Torrice beats incumbent in District 16Carey Torrice
Fraser-Clinton Township Chronicle (MI) Democrats gain seat on Board of Commissioners Torrice beats incumbent in District 16 HEIDI ROMAN C & G STAFF WRITER Published: November 15, 2006 Democratic candidates in Fraser and Clinton Township claimed three seats on the county Board of Commissioners in the Nov. 7 general election, two of whom are political newcomers. All in all, Democrats increased their majority on the board from 17 Democrats to nine Republicans, to 18 to eight. Some Republican candidates that lost last week’s election point to the Democratic turnout sweeping the nation, and the fact that many Macomb County constituents voted straight ticket. In Clinton Township, for example, where Democrat newcomer Carey Torrice beat incumbent William Revoir in the District 16 County Commissioner race, Democratic ballots made up nearly 60 percent of the straight party votes.
“I think I was caught up in the tidal wave that hit the nation both at the national and state level,” said Revoir, a Republican who lost the race for his third term as commissioner. “And because my district is marginal, it had an effect on me.”
Torrice, who beat Revoir with 51.9 percent of the District 16 votes, said she had a good feeling about the race. While she was knocking on voters’ doors, she said, the response was positive, except for a few “steadfast Republicans.”
“I just replied that sometimes this doesn’t just come down to Republican or
Democrat,” Torrice said. “It’s about the issues.”
But others feel that that’s exactly what the races came down to: Democrat or Republican. Republican William Morelli, who was vying for an open seat in Fraser’s District 20, lost to newbie Kathleen Tocco by a 39.8 percent to 60.2 percent margin. Morelli credits Tocco’s win to voters’ disappointment in the Bush administration, among other things, and considers the high turnout of Democrats a backlash to that. He adds, though, that he will be a “very positive supporter” of her and thinks she will do a great job. Tocco and Morelli were not very far apart in their opinions of many issues, including the push for a four-year university in Macomb County and senior citizen services.
The idea of bringing a four-year university to the county is one that many candidates rallied around in the election and, now that Democrats have an additional seat on the Board of Commissioners, the idea could take center stage even more.
“I think, overwhelmingly, we now have an opportunity to advance those ideas to the people,” said Paul Gieleghem, the Democratic incumbent voted back over James Perna for his second term in Clinton Township’s District 19. “We now have the makeup of people on the county, people interested in instituting reforms.” Gieleghem, Tocco and Torrice have all indicated support for the idea of a four-year university.
Tocco and Torrice are both stepping into politics for the first time, and say the fact that they made a door-to-door effort helped them stand out in voters’ minds. Tocco attempted to meet all of the registered voters in Fraser’s District 20, and Torrice said she walked Clinton Township’s District 16 one and a half times.
“I think people just appreciated you coming to the door, introducing yourself,” Tocco said. “That was real-
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ly the main purpose of going door to door. It wasn’t really to push the issues.”
Tocco won the seat held by the current chair of the board, Nancy White, who announced her intent to withdraw from the race earlier this year. Tocco came into the race with an endorsement by White. Because the chair will no longer remain on the board, the commissioners will have to elect a new leader.
Tocco’s opponent, Morelli, will remain in his position on Fraser City Council. Revoir said he has not yet decided what his future in politics will be.
A full list of general election results is available at www.macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice.
You can reach Heidi Roman at [email protected]
Copyright, 2006, Fraser-Clinton Township Chronicle (MI), All Rights Reserved.