TALE OF TWO DYNASTIES


Christine Long

Months ago Oakland Confidential previewed two GOP family dynasties which were being challenged in the August primary. One was the Long family from Commerce of which Oakland County Commissioner Christine Long (12th district) was being challenged by Monica Yatooma. The Long family has a decades-long history in the west Oakland Lakes area. Christines’s husband, Rob Long, had been a township trustee for a number of years and his father, Robert Long, was one of the formative township supervisors who helped bring Commerce into the modern era. Well, Christine survived her challenge, 5,484 votes to Yatooma’s 3,707 votes. Long raised just over $16,000 for the primary race, most of it in the form of a personal loan to her committee, after in the past only spending $1,000 or less on her campaign every couple of years. She spent about $11,000 to win another two-year term, having first won county office in 2002. Yatooma raised $53,000 ($16,000 was a personal loan) and spent just over $29,000 in her losing effort.  Also in Long’s favor is the widely known family farm, orchard and cider mill operation –  a destination for many local residents in the old and new county district. Not so lucky was Republican Eileen Kowall of White Lake in her bid to remain on the county board to represent the new 7th district. When districts were redrawn this year, Kowall was thrown into a contest with incumbent Republican Bob Hoffman, who pulled off the victory in the August primary. Kowall was at one time a state Representative and her husband, Mike Kowall, has been township supervisor, state Representative and the state Senator from the area. His brother, Rik Kowall, is currently the township supervisor. Eileen Kowall spent $16,000 on  this race while Hoffman spent $30,000 after loaning his committee $20,000. Just for the record, we weren’t willing to bet on Long surviving but thought Kowall would make it. Infallible soothsayers we are not.

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