LET THE BATTLE BEGIN
When Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter (D), who was appointed to the position in August by a narrow 11-10 vote of the Oakland Board of Commissioners in August following longtime executive L. Brooks Patterson's death, announced on October 31 he would run in 2020 for the seat, county treasurer Andy Meisner (D), who has been running for the position practically since he won his last election, let it be known he was not too thrilled. When Coulter was appointed the first Democrat to hold the executive's position, Democrats thought he'd be a placeholder – which Coulter confirmed at the time. But doing the job for 90 days changed his mind. “The universe sometimes puts you in places you didn't expect to be,” he said at his announcement. “In just a few short months, I have seen the bright possibilities we can create for our county.” “I respect Dave Coulter, but think he got it right when he endorsed my campaign for Oakland County Executive, and when he said he was too busy doing the job he was given to run for state Representative,” Meisner ungraciously jabbed. Meisner points out he has successfully run three countywide elections, including in 2016, when he was the top Democratic vote getter in the county. His resume also includes time as a congressional aid and several terms in the Michigan House of Representatives. Coulter, who until being named executive was the mayor of Ferndale, is a former county commissioner. Meisner's quarterly statement shows a war chest of $420,898 cash on hand, having raised $569,307 in the election cycle. Coulter's about-face has altered the political trajectory of county board chair Dave Woodward (D-Royal Oak), who had announced plans run for executive, but now has endorsed Coulter. No telling what the “incumbent” tag does in the battle for public opinion. Meanwhile, all is quiet on the GOP front when it comes to potential Republican candidates.