2004-03-11 / Front Page

Prosecutor Swanson’s aide hopes to succeed him

Roscommon County Assistant Prosecutor Mark D. Jernigan has filed nominating petitions for county prosecutor on the Republican ticket. Incumbent Thomas A. Swanson is not seeking another term.

Jernigan said his desire to be prosecutor “probably goes back to middle school when I decided to be a lawyer.” A lifelong resident of St. Helen, Jernigan was valedictorian of the Roscommon High School Class of 1984. He graduated from Alma College and the University of Detroit School of Law, working during summer breaks as a title searcher for Three Lakes Abstract and Title in Roscommon. A year before graduating from law school, he was an intern prosecutor in Roscommon County, gaining a conviction in his first case.

After three years as an associate at Swanson Law Offices, Houghton Lake, and seven years as a sole practitioner, Jernigan became assistant prosecutor in 2001. When Prosecutor Daniel L. Sutton was elected 83rd District Judge in 2002, Jernigan was one of three applicants to replace Sutton as prosecutor. Judges Ronald Bergeron and Michael Baumgartner of the 34th Circuit appointed Swanson, who had been prosecutor from 1984-88, to the unexpired term. Swanson retained Jernigan as his assistant.

At the township level, Supervisor Diane Randall and Clerk Barbara Stevenson of Roscommon Township announced they will seek reelection.

Denton Township Supervisor Fred Chidester, Clerk Carol Asher and Treasurer Carolyn Pietchak have announced they will run for another term. Denton resident Paula Fuller has announced she is a candidate for trustee.

In Richfield Township, a Democratic Primary contest is in the offing, as two candidates from the party, Tula Alexander and Pam Scott, have filed nominating petitions for clerk. Another Democrat, Thomas Stahl, has filed for supervisor.

Markey Township’s appointed supervisor, Eldon Thompson, has filed as a Republican candidate for a full four-year term in office.

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