FILLING THE VOID
Michael “Mickey” Switalski
With Democratic Rep. Andy Levin likely on the shortlist for Labor Secretary, the question is who would fill his congressional seat in the 9th District, which winds from Bloomfield Township to Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Ferndale to Macomb County. The governor would need to call a special election to fill the vacancy, and while the district leans Democratic, there will be no shortage of Democrats or Republicans likely filing to run. On the Democratic side, it would be no surprise if outgoing Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner, a Huntington Woods resident, ran. Meisner is currently without another political platform, having lost to county executive David Coulter in the August primary, and remains a popular political figure with friends on both sides of the aisle. Meisner’s first gig, who also is a former state representative, was as a legislative aide to former Rep. Sandy Levin, Andy’s dad. Another highly touted figure is Michael “Mickey” Switalski, a former state Senator representing Sterling Heights and Roseville from 2003-2009, as well as state Representative from 1999-2003. Switalski ran against Sandy Levin in the 2010 Democratic primary, where Levin prevailed. This may be his opportunity, and the district is 64 percent in Macomb County. On the Republican side, GOP leaders say don’t look for the party to give much support to Eric Esshaki, failed challenger to Haley Stevens this year. “He’s a lightweight. He doesn’t connect with people and he doesn’t have any empathy. He’s arrogant and belligerent,” said one GOP insider. Some Republicans like Daniela Davis of Beverly Hills, who recently lost to state Rep. Kyra Bolden (D), 83 percent to 16 percent. “She’s a sharp business woman who knows her stuff. But she was in a Democratic district,” a Republican official said. One recently re-elected local Republican official said he’s seriously looking at it, figuring it’s better to be an incumbent when redistricting takes effect in 2022. Michigan is sure to lose at least one, possibly two, congressional seats during the upcoming redistricting.