Berrien Commissioners: Perkins upsets Klimek

Published 3:35 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Republican newcomer Zach Perkins, 28, upset incumbent John Klimek in the District 13 Berrien County Commissioner race 1,261 votes to 1,216.

Zach Perkins

Zach Perkins

Perkins, who works as a computer programmer in South Bend, said his youth is an asset for the board.

“I’m a younger guy. I would bring passion and energy,” he said.

Perkins rode the wave of Republican support in most of the state and local elections.

“All the Republicans in general have a lot of work a head of us,” Perkins said Tuesday night prior to learning of his district’s results. “We’ve got to do what we actually said on the campaign trail.”

With the result so close, Klimek may request a recount but could not be reached at press time.

District 12 Berrien County Commissioner John LaMore may have taken criticism from some constituents on being a no-show for the vote on the proposal for a county campus in Benton Township, but the majority of the people want him for another term.

LaMore defeated Democratic challenger Michael Ringler 2,133 votes to 1,367 in Tuesday’s election.

LaMore, a three-term incumbent and former Niles Township Fire Chief, said he prides himself on his communication with his residents and his “common sense” style of leadership.

Ringler, brother of Niles Township Treasurer Jim Ringler, was making his first run at county government.

LaMore drew some heat when he was absent for a vote on whether the county should construct a county campus in Benton Township. The measure passed, but some constituents, who wanted to see a campus more centrally located in the county, criticized LaMore.

LaMore admitted he would have voted for the proposal if he was present.

He said: “I have to look at the whole picture…add all the pros and cons when it comes to county business and our local community.”