Brent Leininger won his race for Hillsdale County’s 5th Dis­trict County Com­mis­sioner. Courtesy | Facebook

The race for Dis­trict 5 Hillsdale County Com­mis­sioner has been called after a delay due to a write-in can­didate. Brent Leininger was elected to a two-year term as county com­mis­sioner. Leininger was the only can­didate on the ballot and received 3,581 votes. His write-in chal­lenger, Namrata Carolan, received 265 votes.

The Hillsdale County Clerk office released the election results on Nov. 6. 

Leininger wrote on his cam­paign Facebook page around noon on Nov. 4 he looks forward to the next two years serving as county commissioner.

He describes himself as “a Christian, con­ser­v­ative, father of six beau­tiful kids, business owner, and lifelong res­ident of Hillsdale County here to serve.”

Leininger said he hopes to better res­i­dents during his term as county com­mis­sioner, alongside the four new members elected to the board. 

“Looking at the com­po­sition of the board of com­mis­sioners, that will have four new members taking office,” Leininger said.

Leininger said he has always been sur­rounded by family members who con­tribute to their com­mu­nities through elected service. He said he felt serving as county com­mis­sioner was the best way to help his com­munity this year.

“I grew up in a family which exem­plified out­reach to the public through elected service: my mother serving on the Waldron Area School Board of Edu­cation for 24 years and then serving on the Hillsdale County Inter­me­diate School Dis­trict Board; my father serving 36 years as Hillsdale County Trea­surer after having served four years as a county com­mis­sioner,” Leininger said.

“It was ingrained in me how much we can mean­ing­fully impact our fellow cit­izens by truly serving our com­munity. I felt this was the time to offer my service to the res­i­dents of Dis­trict 5 and Hillsdale County,” he added.

Leininger said his main goal as com­mis­sioner is “to see the county in a stronger financial position than it is in today.”

Hillsdale County Clerk Marney Kast said the county saw increased voter turnout in this election. While 59.53% of reg­is­tered Hillsdale County voters turned out in 2016, 61.67% cast ballots this year. 

Kast said counting write-in ballots “slows up the process because of making sure every­thing is accurate and the correct totals are awarded.” She doesn’t believe, though, that write-in ballots affected voter turnout in this election.

Kast explained that Hillsdale County’s results were counted swiftly and accurately. 

“From the election night returns, there was no delay.  When there is a large election such as the November general, the training our inspectors receive from myself, is to be accurate with the totals, making sure their precinct is in balance,” Kast said.

Carolan urged her sup­porters to “con­tinue to fight with me, fight for your con­sti­tu­tional rights” after the election results came in.