Cambensy victorious in close contest

Will face Rossway in November for 109th State House seat

MARQUETTE — Sara Cambensy is the Democratic contender for the 109th District of the Michigan House of Representatives after getting the most votes in a close special primary election Tuesday.

“It’s a very humbling feeling to know that I was the top vote-getter, and that I get the chance to move on,” Cambensy said.

Cambensy, of Marquette, will square off in the November general election against Republican Rich Rossway, also of Marquette, who ran unopposed Tuesday.

They are competing to occupy the Michigan House seat vacated by the late Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Kivela’s term, which expires at the end of 2018.

District 109 covers all or parts of Marquette, Alger, Luce and Schoolcraft counties.


Voter turnout was highest in Marquette County at 21.6 percent, or about 9,700 voters. In Alger County, voter turnout was 16.5 percent; Schoolcraft County, 8.4 percent; and Luce County, 6.5 percent.

Cambensy received a total of 3,477 votes, with Jeremy Hosking, of Negaunee Township, a close second at 3,344 votes.

Joe Derocha, of Humboldt Township, came in third at the polls with 2,435 votes, and Tom Curry, of Limestone Township, came in last with 386 votes.

Rossway received a total of 1,670 votes.

Cambensy attributed her success to support from key people in outlying areas like Alger County and Forsyth Township.


She said it’s going to be a lot of work from now until November continuing to get to know the voters.

“I think I’ve shown the people that know me that I’m willing to take the tough votes and stand up and ask the hard questions,” Cambensy said. “So I’m hoping that other people will get to know me and kind of see me as someone they can trust going to Lansing and filling the shoes of John Kivela.”

Cambensy said it was a very competitive, tough primary, and she appreciates the other candidates’ willingness to run “a good, clean race.”

“We had four great Democratic candidates, and I think they all did a great job and they all ran really good races,” Cambensy said. “I think when you have a race like this where the candidates really just ran on their own merits, it feels good, and I hope they feel good for how they did.”

Hosking said he is disappointed with the result, but the people have spoken and his team will move on.

“I ran a positive campaign, we knocked a lot of doors, which is what I stressed at the beginning of the campaign with my volunteers, and I’m very happy with that effort,” Hosking said. “We met a lot of good people and we heard a lot of interesting stories from folks, and I hope that their stories and their concerns will continue to percolate to the surface here so they can have good representation in Lansing.”

He said he enjoyed the campaign and plans to continue to serve the Upper Peninsula, which he loves.

“From never being an elected official to going out and campaigning really hard and coming in second place, it’s pretty good, and all within a shortened time frame of a normal campaign cycle,” Hosking said.

In Marquette County, Hosking received 2,979 votes; Cambensy, 2,882; Derocha, 2,172 votes; and Curry, 186. Republican Rich Rossway received 1,111 votes.

In Alger County, Cambensy received 407 votes; Tom Curry, 170 votes; Jeremy Hosking, 159; Joe Derocha, 134 votes; and Rossway received 284 votes.

In Schoolcraft County, Hosking received 144 votes; Cambensy, 126 votes; Derocha, 115 votes; Curry 23 votes; and Rossway received 145 votes.

In Luce County, Cambensy and Hosking each received 62 votes; Derocha, 14 votes; Curry 7 votes; and Rossway received 130 votes.

Vote totals are unofficial, pending meetings of the various county boards of canvassers.

Mary Wardell can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is mwardell@miningjournal.net.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)