The Copper Country Republican Party is disagreeing with the Houghton County Board of Commissioners’ decision to wait until after the August primary to fill the seat left vacant by the recent death of Albert Koskela.
A release sent to Keweenaw Report called the delay in filling the seat “a disgrace to former Chairman Al Koskela and the good people of district 2 [sic].” The letter asks if leaving District Two unrepresented for 88 days is ethical, and if there could be legal ramifications for not filling the seat within the 30-day window prescribed by law.
Four Republicans are on the August primary ballot, vying for the Republican nomination for the seat in the November general election. The Democratic primary is empty, but an independent could still file to be on the November ballot.
All four Republican candidates applied for the temporary appointment, along with three others. One of the Republicans is Schoolcraft Township Supervisor Joel Keranen. At Tuesday’s county board meeting, Keranen said that any of the seven applicants would have been acceptable…
The response from the Copper Country Republican Party, however, endorses only Keranen, and makes no mention of the other three party members in the race – Lake Linden Village Council President Glenn Schuldt, Torch Lake Township Trustee Lou Ambuehl, and Richard Nye of Dollar Bay.
The party’s executive committee had earlier endorsed Keranen over the other three party candidates.
In delaying the decision, the county board left open the possibility that the winner of the Republican primary could be appointed to fill out the remainder of Koskela’s term at the board’s August meeting. The board is currently split evenly along party lines – Glenn Anderson and Gretchen Janssen are Democrats, and Roy Britz and chair Tom Tikkanen are Republicans. The vote to delay the appointment was unanimous.
See the full Republican Party statement here.