AH THE IRONY
Before L. Brooks Patterson was Brooks, the legend, he was Oakland County prosecutor. His predecessor as Oakland County Executive was the first county executive, Daniel T. Murphy, a position he held from 1974 until 1986. Both men were Republicans, but as one Oakland County leader described the two, “Brooks is a conservative, while Murphy, now deceased, was a Milliken Republican.” Legend has it the two men hated each other, and Brooks allegedly “pushed” his foe out of office to assume it himself. Murphy did run unsuccessfully for governor in 1986, but the Republicans chose Wayne County executive William Lucas to face Democrat incumbent (and winner) Gov. Jim Blanchard. Fast forward to the 2018 election, when the district to flip the county commission board from Republican to Democrat – after over 40 years – was district 9, in Novi, when Democrat Gwen Markham beat incumbent Republican Hugh Crawford. And lo and behold, Markham – the one who turned Brooks’ commission Democrat – is Murphy’s daughter.