Bennett wins tiebreaker, elected to Plainwell council

Ryan Lewis, Editor

Stephen Bennett has been elected to Plainwell City Council.

Because he and incumbent Roger Keeney both received 608 votes on election night, Nov. 6, the tie was broken by drawing lots at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Allegan County clerk’s office.

“It’s quite a finish,” Bennett said after being elected, noting he’d faced an uphill battle against longtime incumbents in the election. “It’s all been overwhelming and fascinating. And I’m very thankful for all the people who supported me.

“So, yeah, overwhelmed and thankful and I look forward to working on the council and to move forward on the challenges to Plainwell, the great island city.”

With more votes, Mayor Rick Brooks and council trustee Brad Keeler won the other two terms up for grabs in the election.

The drawing was done by rolling two slips of paper inside separate, plastic vials to conceal their writing and make them uniform to touch. They were both placed in a basket and held above eye level by county clerk-register Bob Genetski.

Keeney did not show up for the drawing. Bennett drew first, and the paper said “elected.” Chief deputy clerk Jackie Porter, in Keeney’s stead, drew the one that read “not elected.”

The election-night totals were certified by the Allegan County Board of Canvassers earlier that afternoon.

Before the drawing, Keeney had said he intended to request a recount, which is expected to cost $25.

At Monday’s city council meeting, he’d said, “When 608 voted for both, it feels like we’re throwing my vote away.”

He has six days to request the recount, which itself requires public posting at least a day in advance.

Contact Ryan Lewis at or (269) 673-5534.



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