VanderWall leading but doesn’t claim victory
Curt VanderWall said he is excited about the prospect of serving the residents of the 35th State Senate District, but he wasn’t ready to claim victory yet Tuesday night at press deadline.
As of 11:15 p.m Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that VanderWall, a Republican from Pere Marquette Township and the current 101st District State Representative, had a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Mike Taillard, an economist from Benzonia.
With 87 of 191 precincts reporting, VanderWall had 27,266 votes for 65 percent of the vote.
Taillard had 13,296 votes for 32 percent. Libertarian Timothy Coon had 1,079 votes, or 3 percent.
VanderWall won all 25 precincts in Mason County, tallying 8,931 total votes compared to 4,385 votes for Taillard and 275 votes for Coon.
“We’re happy where we’re sitting,” VanderWall said at a watch party at Lakeside Links Tuesday night, but noted he never wants to take anything for granted so he would await more results.
VanderWall said he was pleased that he was doing better in a couple counties that he didn’t fare as well as he would’ve liked in the August primary, in which he beat former state representatives Ray Franz and Bruce Rendon and Manistee farmer Cary Urka to win the Republican nomination.
“I’m extremely happy with the early returns in Ogemaw and Crawford counties,” VanderWall said. “These were both areas I was extremely concerned with.”
The sprawling 35th District encompasses 12 counties. Current Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, was term-limited and could not seek re-election.
Taillard could not be reached for comment.
For more, see Thursday’s Ludington Daily News.