Archived Story

Klimek to run again for county commissioner

Published 4:02pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

Last election, former District 13 Berrien County Commissioner John Klimek lost to Zach Perkins, a political newcomer, by 45 votes.

Speculation was that Perkins rode the wave of Republican support in many of the state and local elections in 2010.

“People tend to vote straight tickets,” said Klimek, who recently announced his candidacy for this year’s election, sees things changing.

In an interview with the Daily Star Thursday, Klimek, a Democrat, said the political atmosphere is different now.

“It will be turning toward the left,” Klimek said.

In light of recent recall attempts of state Republican legislators and Gov. Rick Snyder, Klimek’s words may be prophetic.

“In the last election, Zach got the same number of votes as my previous challenger,” Klimek said. “But I was 1,200 votes short. There was a general lack of interest in the election. But given this year is a presidential election, there will be a lot better turnout.”

Klimek, a Niles electrician and the electrical inspector for the city, said his 30 years of community involvement should stick with voters.

“I’ve been in this city my entire life. I know everyone here, and everyone knows me,” said Klimek, explaining  he has more “life experience” than the 29-year-old Perkins, who is wrapping up his first term on the board.

If elected, Klimek said he would “look out for Niles and the small business community.”

He also would make an effort to connect with constituents by publicly speaking at events and reaching out to schools.

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