pediatrician and internist at Intercare Community Health Network in Pullman, MI. The Southfield, Michigan native is a 1983 graduate of Kalamazoo College, and a 1988 graduate of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Fran lives in the Wood Glen Estates neighborhood and is the loving mother of five.
Fran’s history of public service includes: Board member of Residential Opportunities, Inc. of Kalamazoo, Medical mission work in the Ivory Coast, Ghana and the Dominican Republic, Volunteer at Peace House of Kalamazoo, Volunteer at Outreach 360 (formerly known as Orphanage Outreach) in Nicaragua, Volunteer ar ARCAS, an animal refuge in Guatemala.
In addition, she is an active member of the League of Women Voters Kalamazoo Area, Just Faith, MOMS Demand Action, cofounder of The Science Club of Kalamazoo/Portage, and is an active member of St. Thomas More Catholic Student Parish.
Comstock Charter Township Supervisor
Randy Thompson - Democratic Party
I was born in Plainwell, Michigan and grew up in Kalamazoo Township. My parents raised me to be honest and respectful, have good values, and always do good things for other people.
I started working at the age of 15 for Kalamazoo Elks Club and continued to work for area business throughout my youth. I started my first business in 1977 in Kalamazoo County and I have been self-employed ever since. My wife Catherine and I met while we were attending Kalamazoo Central High School. After Graduating, Catherine and I were married in 1979 and we went on to have 3 children, Angela, Kevin and Matthew. I worked hard to support my family while Catherine stayed home to raise our children, all which attended and graduated from Comstock Public Schools.
In 1977, I joined the Kalamazoo Township Fire Department along with serving on the Board of the Eastwood Fire Association. I quickly climbed the ranks from Lieutenant up to my current position serving as Captain. In addition, I served as an acting lieutenant on the Comstock Fire Department for 19 years.
I joined the Kalamazoo County Sheriff Reserve Division in 1979 and served through 1984. From there, I joined the Kalamazoo Township Police Reserve Division and served for another decade until 1994.
In 2008 to 2012, I was elected to serve on the Comstock Charter Township Board as Trustee while also representing Comstock Township on the Board of Directors for the Kalamazoo Area Building Authority.
In 2009 my wife and I served on the committee for Comstock Daze, a family fun day for the community which all proceeds went to the Great Lakes Burn Camp. In 2012, however, Comstock Daze was disbanded, which brought an end to this fundraiser in Comstock. Determined to continue to help the children, in 2012 my wife and I partnered with the Texas Corral to continue fundraising for the Camp. Since 2012, we have hosted the fundraiser annually with several community members at the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds.
Comstock Charter Township Clerk
Nicole Beauchamp - Democratic Party
Nicole Beauchamp is a native of Comstock. She graduated from Comstock High School and earned bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University. She background is in business and non-profit service. Beauchamp co-founded a non-profit called Global Host Project that serves the poor in Ghana, West Africa. There, Beauchamp was able to help many people and communities through education and job training program, opening computer centers, building public toilets and more. Beauchamp also owns Kalamazoo Massage Center, where she manages all aspects of the business. Most recently, Beauchamp started Ladybug Tech Solutions, a web/graphic design & small business solutions company. "The clerk's job is primarily election management and record keeping, which requires a high level of organization and detail focus. Most of my work history has been in management. I am effective at streamlining procedures to make work flow smoother and more efficiently, eliminating waste. I also have a strong background in community development and know the hard work it takes to effect positive change and growth in communities."
Comstock Charter Township Treasurer
Bret Padgett - Democratic Party
Bret Padgett was born and raised in Comstock Township and currently resides in the community with his wife and three children.
Padgett graduated from Galesburg-Augusta High School in 1995 and Western Michigan University in 2002. He has been the Treasurer for Comstock Township since 2012 and has completed more than 650 hours of education and training since taking office. Padgett is running for re-election because he is proud to serve his hometown community and is dedicated to moving it forward.
Comstock Charter Township Trustees
Jason Knight - Democratic Party
Jason Knight is running for Comstock Township Trustee in November. Knight served in the US Army as an infantryman from 1990-94; during this time, he was deployed to Desert Storm. Knight is the father of four daughters, and proud grandfather of two grandsons. Knight has twenty plus years of manufacturing experience; 10 of those years were in management. Knight currently works in the non-profit sector doing community outreach, a huge passion of his. In his spare time, Knight enjoys spending time with family. Knight looks forward to the possibility of serving Comstock as a Board Trustee.
Jerry T Amos - Republican Party
Jerry T Amos is seeking election to the office of Comstock Township Trustee. Amos is a life long resident of Comstock, and attended Comstock schools. Amos has worked at Interkal LLC on Cork St. for 34 years which is located in Comstock Township. As an employee, Amos held the position of Facilities and Safety Manager and has many years of management experience in manufacturing. This has enabled him to connect with people, negotiate contracts with outside vendors, reduce employer costs and overall improve the facility, and reduce expenses for the company. Amos is am currently the Precinct Delegate in precinct 2. Amos attends Northeastern Baptist Church, and volunteers at Michigan Youth Challenge Academy for at-risk youth. Amos is a graduate of K.V.C.C. And a veteran of the United States Navy.
Amos believes that the government should spend less than it takes in, and create an environment for businesses and citizens to excel and prosper. Amos believes in the rule of law, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and limited government.
Clyde "Bub" Sherwood- Republican Party
Clyde "Bub" Sherwood is a husband, father and business owner in the Comstock Community. He owns Sherwood Auto Repair located in Comstock Township.
Terry McIver - Republican Party
Terry McIver was a businessman in Comstock Township for 39 years. McIver was elected as a Comstock County Trustee in 2016 to a 4 year term to the Comstock Township Board. McIver is a 64 year resident of Comstock Township.
McIver is passionate about fixing the blight problem in Comstock Township. Since being elected as trustee in 2016, McIver has only missed two Township Board Meetings.
Oshtemo Charter Township Treasurer
Clare Buszka - Democratic Party
Clare Buszka cares about fiscal responsibility and placing priority on community needs first and foremost. "I don't believe a township should have to borrow millions or continuously increase taxes, but rather bank funds to spend as needed," Buszka said. Smart spending is a major goal of hers, and something she will work towards as treasurer.
Oshtemo Charter Township Trustees
Zak Ford - Democratic Party
Trustee Zak Ford is a life-long progressive, Democrat. Trustee Ford and his wife Lacey are currently raising their two children Nelly and Jonah with a third on the way. Trustee Ford is dedicated to the equitable distribution of infrastructure, environmental conservation, and a focus on issues of social justice.
Kristin Cole - Democratic Party
Kristin Cole is running for one of four trustee seats on the Oshtemo Township Board. Cole is running as a slate with the current board members and fellow newcomer Kizzy Bradford. She is endorsed by the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party as well as numerous unions.
Cole is raising two daughters, ages 11 and 15, here in Oshtemo and I also work full time as a detective for the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. She specializes in sexual assault and child victim crime investigations and find this work thoroughly rewarding. Cole is excited about the prospect of serving her fellow Oshtemo Township residents as a trustee.
Kizzy Bradford - Democratic Party
Kizzy N. Bradford is a lifetime resident of Kalamazoo, 12 in Oshtemo Township and a proud mother of two outstanding children and a blooming grandson. She studied Social Work and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling at Western Michigan University. She has been active in her community for many years. Kizzy has sat on the board of the of the Kalamazoo Junior Girls Organization for over 20 years. She has been a business owner since 2004 and started a second business in 2019. Kizzy has 25 years of experience in education, the last 16 years being with Kalamazoo Public Schools. The last 5 year she has worked with children with autistic needs. She stands with her residents of Oshtemo Township for decent and affordable housing, making public safety a top priority, and infrastructure that includes sidewalks, trails and non-motorized paths that provide access to bus stops, schools, and parks that include communication boards and recreational opportunities.
Cheri Bell - Democratic Party
A lifelong Oshtemo Charter Township resident, Cheri is the daughter of a 3rd generation farm family. Her father stressed the importance of current events and voting throughout her childhood. She credits her mother with encouraging her to seek higher education and independence.
Cheri attended Mattawan Consolidated Schools, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and graduated from Western Michigan University with a BS in Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies.
She and her husband Curtis have three children. While her children were young Cheri began volunteering for non-profits and political campaigns. It was these volunteer efforts that shaped her career and led her to desire to serve as an Oshtemo Charter Township Trustee.
For four years she worked in Michigan politics and government, serving as the Constituent Service Director for Representative Robert B. Jones, and now Senator Sean McCann. While there she learned that seeking community and stakeholder input are key elements to addressing the problems at hand in order to arrive at collaborative solutions. Cheri has extensive knowledge of both public and private resources and how to effectively build relationships with individuals and organizational leaders.
Cheri has served on Oshtemo’s Parks Committee for ten years; eight years on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and two years on the Township’s Planning Commission. She was appointed to the Oshtemo Township Board in January of 2019. Since joining the Township Board, Cheri has continued to work to build a community that is a great place to live.