'Law & Order' duo have high hopes on election night
At 11 p.m., with 48 precincts reporting their results (about 33 percent of the county total) two Democratic incumbents, Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III and Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth, were winning their races with about 64 and 63 percent respectively.
Supporters were already congratulating Dunnings and Wriggelsworth just after 8 p.m. The duo had been elected to two and four consecutive terms, respectively.
Even Dunnings' opponent, Republican Laura Moody, admitted to not being very optimistic.
"Realistically, it's going to be very hard to unseat Dunnings," Moody said on election night before the official results came in.
The night before elections, Dunnings was calm and confident.
"I'm done," he said. "I've campaigned all I can."
"My job always came before my campaign," Dunnings said, standing before one of his sparsely distributed "Re-elect Prosecutor Dunnings" signs.
Both Dunnings and Wriggelsworth kept their campaigns low-key, holding their election night parties in a auditorium at the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union 333 in Lansing. They were joined by another Democratic incumbent, Drain Commissioner Patrick E. Lindemann, who was running against Scott McDonald.
As election night wore on and still no precincts had reported, the 100-member crowd at the union hall thinned, and Dunnings said he had no intentions of waiting out the poll results.
He left the hall just before the results began to come in.
"I'm going to bed, there's nothing I can do to change the results," Dunnings said.
Just after Dunnings headed home, Wriggelsworth remained cautiously optimistic.
"We still have a long way to go," he said after hearing results of several precincts unofficially reporting.
The 16-year sheriff said he didn't know how the election would turn out, but he wasn't very concerned.
"This is my fifth election, it is what it is," he said. "I can't imagine what I've done to make people not vote for me," Wriggelsworth said.
Since Dunnings' first election in 1996, he said he has focussed on prosecuting cases against women and children and getting the most violent of the "bad guys" in jail.
He's also working with MSU students to improve assault victim resources.
Over the next four years, Dunnings said he wants to continue work with the 30th Judicial Circuit Court's truancy program, and he wants to further the development of a bad check program recently implemented.