Frank Houston, Oakland County Democratic Party chair since September 2010, has confirmed he is stepping down after finishing his third term in December. “I wanted to stay on with the (county) redistricting, for this important election, and to take on some important countywide seats,” Houston said. He feels comfortable moving on now, because while there previously were not qualified leaders within the local Democratic Party willing to step up and take the helm, now there are. “Vicki Barnett is going to run. She is the announced candidate, and has a lot of support,” he said of the election, which was to take place on December 15 at the party’s board meeting. Barnett, of Farmington Hills, unsuccessfully ran against L. Brooks Patterson in November for county executive, and while she didn’t win, she narrowed the gap to make it Patterson’s closest race ever – 53 percent to 46 percent. Barnett, who is a former minority leader in the state House of Representatives and mayor of Farmington Hills, has said she does not plan to run again for county exec in 2020.