Race to the top
While it’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings, Oakland County executive L. Brooks Patterson said that the 2016 election would be his last, which has local Democrats salivating. It’s still early to handicap any one politician, but it appears a few are lining up their followers, looking at their hands, and getting ready to deal. Among the names of Democrats we’re hearing a lot of are Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner and county commissioner Dave Woodward (Royal Oak), along with possibly county clerk Lisa Brown. “People explore runs when they see unlikely people moving up,” noted a county official. One individual who knows them all well said they each have different strengths, although “Andy has positioned himself a little stronger.” The individual said that Woodward, as a commissioner on a very-Republican commission, has learned to work very creatively across the aisle in order to figure out how to get things done. “He has a lot of political savvy. He is less cautious, and more willing to put it out there. Dave could win. They both (Meisner and Woodward) have very loyal bases.” As to rumors that Meisner could possibly seek congressman Sander Levin’s (D-Royal Oak, Bloomfield Township) seat if the 85-year-old chooses to retire, it seems unlikely, although Meisner began his public service career in Levin’s Washington D.C. office as a staffer. Since redistricting in 2010, the Royal Oak Democrat’s 9th District seat meanders from Roseville to Royal Oak, Bloomfield Township and Franklin, and includes Warren, Sterling Heights and Eastpointe, large municipalities in Macomb County. “You need a person from Macomb County,” to keep the seat, the person in the know stated. “Andy has a clearer road going with (Oakland) county executive.” It’s believed by lots of politicos that, with Patterson gone, it will be a very competitive race on both sides of the aisle – probably the most watched race in the state.