Johnson, Walchak win Alpena Municipal Council seats

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Alpena election worker Kathy Clark readies a ballot to put into the tabulator while working at the APlex during Tuesday’s election. Two seats on the Alpena Municipal Council were up for grabs, with incumbent Cindy Johnson and Karol Walchak earning the most votes of the five candidates.

ALPENA — Voters in Alpena voted to give councilwoman Cindy Johnson another term, and to take a chance on political newcomer Karol Walchak during the election Tuesday.

A pair of seats on council were up for grabs in the non-partisan race, which had five candidates in all.

Johnson led the field by receiving 894 votes, while Walchak received 671 to win the seats.

Ashley Wilmot received 578 votes, Tracie Schaedig 317 votes, and Kevin Ginter ended with 312 votes.

The vote totals won’t be finalized until the Alpena County Board of Canvassers completes its review and certifies them on Wednesday.

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz A sign outside the APlex in Alpena welcomes voters who intend to cast ballots during the election today. Five candidates are vying for a pair of seats on the Alena Municipal Council. The polls are open until 8 p.m.

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Johnson, who was elected to the council in 2014 as a write-in candidate, said she loves being on council and was overwhelmed by the support she received from the voters. She said continuing to represent them is an honor, and a responsibility she takes seriously. Johnson said her opponents all run quality races and thanked them for running.

“I appreciate the support and I can’t tell you how thankful I am that the public has put its faith in me once again,” Johnson said. “I want to thank everyone who ran. This isn’t an easy thing to do and I want to congratulate Karol Walchak for winning the second seat and we still have a lot of good things to do yet in the city.”

Walchak said she is humbled by the faith the people in Alpena showed in her, and she is eager to get to work after she takes her oath of office after Jan. 1. She said she looks forward to working with the other members of council, and the staff at city hall.

Karol Walchak

“I’m so excited and humbled by the support I received and I’m excited to get to work,” Walchak said. “I have a lot to learn from the board and am excited to soak up their expertise. I won’t be able to keep the smile off my face because I’m so happy and excited.”

For a good part of the day election workers patiently waited for voters and long lines of people waiting to vote were absent.

In total, only 2,772 registered voters cast ballots and Johnson won each of the precincts in Alpena.

Alpena Clerk Anna Soik said early voting was popular again, as her office received more than 850 early votes.

Cindy Johnson


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