IN THIS CORNER
State Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, eastern half of West Bloomfield) has a newly-announced Republican opponent, Anthony Paesano, an Oakland County attorney who is already working with a noted heavyweight campaign advisor. In an ironic twist, Paesano happens to be partners with Manoogian’s cousin, Richard Apkarian. They may not have the same political leanings though – and, after all, blood is thicker than water, as they say. The day Paesano filed to run for the 40th District seat, Apkarian maxed out his contributions to Manoogian. He’s also hosted two fundraisers for his cousin, who is out pounding the pavement with her “Mari’s army” of volunteers as part of her ground game to get re-elected to her third term. Paesano, in a release, said he is “distressed by what is happening in Lansing, particularly as it affects our children’s education, the many small businesses our community depends on, and the quality of life for Oakland County families.” He’s committed to lowering taxes, small businesses, law enforcement and “believes in the integrity of our elections is paramount to the preservation of our republic and support voter ID requirements for all voters.” Manoogian, who has been a strong advocate for public education, small businesses and law enforcement in her first two terms, said her priorities are to “first properly represent our district, and then not far behind is taking the majority” of the state House. Let the battle begin.