Baker defeats incumbent in District 3

A Mendon Township man defeated incumbent Kathy Pangle from the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners following Tuesday’s primary election.

Unofficial results show District 3 challenger Rusty Baker topped Pangle by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.

Baker still has a general election ahead of him in November. Barring an unlikely upset in that contest, Baker will secure a two-year seat to what will be a seven-member commission beginning Jan, 1.

Baker said he appreciates the support, and he promises to uphold all expectations and obligations as a county commissioner. He also said he has no ill-will toward Pangle, noting he decided to run after he was sure Pangle was not going to seek a fourth, two-year term.

Pangle’s tenure will conclude Dec. 31 after six years on the board. She, herself, joined the board after pulling off an upset of incumbent Don Eaton, in 2016.

Baker will likely be one of four new members to the board, with expansion from five to seven commissioners will add two additional members.

The district is comprised of Park, Mendon and Leonidas townships, and a portion of Colon Township.

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