Thursday, July 23, 2020

Sumpter primary ballot has 17 candidates for office

The upcoming Aug. 4 primary election in Sumpter Township includes a raft of candidates seeking voters' favor. To date, the primary campaign has also included politically-motivated rhetoric, counter charges of wrongdoing and published corrections of erroneous statements, all in a township of fewer than 10,000 residents.
The seven available positions in the township are being sought by a total of 17 candidates, a large field from which voters will choose nine candidates for the November General Election ballot.

Office of Township Supervisor
Four challengers hope to unseat the current incumbent supervisor.

John W. Morgan
John W. Morgan, a Democrat is the incumbent supervisor in Sumpter Township. Morgan has been a township resident for 44 years and is retired from the Romulus Community Schools. He earned his bachelor of science degree in education at Eastern Michigan University where he also earned a masters degree in educational leadership.
Morgan served as a township trustee from 1978-80 and was appointed township treasurer in 1982. He was elected to the post from 1984 through 2012. He was appointed as township supervisor in 2014 and was elected to the post he currently holds in 2016.
Morgan is being challenged by first-time candidate Denise Komoroa, also a Democrat. She has been a township resident for 55 years. She is a 1983 graduate of Belleville High School and has completed training in biology and property tax assessment.
She is a member of the Southwestern Wayne County Democratic Club, the League of Women Voters, the Goodfellows and the Michigan Democratic Club. She worked in the office of former Sumpter Township Supervisor Johnny Vawters, she said, for more than 13 years.

John W. Morgan
Also seeking the supervisor's office is Democrat Antoine Jordan, a life-long resident of Sumpter Township. Jordan is a 2002 graduate of Belleville High School and earned his bachelor of science in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and a master's degree in business Administration in Human Resources from the University of Phoenix.
Currently he is a member of Spiritual Israel Church and is the head of fundraising for the Belleville High School boys basketball team where he has been a coach for 7 years.

Nelson S. Po
Also hoping to replace Morgan as supervisor is Democrat Nelson S. Po, a 12-year resident of the township.
Po, 72, claims he earned a liberal arts degree in pre-med but did not identify the school or university he attended. He did not attend medical school. He said he has been self-employed and has been a farmer and is now an aspiring politician.
In June of 2017, Po entered a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to deliver/manufacture 5-45 kilograms of marijuana at his Harris Road home. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Ulysses W. Boykin in July of 2017 sentenced Po to one year of probation and a fine of $1,548. Boykin also ruled that Po could grow marijuana within state statutes. 
This is his first campaign for public office.

The lone Republican candidate for the supervisor's term is Tim Bowman, a 51-year resident of Sumpter Township. Bowman has been a general contractor for 40 years and listed his education as high school and technical school. This is his first bid for elective office.

Office of Township Clerk
Esther Hurst
Incumbent Esther Hurst, 61, is seeking reelection to office. She has lived on a family-owned homestead in Sumpter  since 1959. Hurst has 35 years working in Sumpter Township Hall in various capacities including ordinance, planning and zoning, elections, building, administrations and clerk's office functions, as well as township and board of trustees protocols.
She is a member of MAMC-Clerk's Professional Association, Michigan Townships Association, and Wayne County Clerk's Association, and is a Notary Public.
Hurst, is a Democrat.

Hurst is being challenged by Sherry Olds,, 73. Olds has been a resident of the township for 45 years and is a retired real estate broker.
Her husband Milton is deceased. She has a son Vincent (Laura) Olds and a son Brett (Catharina) Olds.
Olds claims her real estate experience includes several employment-related courses in financing, assessing, negotiation and contract law. She has had state licenses as a real estate broker, a builder and an insurance broker.
She is a member of Southwestern Wayne (County) Democratic Club, Moose, U.A.W. Local 735 affiliate member, Sumpter Senior Center, former Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors,
Olds is a former member of the planning commission, former members of Assessor Review Board of Appeals.

Office of Township Treasurer
Two Democrats are vying for the opportunity to face the Republican candidate for township treasurer.

James Clark, a retired Ford Motor Co. quality engineer, has lived in the township for more than 50 years. He earned a degree in accounting and engineering at Wayne State University and was formerly a licensed builder and licensed real estate agent.
He is currently is a member of the Sumpter Township Planning Commission and previously served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and was a building inspector.
He is a past member of the Belleville Moose.

Vincent Warren, also a Democrat, is hoping to be on the November ballot. A Sumpter Township resident for 11 years, he serves as a peer advocate for veterans at the Department of Veteran Affairs in Ann Arbor.  He holds a master's degree in marriage and family counseling with a baccalaureate degree in liberal arts. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Persian Gulf and Desert Storm wars from 1988 through 1994 and was honorably discharged.
He was voted trustee of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. Post 4434, Sumpter Township Progressive League, Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development resident facilitator, and is a state-certified Hospice Chaplain.

Office of Township Trustee
Four incumbent trustees are being challenged by four candidates on the primary ballot.

Don LaPorte has been a Sumpter Township resident for more than 50 years. An incumbent, he was first elected to the board of trustees in 2016 after being appointed to the position following the death of Trustee Bill Hamm.
LaPorte, a Democrat, is a 1984 graduate of Belleville High School. Following jobs as a production operator and a tool maker, he worked in production at Ford Motor Co. He earned his state medical certification working for the Sumpter Fire Department beginning in 2006. During his tenure with the fire department, he has continued his training, earning several certifications in fire-related discipline, including fire inspector..
He is past president of Michigan Association of Fire Fighters Local 343, Sumpter Fire Department, and is a past member of the Sumpter Planning Commission.
LaPorte is a Medical First Responder, fire fighter, and has been fire instructor for Sumpter Township for 14 years.
Since being appointed to the township board in late 2015, LaPorte has successfully completed classes through the Michigan Township Association regarding the responsibilities of a township trustee..

Matthew Oddy
Matthew Oddy, 52, is also an incumbent trustee seeking reelection to the township board. A Democrat, he has been a township resident for 40 years. Oddy, a Democrat, received his bachelor of business administration in accounting and strategic management from Eastern Michigan University and is a general manager and a small business owner.
He was elected as a Sumpter Township trustee in 2016, after being appointed and serving on the board of trustees in 2014. Oddy has 27 years of accounting, budgeting, and management experience and 12 years of public service experience.

Tim Rush
Tim Rush, 61, is the lone Republican seeking reelection to the township board of trustees He is a 32-year township resident.
He graduated from the National Institute of Technology in 1986 and was class valedictorian. He is a licensed Federal Communications Commission engineer and for 27 years has been employed as a corporate/private security consultant. He also works with the Washtenaw County Emergency Services Division as the Amateur Radio Communication Coordinator for SKYWARN, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service and Amateur Radio Emergency Service. 
He also has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission for Sumpter Township.
Rush is an alternate member of the Sumpter Township Parks and Recreation Commission and has been a member of the American Radio Relay League since 1982.

Don Swinson, 57, is seeking reelection to the board of trustees. A life long resident of the area, he is a 23-year veteran of the sales team at Atchinson Ford. As a trustee, Swinson is liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission. He also works with the Sumpter Country Fest Committee, making sure that all aspects are covered, along with the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, the Annual Family Fun Day, and the Annual Turkey Shoot, and in 2019, the first Gabby Games (in memory of Gabby Barrett), where he worked closely with the police and fire departments.
He served as chairman and co-chairman for the Parks and Recreation Commission and served five years on the Planning Commission. Swinson also was appointed to the Belleville Area Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the BYC (Belleville Yacht Club).
He is a 1980 graduate of Belleville High School, master-certified through Ford Motor Co., and achieved a Level 3 Employee Excellence Award. He graduated from Dale Carnegie, majoring in effective speaking and human relations; completed Dynamics of Personnel Leadership and Industrial Engineering Methods.

Four candidates are hoping to replace the incumbent board members.

Sheena Barnes, 60, is a lifetime resident of the township seeking a seat on the board of trustees. She graduated from Airport High School in 1977 and attended Wayne County Community College, CID Trade Business School. She is Resources Coordinator for Ann Arbor, a part of the Community Action Network, Student Advocate Center, Ann Arbor Housing Commission, Peace Neighborhood Center and Pine Lake Community Center.
Barnes, a Democrat, was appointed as a Sumpter Trustee in 2018 and was unsuccessful in her campaign for election as Sumpter clerk.
She also is an art teacher for the Charter Township of Ypsilanti Department of Recreation and in Detroit at the University Preparatory Academy Schools.
Barnes said she has Michigan State University Safe Food Certification and is a  sponsor of Nate Barnes Tributes and Soul Roll Festivals.
She is a member of Southwestern Wayne County Democratic Club and Belleville Area Council for the Arts.

Ken Myers
Ken Myers, 37, has lived in Sumpter Township for seven years. A Democrat, he is a Sumpter Township firefighter, EMT and WC Technical Rescue Team member and a businessman in the construction field. His education includes high school, trade school, and Michigan Residential Builder and Fire/Hazmat/EMS training. This is his first bid for public office.

Peggy A. Morgan, 61, a 35 year resident of the community, is seeking election to the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees.
She is not related to incumbent Supervisor John W. Morgan.
Morgan was appointed as the township treasurer in February 2017 and served in that office through November of 2018. She also served as trustee from November 2004 through January 2017.. She also served on the Board of Review, the Economic Development Committee, and volunteered for the Neighborhood Watch Program in the 1990s. She was board liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Fire Department and the Water Department.
She belongs to the Michigan Democratic Party, Southwestern Wayne County Democratic Club, Sumpter Seniors and the Women of the Moose 1135.

Eric Partridge, 56,  has lived in the township for 30 years. A Democrat, he is the owner/operator of a construction company. He said he has two associate degrees one in liberal arts and another in science/mathematics but did not list the schools or universities he attended. This is his first bid for public office.