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Bittner triumphs over Rietveld for Davison Co. coroner

Longtime Davison County Coroner George Bittner will continue his 35-year run after defeating Terry Rietveld on Tuesday in the primary elections. Bittner, 66, had 877 votes to Rietveld's 354 to win the primary. Because there is no independent or D...

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Longtime Davison County Coroner George Bittner will continue his 35-year run after defeating Terry Rietveld on Tuesday in the primary elections.

Bittner, 66, had 877 votes to Rietveld's 354 to win the primary. Because there is no independent or Democrat in the race, Bittner holds his position.

Over the years, Bittner has remained in the position by overcoming opponents, running for re-election with no challenger. But this year, Bittner thinks the public became more aware of what a coroner does because of the race between himself and Rietveld.

"My opponent and I ran a very civil race," Bittner said. "Because there was competition, it raised the awareness really of what we do and the responsibilities of the coroner's office."

Bittner said in an earlier interview with the Daily Republic that a coroner's job is to collaborate with law enforcement to determine the manner of death.

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After Tuesday's win, Bittner said he doesn't have any plans to make any changes after seeing how successful things have gone so far.

"It's been working well," Bittner said. "A lot of that is because of the working relationship with law enforcement."

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