Archived Story

Smaller Cass County board set

Published 5:59pm Wednesday, November 7, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — Cass County voters downsized the board of commissioners from 15 to seven Tuesday.

The smaller board for 2013-2014 includes six incumbents and one newcomer, Bernie Williamson.

And it won’t include Johnie Rodebush or the current chairwoman, Minnie Macon Warren of Pokagon Township who lost to E. Clark Cobb.

Cobb will be the lone Democrat on a board of four men and three women.

For Rodebush, D-Niles, it’s the end of an era ushered in with the election of Richard Nixon to the White House in 1968.

When he joined the board in 1969, Cass County’s population was 36,000.

“I’ve got some great memories,” said Rodebush, including four stints as chairman — some when he was the commission’s only Democrat — the presidency of the Michigan Association of Counties and a run for Congress against Fred Upton’s predecessor, Mark Siljander.

“I’ll be doing something,” Rodebush said Wednesday. “I like and care about county government .and I’ve left a few tracks.

Rodebush has been involved in such project as the Medical Care Facility and Cass District Library to the jail and Law and Courts Building.

“I don’t feel a bit bad about losing to Bob (Ziliak, another former chairman from Milton Township),” Rodebush said. “He’s a good campaigner. If I’m going to get beat, I’m glad it’s to someone savvy.”

Rodebush wasn’t on the board continuously. He and former Howard Township supervisor Fred Leet swapped the seat before Leet became a veterans counselor.

Ironically, Rodebush the staunch Democrat , had the toughest time prevailing when the top of his party’s ticket won, whether it was fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.

“They’ve not helped me a bit,” he laughed, “but I’m glad Obama won.”


District 7


E. Clark Cobb (D), 1,666

Minnie Macon Warren (R), 1,100


District 6


Bernie Williamson (R), 1,532

Kevin Harris (D), 1,363


District 5


Robert Ziliak (R), 1,892

Johnie Rodebush (D), 1,307


District 4


Roseann Marchetti (R), 1,911

David Taylor (D), 1,304


District 3


Dwight “Skip” Dyes (R), 2,330


District 2


Dixie Ann File (R), 1,886

Burke Webb (D), 1,083


District 1


Robert Wagel (R), 1,757

James Jerue (D), 1,254




Mitt Romney (R), 12,660

Barack Obama (D), 9,587


U.S. Senator


Pete Hoekstra (R), 11,674

Debbie Stabenow (D), 9,422



6th District


Fred Upton (R), 13,390

Mike O’Brien (D), 8,240


59th House District


Matt Lori (R), 7,219

Mike Moroz (D), 6,015


78th House District


Dave Pagel (R), 5,356

Jack Arbanas (D), 3,019


Probate Judge


Susan Dobrich (non-partisan), 13,829


Prosecuting Attorney


Victor Fitz (R), 15,832




Joseph Underwood (R), 16,496


Clerk/Register of Deeds


Monica Kennedy (R), 12,897

Ingrid Gschwind (D), 7,842




Linda Irwin (R), 13,456

Anita Studer (D), 7,760


Water Resources Commissioner


Bruce Campbell (R), 12,505

Tony Catanzarite (D), 8,374




Roger Stephenson (R), 15,331


Dowagiac Board

of Education (two seats)


Ruth Ausra, 2,883

Larry Schmidt, 2,140

Mark Dobberstein, 1,266

Stacy Leversen, 1,222






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