DYNASTIES CHALLENGED


Two county family dynasties from the west Oakland lakes area are being challenged at the county commission level in the August 2020 election – the Long family in Commerce and the Kowall family in White Lake, both with a long Republican history. Christine Long is currently on the county board and has filed to run in the newly configured 12th district. First elected as county commissioner in 2002, she hails from a family that has been holding public office for decades. Her husband, Rob Long, served as a Commerce Township trustee and his father, Robert Long, was the township supervisor for decades and was considered the guiding light (a most ethical one) during the formative years of the community. The Long Family Orchard, Farm (think corn and strawberries) and Cider Mill has long been a local attraction, and is worth considerable percentage points when it  comes to name recognition. Christine is being challenged in the GOP primary this coming August by Commerce resident Monica Yatooma, a newcomer unknown in the political sphere until the pandemic hit and she hitched her wagon to the anti-CRT, ‘jail Fauci’ and anti-mask movement as a founding member of the Parents Against Mandates group. Forget that those issues are mostly not under the purview of the county board – they are 2022 GOP playbook pablum designed to grab attention. Combine that with a strong social media campaign, what appears early on to be a potential big fundraising drive, and her billing herself as the “female voice from the Middle Eastern community,” and Christine Long, who in two decades has usually filed campaign reporting waivers by raising/spending less than $1,000 on a race, could have her hands full. Too early to take bets on this one. In neighboring White Lake, Republican incumbent Eileen Kowall has been tossed in the newly redrawn District 7 with GOP incumbent Bob Hoffman, who has been on the board since 2010. Eileen Kowall was a commissioner from 2003-2008, then state Representative (2009-2014) and then back again on the county board since 2015. In her own right, she is widely known and respected. But it certainly helps that her spouse, Mike, was also a member of the state House and Senate, as well as township supervisor. Our money is on the Kowall legacy surviving. 

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