Candidates Announce Political Plans

Two candidates for different offices in St. Joseph County have announced their political plans.

Sheriff Brad Balk, 58, filed his nominating petition Monday. Meanwhile, Sturgis attorney Rob Pattison, 46, has announced he will run for the office of St. Joseph County District Court judge.

Balk, whose first four-year term as sheriff expires at the end of the year, said he will run again with Mark Lillywhite as his undersheriff, Michelle McNamara as his campaign manager and Barry Miller as treasurer.

Balk, who oversees the 90-person sheriff’s department, is due to earn almost $70,000 this year. He is the first candidate to declare for the position.

Pattison, an Ottawa County native, has lived in Sturgis for 21 years. He is seeking the seat currently occupied by William Welty, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Pattison is a shareholder in the Sturgis-based firm Bird, Svendsen, Brothers, Scheske and Pattison, where his primary focus is family law and litigation.

The second candidate to declare for the position, Pattison will be vying against Sturgis attorney Andy Rogness, who declared for the judgeship late last month. The deadline to declare for the August primary is mid May.

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