Heavy voter turnout adds newcomer to school board

Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE — Board president Joel D. Bergeron failed to retain a seat on the Southgate Community Schools Board of Education Tuesday. A tight contest instead went to incumbent Trustee Patricia Graziani and newcomer Amanda Kremer.

Graziani topped the balloting with 6,337 votes representing 38 percent of eligible voters; Kremer garnered 5,209 votes (31 percent) and edged out Bergeron’s 4,955 votes (29 percent). School board members serve four-year terms.

Kremer’s victory marks her debut as an elected official. She graduated from Southgate Anderson High School before attending the University of Michigan, and her experience includes time as a congressional intern, community organizer and nonprofit professional.

Graziani was first elected to the board in 2008, and works as an analyst with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan.

Southgate voters topped national and state averages with more than 66 percent of registered voters casting ballots. As with most Downriver communities, Southgate leaned Democratic with more than 61 percent of ballots going to President Barack Obama. Of those who opted for a straight-party ticket, 5,084 (69.8 percent) went to the Democrats.

Similar percentages were evident with the re-election of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who garnered 9,4072 votes (68 percent) over Republican challenger Pete Hoekstra. U.S. Rep. John Dingell pulled in 64 percent of the ballots for his 29th term in Congress.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)