4 county commissioners not seeking re-election.

April 24, 2020

Oceana County Commissioner Andrew Sebolt has withdrawn from the county commissioner race, because he is seeking election as state representative of the 100th District. – OCP file photo

4 county commissioners not seeking re-election.

Sebolt running for state rep.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — Four Oceana County commissioners — Andrew Sebolt, Jim Brown, Denny Powers and Dean Gustafson — are not seeking re-election in the Aug. 4 primary.

Sebolt, a republican, bowed out of the county commissioner race because he is seeking election as state representative of the 100th District, he said. The district includes Lake, Oceana and Newaygo counties, and Scott VanSingel currently holds that office.

Sebolt had initially filed paperwork to run for county commissioner, but then withdrew from the race Friday, April 25, because he cannot hold both offices simultaneously.

A public officer or public employee is prohibited from holding two or more “incompatible” offices at the same time, according to state law — MCL 15.181(2).

Brown, who has been a commissioner for 18 years, said it was time to step down so he can focus on his business and family more. “I’ve had enough years in,” Brown said.

The outgoing commissioners will continue on the board until the end of the year. “I’m not fading out yet,” Gustafson said. “I’ve got eight months to go.”

The commissioner said he is thankful for the “great relationship with the people on the board” as well as the addition of Dr. Robert Sobie as the administrator.

“I am not giving up on the community,” he said. “I feel good about Oceana County.”

OCP was unsuccessful in contacting Powers.

Commissioners don’t have term limits like the state legislature, said Administrator Sobie. “Commissioners are currently elected to two-year terms but there are no restrictions on the number of times they can run and serve.”

There are races in four of the seven county districts. All candidates are running as republicans.

District 1: includes Pentwater, Weare, and Crystal townships. Current commissioner: Dean Gustafson. Candidates: Ron Christians and Terry Dykema

District 2: includes Newfield and Greenwood townships. Current commissioner and only candidate: Martha Meyette

District 3: includes Hart City and Hart Township. Current commissioner: Denny Powers. Candidates: Craig Hardy and Steve Bruch

District 4: includes Colfax, Leavitt, Elbridge and Ferry townships. Current Commissioner: Andrew Sebolt. Candidate: Paul Erickson.

District 5: includes Benona, Claybanks and Golden townships. Current commissioner: Larry Byl. Candidates: Byl and Timothy Beggs.

District 6: includes Shelby Township with the exception of a portion of the Village of New Era. Current commissioner: James Brown. Candidate: Phil Morse.

District 7: includes Grant and Otto township and a small portion of Shelby Township, Village of New Era. Current commissioner: Robert Walker. Candidates: Walker and Rhonda Schilleman.

There are no races for the county offices of sheriff, prosecutor, clerk, drain commissioner, register of deeds, surveyor or treasurer.

Running unopposed are Prosecutor Joseph Bizon, Sheriff Craig Mast, Clerk Amy Anderson, Drain Commissioner Michelle Martin, Register of Deeds Rick Hodges, Surveyor Randy Hepworth and Treasurer Mary Lou Phillips.

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