When Kathy Miller was elected Supervisor in 2011 she had only served two years of a four year term. Ruth Hopkins and Ed LaVigne won seats vacated by Marty Christopher and Connie Wilcox. Benson was the unsucessful candidate with the highest number of votes in that election, so in January of this year the Board appointed her to fill the first of the remaining two years of Miller's term as Councilwoman. The position is up for the final year of the term in November's election, and again next year for a new four year term.
The last time there was a Democratic majority on the board was in 2011 with Democrats Scott Pinney, Connie Wilcox, and Kathy Miller in the majority and Republicans Robert Cree and Marty Christopher a minority. Town Bookkeeper/Personnel Officer Sharon Bowman says that in the past 25 years she can't ever recall amore than one or two Democrats on the board until Miller joined the board.
That was also the first time in memory Democrats outnumbered Republicans on the Lansing Town Board. Philosophically the board leaned toward Republican values as Supervisor Pinney was more conservative than the Republicans on the board, and has since changed his party affiliation. Under his leadership the board paid off Town debt, significantly reduced taxes, and reduced spending and jobs.
When Benson was appointed it tipped the balance back to the Republicans, with Cree, LaVigne and Benson in the majority. With Binkewicz now running uncontested that balance tips back to the Democrats.
For years a conservitive rural town, Lansing has been edging left in recent years, today numbering 2798 registered Democrats, 2088 Republicans, and 1523 independent voters. County-wide Democrats outnumber Republicans approximately two to one with 22,560 registered Democrats and 12,533 Republicans.
Binkewicz served as a Lansing Councilwoman around 2000. The Lansing Star plans an interview with her later this month.