Dalrymple tops in the trustee race
By Jim Newell
While there is one new face on the Orion Twp. Board of Trustees, voters decidedly supported the three Republican incumbents in the race.
Incumbents Brian Birney, Julia Dalrymple, Michael Flood, Jr., and challenger Kim Urbanowski will each serve a four-year term on the board after receiving the four highest vote totals in the Nov. 3 general election.
Democrats Cheyenne Dwyer and Eileen Nolton lost their election bids for trustee.
Former Trustee John Steimel did not seek re-election, opening up a seat and guaranteeing at least new member on the board.
Supervisor Chris Barnett, Clerk Penny Shults and Treasurer Donni Steele all ran unopposed in their re-election bids and will serve another four years in their positions.
Dalrymple, Birney, Flood and Urbanowski were billed as Supervisor Chris Barnett’s “Dream Team” in campaign promotions before the election.
This was Dalrymple’s first election bid – she was appointed to the board in June 2018 to fill the seat vacated when former Trustee Ron Sliwinski resigned.
Dalrymple also received the most votes in the trustee race, more than 13,000. (Candidate results are listed below.)
“It was really exciting to see how the process works and to know that every vote matters and every voice matters and that people make a difference,” Dalrymple said.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be re-elected to serve our beloved Orion community,” Flood said, noting that Orion Township had a high voter turnout this election. “I’m really glad with the voter turnout…this is good. Let the people speak. I like that.”
Dalrymple and Flood said they are excited about the board’s members and look forward to working with them once everyone is sworn into office on Nov. 20.
“I’m very excited for this board because we all come from different backgrounds and different career paths and different families, but the one thing we all have in common is how much we love Orion,” Dalrymple said. “I think that’s going to show in our next four years when we find projects to be able to work on together and make that such a statement to our community.”
Flood agreed that the new board would work well together for the good of the community.
“We’re not going to agree on everything, but we’ll come to a consensus. Once the board makes a decision, we all move forward. I think that’s what people want, too,” Flood said. “Everyone brings to the table their different perspective on things and it’s always good to talk things out and come to a consensus.”
Flood added that keeping an eye public budgets and development on Baldwin, Brown and Lapeer roads was going to be a priority for the new board.
“Mainly, I want to make sure that we really watch our budget. Especially with this difficult time with COVID and people being out of jobs. We’ve got to really keep our eye on being fiscally responsible with all of our public funds. That’s our number one job, as a trustee, really,” Flood said.
Orion Twp. – Board of Trustees – Results
Incumbent Republican Julia Dalrymple received 13,698 votes (19.48 percent). She also had the biggest turnaround from the primary election, where she placed fourth among the five republican candidates.
Incumbent Republican Brian Birney, who had the highest vote total among trustee candidates in the primary, got 12,996 votes (18.48 percent) in the general election.
Incumbent Republican Michael Flood, Jr., received 12.695 votes (18.05 percent).
Republican candidate Kimberly Urbanowski, the former executive director of the Orion Area Chamber of Commerce, is a relative newcomer to Orion politics. She was appointed to the township planning commission earlier this summer to fill a vacant spot, but had not run for office.
Urbanowski received 13,086 votes (18.61 percent), second behind Dalrymple.
Democratic candidates Eileen Nolton and Cheyenne Dwyer fell short in their vote totals and did not earn spots on the board. Nolton received 9,175 votes (13.05 percent) and Cheyenne Dwyer received 8,565 (12.18 percent).
There were 113 (0.16 percent) unassigned write-ins in the trustee race, and 70,328 total votes cast, with 40,319 votes coming by absentee ballots.
Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer
Barnett received 16,388 votes (97.27 percent). There were 460 (2.73 percent) unassigned write-in votes and 16,848 total votes cast.
Shults received 16,417 votes (98.47 percent). There were 255 (1.53 percent) unassigned write-in votes and 16,672 total votes cast.
Steele received 16,008 votes (98.05 percent). There were 318 (1.95 percent) unassigned write-in votes and 16,326 total votes cast.
Flood and Dalrymple also appreciated the support of residents throughout the election cycle.
“I definitely want to say a huge ‘Thank you’ for all of the support, and the messages and the congratulations, and the people who stop me at the grocery store and my kids’ school,” Dalrymple said. “It’s been amazing.