BIG BUFFET

Democratic primary voters will have a large buffet of choices besides Andy Levin to choose from in August. Former Bloomfield Hills School Board President Martin Brook of Bloomfield Township, a labor and employment attorney, announced his run for the 9th congressional seat, as has state Sen. Steve Bieda (D-Warren). Bieda, who also spent time as a state representative, said, “I’m a pro-choice Democrat, with pro-LGBT roots in Macomb County. I’ve always been the guy who fights for the underdog, who looks for issues that impact real people.” A recent legislative win that has taken all 12 years in the state legislature, he said, has been to get compensation for those wrongly-accused and imprisoned. “As a minority leader, I’m proud it was signed by the governor a year ago,” Bieda said. Noting the current caustic nature of Washington, he said he stands for a very positive agenda, “for politicians putting themselves out there. You have to have good people.” While some other Dems note he’s a “creature of Lansing,” and has been politicking a long time, with women representing an important part of the district, he could be a very viable candidate. Kevin Howley of Huntington Woods, who unsuccessfully ran against Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in 2012 (when Brooks was in a coma following a car crash), said he is exploring a run. “I’m a problem solver. I’m looking to see if Washington can use a problem solver, and if I can have an impact,” Howley said. “Washington is a mess, and I’m seeing if someone with my skill set can get things done.” He said he wants to get a lay of the land of who else is running. Oakland Country Treasurer Andy Meisner, of Huntington Woods, who began his career as a policy aide in Levin’s DC office, once dreamed of having his mentor’s seat. “It’s really happening,” he said of Levin’s retirement. “I’m exploring whether it’s a place I can make a difference in peoples’ lives and the best possible results for my constituents.” But with two toddlers at home, some see Meisner as a more likely candidate for the expected open seat for Oakland County Executive – a powerful position closer to home. On the Republican side, Candius Stearns of Sterling Heights, who works in the health insurance industry, has announced her candidacy.

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Oakland County political gossip