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Youth rules in city commission race

Bonsall, Lorinser win Marquette seats

Evan Bonsall

MARQUETTE — Evan Bonsall and Andrew Lorinser were elected to the Marquette City Commission in Tuesday’s general election after city residents voted to determine which of the four city commission candidates would fill the commission’s two open seats.

Bonsall received 2,440 votes, while Lorinser received 1,463 votes, according to unofficial results from the Marquette County Clerk’s Office. Candidates Sally R. Davis and Nina van den Ende received 1,443 votes and 1,238 votes, respectively.

There were 155 votes for unresolved write-in candidates, election documents state.

Just under 3,600 ballots were cast in the election, according to election officials.

Bonsall, Lorinser, Davis and van den Ende were the four candidates who received the most votes out of the nine candidates who ran in the August primary election.

Andrew Lorinser

Bonsall and Lorinser were grateful to be elected to the commission, they said in statements.

“I am truly honored and humbled by last night’s election results,” Bonsall said in an email this morning. “This victory would have been impossible without dozens of volunteers who contributed hundreds of hours of labor to this campaign, many others who helped in other equally important ways, and of course the thousands of Marquette residents who took a chance on me. I am doing this for them. We ran a grassroots campaign that was based on knocking doors, talking about the issues, small online donations, and long, hard labor by our incredible team of volunteers.

“This election shows that the people of Marquette are ready for a new generation of leaders who are willing to take on tough issues like rapidly rising housing costs, sustainable and inclusive economic development, and balancing growth with the preservation of our lakeshore, trails and forests here in the city.

“Being elected to the city commission is the greatest honor of my life, and I can only promise to do the best I can, and to always be transparent and accessible for my constituents. I can be reached at 906-236-0247 if anyone ever has any questions or concerns.”

Lorinser said in a statement: “I am humbled at the opportunity to begin to advocate for citizens’ issues. I cannot wait to serve my community. Now, the real work starts. Evan and I are on the same page regarding new policies, and it will be an honor to serve with him for the betterment of our beloved city.

“This was about the direction, identity, and future of our entire community. All candidates were part of an incredible conversation. I don’t remember a city race ever being so passionate or more hard fought. It will now be up to all of us to hold Evan and me accountable to our campaign platforms. I am so grateful to citizens for the confidence placed in us, and I am eager to get started.”

The elected candidates will each serve three years on the commission. Commissioners are limited to two consecutive terms.

The openings on the commission are due to the term limits of Mayor Pro Tem Sarah Reynolds and Commissioner Dave Campana, who were both initially elected in November 2013 and then re-elected in November 2016.

The two new commissioners will be seated at the organizational meeting of the Marquette City Commission scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Marquette City Hall Commission Chambers. The commission will also elect a mayor and a mayor pro tem from its members during the meeting.

The commission is the seven-member legislative branch of city government. Its duties are representing the residents of Marquette, establishing policies and approving budgets.

The seven commissioners are elected during nonpartisan, city-wide elections.

The Marquette City Commission also has the power to hire a city manager, a city attorney and appoint residents to serve on advisory boards.

The commission is required by law to conduct its business at public meetings at least twice a month. At these meetings, typically held at the Marquette City Hall in Commission Chambers, the commission’s actions are accomplished through ordinance, resolution, motion or order.

The election results will remain unofficial until the Marquette County Board of Canvassers meets at 1 p.m. today to certify election results, according to officials at the Marquette County Clerk’s Office.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is cbrown@miningjournal.net.