Martin concedes during rescheduled recount
23RD CIRCUIT — The recount scheduled to occur on Dec. 15 for the position of 23rd Circuit Court Judge, which cost write-in candidate Christopher Martin $420 to dispute the results of 42 precincts within the circuit, was moved up to Dec. 8-10 by the State Board of Canvassers, but the results didn’t change, as Martin conceded during the recount in Iosco County on Dec. 9.
“At around 10 to 2 (p.m., or 1:50 p.m.), he withdrew his petition,” said Iosco County Clerk Nancy Huebel. “Judge (Ronald) Bergeron also withdrew his portion of the recount.”
Bergeron, an incumbent judge in the November election, had petitioned for another seven precincts in Iosco County to be recounted.
According to Arenac County Clerk Ricky Rockwell, it didn’t appear Martin was making up the votes as anticipated, leading him to call off the recount and finally accept defeat.
Huebel says four representatives from the Michigan Bureau of Elections were present to monitor the recount and Martin handed them a withdrawal in writing to officially concede the election.
“Everything is back to the original numbers (recorded Nov. 4),” Rockwell added.
Those results saw Martin coming about 1,300 votes short of gaining a judgeship in the 23rd Circuit, as his total vote count equaled 11,011 and incumbent Judge Ronald Bergeron, the incumbent with the vote count closest to Martin, garnered 12,311 votes.
Incumbent Judge William Myles garnered the most votes Nov. 4, tallying 14,727.
Rockwell added to pay for the Arenac County Board of Canvassers to recount the votes, it cost the county $1,400.
In Iosco County, Huebel reported spending $1,200 on the recount, excluding pay for mileage.
Oscoda County, where only six precincts were petitioned for a recount, also held its recount procedures on Dec. 8, while Alcona County, was able to avoid the recount, since it was scheduled to hold its canvassing on Dec. 10.
Martin’s concession puts an end to the controversial judge race which saw the Tawas attorney file as a write-in after being removed from the ballot by the Secretary of State for not collecting enough signatures on nominating petitions, and then placed on the ballot via injunctive order by 30th Circuit Court Judge William Collette, a decision that was upheld in the Michigan Court of Appeals but reversed after Bergeron appealed the matter to the Michigan Supreme Court.