Foster loses seat on MSU Board of Trustees; Ferguson re-elected

Update, 4:40 p.m.: The MSU Board of Trustees will welcome a new member next year.

Democrat Brian Mosallam will replace incumbent Republican Melanie Foster after defeating her in the election.

Incumbent Democrat Joel Ferguson will maintain his spot on MSU’s governing board after leading the candidates in total popular votes, with about 2,058,440 votes.

Ferguson has been on the board since 1986 and has served as the chairman of the board since 1992.

As precincts started reporting around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, the race appeared to be close and flip-flopped over night, but Mosallam took back the lead for the second trustee spot early this morning after dominating in large counties, such as Wayne, Ingham and Genesee counties.

Mosallam received 486,702 votes compared to Foster’s 182,169 in Wayne County, making up for losing several smaller counties to Foster and the other Republican candidate, Jeff Sakwa.

However, the race wasn’t officially decided until about 3:20 p.m. today because Wayne County still had about 12 percent precincts that needed to be reported.

Mosallam’s position on the board will be effective Jan.1, 2013.

Foster has served since 2004 and has also been vice-chairperson of the board for five years.

In 1991-92 she served a stint on the board after being appointed by then-Governor John Engler.

At MSU, Mosallam was a co-captain on the MSU football team and currently is a financial advisor.


As of 10:28 a.m. votes for 80 out of 83 counties in Michigan have been counted for the two spots for the MSU Board of Trustees.

However, Genesee, Wayne and Berrien counties have yet to turn in all of their votes.

As of early Wednesday morning, the race still was too close to call.

According to various reports from county websites, incumbent Democrat Joel Ferguson leads the voting with 2,024,270 votes, followed by Democrat Brian Mosallam’s 1,765,147 votes.

Incumbent Republican Melanie Foster is right behind Mosallam with 1,746,865 votes and Republican Jeff Sakwa has a total of 1,565,428 votes.

With 98.64 percent of precincts reporting in Genesee County, Ferguson and Mosallam lead Foster and Sakwa by at least 40,000 votes each.

The tides have turned in Berrien County, which reports 70 percent of precincts. Foster and Sakwa lead Ferguson and Mosallam by several thousand.

In Wayne County — Michigan’s third-largest county — Ferguson and Mosallam both dominated the polls. Ferguson received 408,683 votes, followed by Mosallam with 374,093 votes.

Both Foster and Sakwa struggled to compete with their Democratic opponents in the county receiving 149,618 and 131,272 votes, respectively.

Mosallam said in an interview he will be the newest member of the MSU Board of Trustees after saying it’s not likely Foster will come back.

However, Foster is not ready to admit defeat and said she would not comment until all of the votes were in.

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