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Cox Gets 5th Term, Thompson Elected
By Catherine Stortz Ripley

Photo: Jaime Saucedo

Livingston County voters re-elected incumbent Sheriff Steve Cox, a Republican, for a fifth term in office, winning over Democrat challenger Eric Menconi. Voters in the county's East District elected Republican Alvin R. Thompson in a tight race against Democrat Jim Grozinger to fill the seat currently held by Ken Lauhoff who chose not to seek re-election. Dave Mapel, a candidate for west district commissioner, ran unopposed in the general election, as did Rusty Black, who easily won a primary contest for the 7th District state representative seat. Mapel fills the vacancy being created by Todd Rodenberg, who chose not to seek re-election. The new terms for these offices begin Jan. 1, 2017.

An estimated 100 people filled the Livingston County Courthouse lobby as election results were posted on a large screen Tuesday evening. Another screen set up in the lobby displayed presidential election results across the nation. Tuesday's election saw an approximate 68 percent voter turnout in Livingston County. According to the unofficial results, 6,509 of the county's 9,520 registered voters cast ballots.

The unofficial results for East District Commissioner showed Thompson receiving 1,715 votes and Grozinger receiving 1,661 votes. The unofficial results for sheriff showed Cox receiving 3,475 votes, compared to Menconi's 2,938 votes. Several other county candidates ran unopposed. These included incumbent Assessor Steve Ripley, Collector-Treasurer Paula McCoy, Public Administrator Sherry Parks, and Coroner J. Scott Lindley.

The crowd began gathering at the courthouse shortly after the polls closed at 7 p.m. It wouldn't be until around 7:40 p.m. when results of the first voting precinct were posted. Most of the crowd remained in the lobby until the final results - that of the 735 absentee ballots that had been cast - were posted shortly after 9 p.m. All candidates in local contested races were at the courthouse except for Cox, who remained hospitalized after suffering a heart attack on October 28. Many of the 60 election judges who worked the polling places reported a busy day and County Clerk Sherry Parks, who serves as the local election authority, reported that the day had gone smoothly. According to county records, voter turnout was 64 percent four years ago, and 73 percent eight years ago.

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