Local municipalities respond to filing date extension

Published 1:29 pm Thursday, April 23, 2020

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — A number of southwest Michigan candidates running for office in the August primary election submitted their filings Tuesday.

A federal court ruling on April 20 changed the rules and extended the deadline for the August primary election for some candidates.

Under the new order, the Bureau of Elections will now accept signature images collected electronically.

The federal court ruling has also extended the deadline for filing to May 8 for offices covered by the order that do not include an option to file with a filing fee. Included in the extension for the deadline is the city of Niles, as the city’s charter does not allow the option to file with a fee.  Also included is U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, Wayne County Community College trustee candidates and all judicial offices for candidates who are not the current incumbent.

“I don’t feel that will probably affect anybody here in Berrien County unless they want to run for U.S. Senate or U.S. Congress,” said Sharon Tyler, Berrien County clerk.
Tyler said the county has made all necessary materials available online for every candidate wishing to file.

Cass County Clerk Monica McMichael said she was informed by the state that local deadlines would not be extended past the original 4 p.m. Tuesday deadline for partisan elections.

Linda Casperson, Niles City clerk, said if a candidate had filed through the county by March 10, then they could take advantage of the extension.

“I’ve been told if that candidate hasn’t filed their statement of organization, they cannot take advantage of the May 8 extension,” Casperson said.

Tyler said one person from the city of Niles does have the possibility to meet the guidelines for the May 8 filing extension.

“The only person who would qualify is somebody who already filed their campaign finance statement, and they would possibly be an incumbent because they cannot pay a $100 fine. They are one of the exceptions to the rule. That doesn’t mean they are going to have anybody, but they could possibly get somebody at that date,” Tyler said.

She said the induvial would need to get 50 percent of their signatures.

Below is a list of candidates who filed by the 4 p.m. deadline on April 21.


Berrien County

  • County Commissioner, District one: David Vollrath-R; Kevin Holmes-D
  • County Commissioner, District two: Jon Brian Hinkelman-R

ª County Commissioner, District three: Donnie Meeks-D

  • County Commissioner, District four: Mamie Yarbough-D; Sharon Henderson-D
  • County Commissioner, District five: Bruce Eric Gorenflo-R; David Yardley-R, Rayonte Bell-D
  • County Commissioner, District six: Julie Rose Wuerfel-R; Christopher Heugel-R
  • County Commissioner, District seven: Robert Patrick Harrison-R
  • County Commissioner District eight: Teri Sue Freehling-R
  • County Commissioner, District nine: Ezra Allen Scott-R; Richard Linville Eichholz-D
  • County Commissioner, District 10, Richard Elliott-R
  • County Commissioner, District 11: James Curran-R
  • County Commissioner, District 12: Michael John Majerek-R; Michael Scott-Everett Poorman-D
  • County Prosecutor: Steven Pierangeli-R
  • County Sheriff: Leonard Bailey-R
  • County Clerk: Sharon Tyler-R; Gwenetta Swanigan-D
  • County Treasurer, Adrian Rolling-R; Shelly Weich-R
  • Register of Deeds: Lora Freehling-R, Brandon Vance-R
  • Drain Commissioner: Christopher Quattrin-R
  • County Surveyor: John Kamer-R


Cass County

  • County Commissioner, District one: Andrew Schilling-R; Ryan Laylin-R; Julie Dye-D
  • County Commissioner, District two: Dixie Ann File-R
  • County Commissioner, District three: Dwight Dyes-D
  • County Commissioner, District four: Roseann Marchetti-R
  • County Commissioner, District five: Robert Benjamin-R; Robert Ziliak-R; Dean Hill-D
  • County Commissioner, District six: Michael Grice-R; Michael Dimino-D
  • County Commissioner District 7: Jeremiah Justin Jones-R; Ron Reeves-D
  • Cass County Prosector: Victor Fitz-R
  • Cass County Sheriff: Richard Behnke-R
  • Cass County Clerk/Register: Monica McMichael-R
  • Cass County Treasurer: Hope Anderson-R
  • Cass County Surveyor: Thomas Stephenson-R
  • Cass County Drain Commissioner: Jeff VanBelle-R, Tony Catanzarite-D
  • Cass County Surveyor: Thomas Stephenson-R


Niles City Council

  • Niles City Council, first ward; Justin Flagel, Georgia Boggs
  • Niles City Council, second ward: No candidates filed
  • Niles City Council, third ward: Charlie McAfee
  • Niles City Council, fourth ward; John DiCostanzo
  • Niles City Mayor: Nick Shelton

In accordance with the Niles City Charter, a primary election for office is conducted only if there more than two candidates for nomination. For Niles City Council, which has two seats per ward, none of the races have more than two candidates and will not appear on the August primary ballot.