Hayes defeats Cole to retain judicial post

Dave Lein, Editor

Courtesy photo

Antrim County Probate and Family Court Judge Norm Hayes 

ANTRIM COUNTY – Longtime Antrim County Probate and Family Court Judge Norm Hayes will retain his post after defeating challenger Barry Cole in Tuesday’s General Election by 1,578 votes.

Hayes, 65, who will begin his fourth term on the bench, was first elected in 2001. He did not face a challenger in the previous election (2012), but saw a formidable opponent in local attorney Cole this time around.

As with the national trend, Antrim County voters turned out in droves for the Nov. 6 midterm congressional election, and the battle for the bench highlighted local challenges that saw most contests essentially decided in the August primary election.

According to unofficial results, Hayes garnered 5,868 votes (58 percent) to Cole’s 4,290 (42 percent). Antrim County’s Board of Canvassers was scheduled to meet after press time Wednesday to officially confirm Tuesday’s results.

The non-partisan contest between the two judicial candidates was not without a bit of traditional disparagement that often develops in the political arena. Hayes’ past decisions and actions as a prosecutor and judge over 25 years ago in another county were resurrected; while Cole’s past personal financial circumstances became an issue of consideration raised by his opponent.

However, despite the campaign barbs, Hayes has come away with an even greater appreciation for a job he takes personally. And, he’s happy the voters trusted his ongoing commitment to the position.    

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at: http://www.antrimreview.net/subscribe/



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