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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 29 — Democrat Thomas Morgan will fill a vacancy on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners after his predecessor folded to continued criticism and resigned from the post earlier this month.
Commissioners decided last night that Morgan was the logical choice to take Dennis Louney’s seat following his resignation. Morgan walloped Louney in this month’s primary election, garnering nearly 40 percent of the vote in the county’s 10th District to represent portions of Lansing’s east side. Robert Pena ran second to Louney’s third.
“Local government is critical to people’s everyday lives, and they deserve to have an ethical representative who sides with working families over wealthy special interests,” Morgan said in a statement, tossing one last jab toward Louney, who was implicated in multiple campaign finance violations over the last couple months.
Morgan, 38, will hold the appointment through the end of the year, and will again appear on the Nov. 6 ballot for a new, two-year term that begins on Jan. 1, 2019. His Republican opponent in the heavily Democratic district, which covers the east side of Lansing, is Kathleen Goff.
“In the immediate future, I look forward to keeping my mouth shut and eyes and ears open,” Morgan added. “Longer term, I’d like to look at regionalism issues, economic fairness issues and ways we can improve service delivery throughout the county, especially within my district. I just look forward to learning as we go.”
Earier this month, County Clerk Barb Byrum said she had discovered Louney repeatedly used his taxpayer-funded email address to illegally solicit donations and endorsements, promote fundraisers and form campaign strategies ahead of the August primary election. Louney hasn’t returned several calls from the City Pulse in recent weeks.
Also, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor withdrew Louney’s planned reappointment to the Lansing Board of Water & Light, citing ethical concerns related to his campaign conduct leading up to the recent election.
Morgan served as chairman of the Ingham County Economic Development Corp., vice chairman of the county’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and secretary-treasurer of the county’s Equal Opportunity Committee. He is married to the vice chairwoman of Lansing’s Public Services Board and has two children.
Morgan is a communications consultant for the Michigan Education Special Services Association and president of his own communications firm. He was an account executive with Byrum & Fisk Communications and managing editor of City Pulse.