PRIMARY REP SHOWDOWN
Although the April 19 filing deadline for 2020 candidates is still a couple of weeks off, there are already a number of races that will be worth following, among them the August primary contest for the new Michigan state House 54th district (parts of Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township, and all of Orion Township) on the Democrat side of the ballot. So far there are two seeking to be the standard bearer for the Democrats – Gary Gerson and Shadia Martini, both from the Bloomfield area. Gerson, a former teacher at Cranbrook Schools, author of two books and Uber driver, was considered at one time a possible 2020 primary candidate against state Rep. Mari Manoogian. He actually filed to run last time around but we are told party officials asked him to withdraw, leaving the field to the incumbent House member. Shadia, originally from Syria where she taught at the university level and was a TV reporter, is now a realtor and builder. She ran in the 2020 primary against Democrat incumbent state Representative Kyra Harris Bolden (Beverly Hills) who took over 90 percent of the August vote in a blow-out then. The winner of the 2022 primary contest will likely face Republican Donni Steele, whose bonafides include four years on the Orion Township board as trustee and now five years in the saddle as Orion Township treasurer. Steele, who formed her state election committee last April, has already piled up an impressive list of endorsements from current/past local and state officials. From what we could tell from a SOS website that was on-again/off-again on the fritz at press time, Steele has not racked up a great amount of money – in the neighborhood of $20,000 with $12,500 in debt.