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Posted on Sat, May 19, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

Confusion over redistricting leads to disqualification of Washtenaw County board candidate

By Ryan J. Stanton

This story has been revised to correct the name of the candidate Dan Smith beat in 2010.

A Democratic candidate is being disqualified from running for the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners following some confusion caused by redistricting.

Webster Township resident Eric Borregard wanted to challenge incumbent Dan Smith, R-Northfield Township, for his seat on the county board but filed in the wrong district.

Ed Golembiewski, the county's elections director, confirmed Borregard's name won't appear on the Aug. 7 ballot now.

Smith is now running uncontested.

The county clerk's office had been trying to sort out the matter since Tuesday's filing deadline and Golembiewski and County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum, a Democrat running for re-election this year, made the call on Saturday to disqualify Borregard after consulting with the state.

When Borregard pulled paperwork to run for county commissioner, he listed the 1st District on his affidavit in March, which is the district in which he previously ran for office and lived in until recently. Due to redistricting, he now lives in a newly drawn 2nd District.

Golembiewski said the county's elections division didn't catch the discrepancy and was informed of it after 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the filing deadline.

For a brief while on Tuesday, Borregard was listed on the county's elections website as a candidate in the 1st District, and later as a candidate in the 2nd District.

Golembiewski said the decision was made by Kestenbaum late Tuesday afternoon to offer Borregard the chance to amend his filing to declare he was running in the 2nd District, which he did, but the decision was informally contested by Smith.

The clerk's office agreed to refer the matter to the Michigan Bureau of Elections, which stated that the amendment should not have been accepted, Golembiewski said.

He said the clerk's office is acting in accordance with the bureau's statement and will not consider the amendment valid. Thus, Borregard will not appear on the August ballot.

Smith was elected to the county board in 2010, barely beating former 2nd District Commissioner Ken Schwartz, a Democrat, with 52.5 percent of the vote.

Borregard and Smith could not be reached for comment on Saturday.


Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sun, May 20, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

Not sure who was responsible because in March when the candidate pulled paperwork the district he listed was correct. Grrrrr!!!!

Steve Hendel

Sun, May 20, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

I don't understand why Kestenbaum was ready to allow the filing to be amended. Isn't it up to the potential candidate to make sure all the i's are dotted and t's crossed in a filing?


Sat, May 19, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

The error is probably due to confusion with the change in district numbers, but Dan Smith beat Ken Schwartz for his seat. Mark Ouimet was replaced by Rob Turner on the commission.


Sat, May 19, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

Hmm......breaking news!