Dicken builds lead in race for Saginaw County Circuit Courtroom decide seat, however votes stay

SAGINAW, MI — While officials continued to count the votes from the Tuesday, Nov. 8, election, a candidate in one of Saginaw County’s high-profile races enjoyed a considerable lead in the early morning hours.

In the nonpartisan battle for the Saginaw County Circuit Court 10th Circuit judge seat, Brittany Dicken led Megan Cottington-Heath, 28,510 to 21,282, just after midnight Wednesday, Nov. 9. Those totals included votes from 60 of 83 precincts, county records showed.

The 10th Circuit Court judge seat exclusively handles child custody, divorce, and family law-related files.

Dicken was up late, watching the results live. While she did not want to comment on her chances of winning the election — with votes from 23 precincts remaining uncounted — she said she was grateful for the support she received, both from voters and her campaign supporters.

“I would just like to thank the community for their support,” Dicken said. “I want to say how proud I am of the work we’ve done as a team here. I have just the most incredible campaign team. I’m just so proud of the way that we ran this race, and of every single person that contributed or supported us along the way.”

The 10th Circuit seat race was among the priciest local races in Saginaw County. Combined, both candidates spent nearly $180,000 total on their campaigns, according to state campaign finance documents filed late last month. Both candidates also contributed heavily to their own campaign coffers, with Cottington-Heath providing $103,452 and Dicken providing $21,678.76.

Dicken, 35, threw her in the ring in late March — while nine months pregnant with her now-6-month-old daughter, Charlotte — but quickly jumped into a campaign that included endorsements from peers who worked with her when she served as the Saginaw County Friend of the Court director. Among Dicken’s endorsements was James T. Borchard, the circuit court judge whose planned retirement later this year created the need for the election.

Cottington-Heath, a 38-year-old attorney with a history in family law, has said her parents’ acrimonious divorce while she was a child inspired her to join the legal profession. In the 12 years since becoming a lawyer, she has said she devoted her profession to family law and abuse and neglect cases. She served as a clerk for Ingham County Circuit Judge Janelle A. Lawless until 2012. She now operates her own firm, Cottington-Heath Law, in Saginaw.

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