Live blog of election results from Holland-area primary races

·11 min read
Holland Charter Township voters cast their ballots during the August primary Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Rose Park Reformed Church in Holland.
Holland Charter Township voters cast their ballots during the August primary Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Rose Park Reformed Church in Holland.

Editor's Note: All election results released on Election Day are unofficial tallies.

12:40 a.m.: Holland's fiber internet proposal passes

In the city of Holland, a bond proposal to build a fiber-optic network throughout the city for high-speed internet access passed by a slim margin of just over 200 votes, earning approval from 51.4 percent of voters.

The proposal passed 3,948-3,735, according to unofficial election night vote tallies.

The proposal authorizes Holland Board of Public Works to issue bonds of up to $30 million to build the network, which will be open-access, allowing for private internet service providers to offer internet over the fiber. HBPW may also offer its own internet packages to residents and businesses, as it already does in a limited area of downtown Holland.

12:30 a.m.: Ottawa County results fully reported

As of 12:30 p.m., the Ottawa County Clerk's Office reported ballots in all precincts had been counted and unofficial election results have been released on the county's website. About 34 percent of eligible voters participated in the Aug. 2 primary, with 78,835 ballots cast.

Visit our local election results page for complete results for Ottawa County primary elections as they are released by county clerk's offices, including results from county commission races and outcomes for local ballot proposals.

11:30 p.m.: Ottawa Impact sweeps county commission races, unseating incumbents

It appears that a vast majority of Ottawa County’s Republican commissioners have been booted out of office by their Ottawa Impact challengers, unofficial vote tallies show. Results were not fully reported for all county commission races as of 11:20 p.m.

If current results hold, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners will look entirely different in a few months’ time. Nearly every incumbent commissioner who was facing a Republican challenger has lost their election, according to vote tallies as they stood at 11:20 p.m., with the exception of Roger Bergman, who represents the Grand Haven area in District 11 and secured a primary win Tuesday.

More: Amid in-fighting, censures: What is the future for Ottawa County conservatism?

Ottawa Impact, inspired by opposition to COVID-19 mask mandates in schools and fueled by other culture war issues, ran a slate of candidates to challenge the current board members in almost every county commission district.

Ottawa County Commission Republican primary results:

  • District 1: Gretchen Cosby 3,092 votes (52.2 percent), incumbent Frank Garcia 2,831 votes (47.8 percent)

  • District 2: Lucy Ebel 1,560 votes (56 percent), incumbent Joe Baumann 1,228 votes (44 percent)

  • District 4: Jacob Bonnema 3,415 votes (57.3 percent), incumbent Al Dannenberg 2,542 votes, (42.7 percent)

  • District 5: Joe Moss 5,203 votes (74 percent), incumbent Randy Meppelink 1,827 votes (26 percent)

  • District 7: Rebekah Curran 3,240 votes (60 percent), Gregory Steigenga 2,158 votes (40 percent)

  • District 8: Sylvia Rhodea 2,586 votes (71 percent), incumbent Greg DeJong 1,058 votes (29 percent)

  • District 9: Roger Belknap 3,026 votes (52.7 percent), incumbent Phil Kuyers 2,720 votes (47.3 percent)

  • District 10: Jenni Shepherd-Kelley 2,150 votes (40.4 percent), incumbent Roger Bergman 2,768 votes (52.1 percent), Thomas Elhart 399 votes (7.5 percent)

  • District 11: Allison Miedema 4,210 votes (69.2 percent), incumbent Matthew Fenske 1,878 votes (30.8 percent)

Democrat Doug Zylstra in District 3 and Republican Kyle Terpstra in District 6 were the only incumbent commissioners not targeted by Ottawa Impact. Republican candidate Daniela Garcia, not backed by Ottawa Impact, will challenge Zylstra in November to represent Holland (District 3) on the board.

10:50 p.m.: De Boer claims win in 86th District contest

Holland’s former mayor, Nancy De Boer, appears to have won the Republican nomination for the 86th Michigan House District, which includes Holland and surrounding townships.

De Boer gave a victory speech at Good Earth Cafe to supporters Tuesday evening.

As of 10:30 p.m., De Boer was leading the primary contest against Seth Getz with 7,527 votes, 61.8 percent of the vote, to Getz’s 4,654 votes.

The results for the 86th District were incomplete as of 10:50 p.m. In Ottawa County, not all precincts had fully reported results for the 86th District contest, with 7 of 33 precincts still having ballots left to count.

Nancy De Boer, Republican candidate for Michigan's 86th House District, gives a high five during her victory speech Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Good Earth Cafe in downtown Holland.
Nancy De Boer, Republican candidate for Michigan's 86th House District, gives a high five during her victory speech Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Good Earth Cafe in downtown Holland.

10:45 p.m.: Sen. Victory successfully fends off primary challenger

State Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, was projected to win his primary for Michigan Senate District 31 with a solid lead, 66 percent of the votes tallied thus far, over primary challenger Brian VanDussen, as of 10:45 p.m. About 72 percent of votes had been counted in the 31st District.

10:30 p.m.: Holland broadband proposal passing by 421 votes, with some ballots yet to be counted

Early results, with 11 of 15 precincts in the city of Holland fully reporting, show “yes” votes outweighing nos by 421 for the city of Holland’s broadband bond proposal. The proposal has the support of 53 percent of votes counted thus far, 3,392 votes for and 2,971 votes against, according to tallies released by the Ottawa County Clerk's Office.

The proposal, if passed, authorizes a bond issue of up to $30 million for the city’s utility to lay fiber-optic cable throughout the city, making available high-speed internet access. The bond would be repaid by a property tax millage estimated at 1.12 mills over the next 25 years.

More: Comcast spends $100K fighting Holland's citywide fiber proposal

10 p.m.: Sen. Nesbitt claims victory in GOP primary

State Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, released a statement celebrating his win in the Republican primary for the 20th District as the senior legislator sat with a comfortable lead in Allegan and Van Buren counties’ early results.

About 20 percent of precincts had reported results across Nesbitt’s district as of 10 p.m.

Nesbitt was leading with about 71 percent of the votes tallied so far.

"Our campaign shared my commitment to conservative principles, West Michigan values, and a determination to achieve results that matter for our families and community," Nesbitt said in the statement.

"I am grateful for our victory and honored for the opportunity to work side-by-side with Tudor Dixon and Republican candidates up-and-down the ticket to earn big wins in November. Together, we will halt the failed Biden-Whitmer policies and move Michigan in the right direction again."

Republican candidate for Michigan governor Tudor Dixon answers questions from the press after casting her ballot in the Michigan gubernatorial primary Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Norton Shore.
Republican candidate for Michigan governor Tudor Dixon answers questions from the press after casting her ballot in the Michigan gubernatorial primary Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Norton Shore.

9:41 p.m.: AP calls Michigan governor primary for Dixon

The Associated Press calls the Michigan GOP gubernatorial primary for Tudor Dixon of Norton Shores.

Dixon was the favorite of Ottawa County voters with 37.4 percent of the vote, in partial Ottawa County results reported as of 9:35 p.m.

Allegan County voters also favored Dixon in early results reported as of 9:30 p.m. With only 7,718 ballots counted in that county, Dixon had received 1,589 votes, 32.5 percent of the vote. In second was Garrett Soldano with 1,413 votes, 28.9 percent of the vote, followed by Kevin Rinke in third with 865 votes.

9:30 p.m.: Smit leads 43rd House District primary in initial Allegan County results

Rachelle Smit led the Republican primary field for the 43rd Michigan House District, representing Allegan County, in initial results from several townships in Allegan County.

Smit, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, had received 1,424 votes, 53.2 percent, of 2,676 votes counted in that race thus far in Allegan County.

Former Holland mayor Nancy DeBoer speaks to a crowd of supporters as she launches her campaign for state representative Monday, March 21, 2022, at the Holland Civic Center in downtown Holland.
Former Holland mayor Nancy DeBoer speaks to a crowd of supporters as she launches her campaign for state representative Monday, March 21, 2022, at the Holland Civic Center in downtown Holland.

9:04 p.m.: De Boer leads in early results of 86th House District race

In the Republican primary for Michigan House District 86, former Holland mayor Nancy De Boer led Seth Getz with 3,475 votes, 62.9 percent of the vote, to Getz’s 2,048 votes, in early partial results released at 9:04 p.m. by the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office.

8:42 p.m.: Ottawa Impact candidates lead in early results

Ottawa Impact-backed candidates for the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, seeking to unseat the Republican incumbents on the board, were doing well in early, partial results released at 8:42 p.m. by the Ottawa County Clerk's Office.

Gretchen Cosby was leading incumbent Frank Garcia in District 1, Lucy Ebel ahead of Joe Baumann in District 2, Jacob Bonnema leading Al Dannenberg in District 4 and Joe Moss, Ottawa Impact’s founder, far ahead of incumbent Randy Meppelink.

In the first batch of partial results from Ottawa County, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon was the favorite with Ottawa County voters, with 36.9 percent of votes counted so far. Garrett Soldano was in second, with 28.6 percent of votes counted so far.

8 p.m.: Polls have closed

Voters in Michigan are deciding state and local primary contests Tuesday, Aug. 2. Polls closed at 8 p.m. and local clerk's offices are working to tally election results.

Results will be updated on hollandsentinel.com as they are released by county clerk’s offices.

Visit our local election results page for complete results for Ottawa County primary elections as they are released by county clerk's offices, including results from county commission races and outcomes for local ballot proposals.

Candidates, races on Holland-area ballots Tuesday

  • Republican governor’s race: A field of five seek to challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

  • U.S. Congress: U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland Township) has no Republican challengers for his seat in the redrawn 4th Congressional District. His Democratic opponent was disqualified but has mounted a write-in campaign which, if successful, would get his name on the November ballot.

  • Michigan House: Nancy De Boer and Seth Getz seek Republicans’ blessing to represent Holland and its surrounding townships in the 86th District.

  • Michigan Senate: Sen. Roger Victory (R-Hudsonville) and Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), who represent Ottawa and Allegan counties, respectively, are running for reelection.

  • Ottawa County Board of Commissioners: A group called Ottawa Impact is seeking to unseat nearly all of the Republican sitting commissioners with their slate of primary candidates.

  • Allegan County Board of Commissioners: Republican commissioners face a few primary contests, including a primary between two sitting commissioners who were drawn into the same district during the county’s redistricting in fall 2021.

  • Holland City Fiber: Voters in the city of Holland are deciding whether to authorize a bond of up to $30 million to build a citywide fiber-optic network.

Holland Charter Township residents vote in the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Rose Park Reformed Church in Holland.
Holland Charter Township residents vote in the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Rose Park Reformed Church in Holland.

2 p.m.: Voters share primary vote preferences

In Laketown Township, mother and son Dora and Charles Dysen said they ran to be precinct delegates this year after getting more involved in politics because they disagreed with how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled by the Democratic administration. They said they are working to make Michigan a red state again by voting Whitmer out of office.

"We'd like to be involved in flipping Michigan back," Dora Dysen said.

Democratic voters had far fewer choices on their ballots, so some Democratic voters were less inspired to vote this year.

A large vote here sign sits outside the polling location during the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Rose Park Reformed Church in Holland.
A large vote here sign sits outside the polling location during the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Rose Park Reformed Church in Holland.

The Sentinel talked to one voter who crossed parties to vote in the Republican primary for the Republican candidate for governor he thought was “farthest away from Trump,” citing concerns about Michigan electing Republicans who do not believe the country’s elections are fair.

"I didn't know if I wanted to vote today. I just felt like it didn't matter," said another Democratic voter, Tara Gorris. "I didn't even have a choice on some parts of the ballot."

Karl Hanft said he doesn't identify strongly with either party, but felt the country was "moving in the wrong direction" and he liked what some of the Republican candidates had to say.

"It's all about getting back to the Constitution," Hanft, who cast a ballot in the Republican primary, said. "That's really important to me."

I Voted stickers are cut for voters as they head to the polls for the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Rose Park Reformed Church in Holland.
I Voted stickers are cut for voters as they head to the polls for the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at Rose Park Reformed Church in Holland.

12:30 p.m.: Absentee returns give early hints of voter turnout

As of about noon Tuesday, 34,628 absentee ballots had been returned in Ottawa County, about 83 percent of all absentee ballots issued in the county. Absentee ballots could be returned to local drop boxes or clerk's offices until polls closed at 8 p.m.

Historically in Ottawa County around 30 percent of eligible voters have turned out to vote in state primaries.

In the August 2020 state primary, early on in the COVID-19 pandemic when COVID-19 concerns were much higher, 45,898 absentee ballots were cast in Ottawa County and 26,315 ballots were cast in person at the polls for a combined turnout of 34.3 percent of eligible voters.

Statewide, 1,088,711 completed absentee ballots had been returned of the 1,315,687 requested as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to figures provided by the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.

— Contact reporter Carolyn Muyskens at cmuyskens@hollandsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter at @cjmuyskens

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Live election results from Holland-area primary races