2012-07-26 / Local News

Dungjen goes Independent for County seat

As one election cycle winds down another is heating up. Another candidate without party affiliation has filed for county office.

Bill Dungjen of Solon Township has filed to run as an independent against District No. 7 commissioner Melinda C. Lautner, the longest-serving member of the County Board of Commissioners.

The deadline to file without party affiliation was 4 p.m. last Thursday.

Dungjen ran as a Democrat against Lautner in 2010 and lost, 806-601. Traci Cruz of Kasson Township came a little closer to besting the eight-term commissioner four years ago, falling short by 161 votes. District No. 7 encompasses Solon and Kasson Townships.

Lautner will be the lone commissioner named on ballots in her district on Aug. 7. She and Dungjen will face one another in the November General Election.

Also running as an independent in the November election is former county board chairman Mary P. Tonneberger.

She was elected to the county Board of Commissioners as a Republican but fell to current District No. 4 commission Tom VanPelt. A write-in effort in the November election in 2010 was unsuccessful. Tonneberger filed papers for her candidacy months ago.

District No. 4 includes Leelanau Township and the northernmost part of Suttons Bay Township.

Up until Monday morning it looked as if county Clerk Michelle Crocker might be challenged in the November election. But it was not to be as the contender withdrew.

Jennifer VerSnyder of Leland township filed prior to the July 19 deadline as an Independent. However, decided to withdraw after thinking it over.

At the township level, Suttons Bay Village Council Trustee Jim Munro filed to run independently against incumbent Suttons Bay Township Supervisor Rich Bahle.

They will face one another in the General Election in November.

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