REPUBLICAN DESERT

Speaking of Oakland County, tight-lipped Republicans are whispering they’re having a helluva lot of trouble finding candidates to run against Democrats on the ballot, from county executive on down. Other than Republican state Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Holly), who is still toying with the idea of whether she’ll run for Patterson’s old spot against the victor in the marquee Democrat show involving incumbent Dave Coulter and county treasurer Andy Meisner. Although Johnson has seemingly held just about every other elected position, from local positions in Groveland Township, county commissioner and clerk to Michigan Secretary of State and now state senator, she’s not sure she wants to gun for the top spot… at least this year, before redistricting. So it goes down the line, where some races, such as the 41st District, which Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy, Clawson) won in 2018, may have no Republican contender at all. Republicans are particularly worried about losing the 45th District, currently held by term-limited Rep. Michael Webber (R-Rochester, Rochester Hills), where Democrat Brendan Johnson is drawing attention from political observers in both parties. Just 26, he’s a graduate of both Michigan State and Georgetown, has a national security background, and worked for Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin on the hill. Some are drawing parallels to Michigan Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, western West Bloomfield), who flipped the 40th for the first time ever in 2018.

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