July 29 2016 01:59 PM

Morgan drops out, throws support to Azima

FRIDAY, Sept. 30 — The race for the Board of Trustees at Lansing Community College is down to five candidates for four positions after one dropped out today.

Thomas Morgan, a communications consultant for the Michigan Education Special Services Association, said he has withdrawn to better the reelection chances of incumbent Alex Azima, a retired LCC professor of physics.

“I will do everything I can to ensure the reelection of Alex Azima and provide educators with a voice on the LCC board,” said Morgan, adding he was concerned he “would inadvertently beat Azima” if he remained in the race.

Morgan, 36, narrowly lost to Larry Meyer when he ran for the board in 2009. He said he took his name off the ballot this afternoon.

Meyer, the board’s secretary/treasurer, is running to complete the four years left on the term of Judith Berry, who was elected in 2014 and quit last year. Meyer and Deborah Canja are not seeking reelection to six-year terms.

That leaves four candidates who are running to fill three full six-year terms. Besides Azima, they are incumbent Robert C. Proctor, the board’s chairman; Ryan Buck, chief deputy court clerk of Ingham County; and Angela Mathews, who works in the Office of the Ingham County Register of Deeds.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum has asked the Mason Police Department to investigate whether Mathews violated state election law when she filed her candidacy, because she didn’t disclose that she owed $1,300 in election fines stemming from the 2014 LCC board election. Mathews dropped out of that race shortly after she filed for it. Her lawyer said that she did not receive letters from the Clerk’s Office informing her of the alleged violations. The Clerk’s Office said she was also informed in a phone conversation with a Clerk’s Office official.