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2024 COUNTY EXEC BETS


The Oakland County Republican Party, for the most part, was downright gleeful in late July when L. Brooks Patterson’s daughter, Mary Patterson, announced she would be running for county executive in the 2024 election. A former Waterford Schools teacher,  co-owner of a family business and mother of four children, Mary Patterson is being viewed by some as a chance for the county party to once again take over the top spot in county government, held from 1992 until L. Brook’s passing in 2019, following 16 years earlier as prosecutor for the county. Mary Patterson has already outlined an issue platform, although it includes concern over education, which really falls outside the purview of the county executive. She has hit the ground running by issuing criticism of the Democrat-controlled county board and administration plan to invest millions of dollars in a satellite campus of county workers in downtown Pontiac. The family name and the fact that she is a woman will certainly count for quite a bit on the ballot, but if current county exec David Coulter, a Democrat, files for reelection, a Patterson victory is not assured, given the county’s drift away from the GOP in the last 15 years. Back in the early days of Brooks Patterson’s time in the exec post, he would always take a large margin of the vote – in one year taking over 80 percent. Those margins – depending on what Democrat he was facing and what presidential candidate’s name was on the top of the ballot –  started to dwindle  as the political leanings of county residents began to shift Democrat. Political junkies are already speculating about a Patterson-Coulter contest. Said one traditional (non-MAGA) Republican: “It will be a tall order for anyone on the county level getting elected without a (D) next to their name. The GOP brand is in the toilet and the demographics just don’t work.” Yet, added another GOP stalwart: “The fact that county sheriff Mike Bouchard continues to get reelected as a Republican says there is hope.” Another Republican in the know said, “It’s obviously name ID that they want from her, but the Democrats have a stranglehold on Oakland County.”

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