Candidates file to run for office in 2020 election

April 21, 2020

Republican and Democratic candidates vying for numerous state, county and local offices, notably for Bloomfield Township, filed petitions for Michigan's August 3 primary and November general election by the 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, deadline.

Congressional candidates and non-incumbent judicial candidates received an extension until Friday, May 8, due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home mandate, which has prevented them from going door-to-door to acquire the necessary signatures, per a federal judge's ruling on Monday, April 20, which also halved the number of signatures required to be on the ballot. Also part of the judge's ruling was a requirement for state election officials to develop a system where candidates could acquire signatures through an online process.

State and local candidates have the choice of paying a fee to appear on the ballot or acquiring a certain number of required signatures of registered voters within their district. All candidates have until 4 p.m. this Friday, April 24, to withdraw from a race without appearing on the ballot. Candidates who have filed for more than one race also must withdraw from all but one race by that deadline, or the state will disqualify them from all of their races.

U.S. Congress 9th District
Bloomfield Township


Pending any other candidate filing by May 8, incumbent Democrat Congressman Andy Levin (Bloomfield Township) will face Republican candidate Charles J. Langworthy of Roseville in November's general election. The district includes Bloomfield Township, Beverly Hills, Berkley, Bingham Farms, Clawson, Center Line, Eastpointe, Ferndale, Franklin, Fraser, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Madison Heights, Mt. Clemens, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Roseville, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, and Warren.

U.S. Congress 11th District
Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester Hills


Potential Republican candidate Eric Esshaki of Birmingham filed suit in federal court, and prevailed, to extend the filing deadline until May 8, in order to challenge incumbent Congresswoman Haley Stevens (D-Birmingham). If he submits by the new deadline, Esshaki will face fellow Republicans Frank Acosta of Northville and Whittney Williams of Canton in the August primary. The Republican winner of the primary will face Stevens in November.

The district covers Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Commerce Township, Highland Township, Farmington, Lake Angelus, Lyon Township, Milford, Northville, Novi, Novi Township, South Lyon, Troy, Walled Lake, Waterford, White Lake, Wixom, and parts of Clawson, Rochester Hills and West Bloomfield.

Michigan House-40th District
Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township


The state House district, which encompasses Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township and the eastern portion of West Bloomfield, was flipped from a long-time Republican district by Democrat incumbent Rep. Mari Manoogian (Birmingham) in 2018. She will be challenged in August by Democrat Gary Gerson of Bloomfield Hills, a former teacher and coach at Cranbrook Schools.

The winner of the Democratic primary could face either Republican Mike Banerian of Bloomfield Township, Kendra Cleary of Bloomfield Township or Malissa Bossardet of Bloomfield Township, although Bossardet filed for more than one position by the deadline today.


Oakland County Executive

County government will likely be the brawls to watch during primary season. On the Democratic side, incumbent Dave Coulter, who was appointed in August 2019 to fill the remainder of the term of the late Republidan L. Brooks Patterson, will face off against county treasurer Andy Meisner.  

On the Republican side of the ticket, noted Republican Mike Kowall of White Lake, most recently former state Senator, Senate Majority Leader and previously White Lake Township Supervisor, who ran for congress in the 11th District in 2018, will battle it out in August with Dave Ferris of Keego Harbor and Jeffrey G. Nutt of Troy.

Oakland County Prosecutor

It seems like all of the action for Oakland County prosecutor will take place during the Democratic primary in August, between incumbent Oakland Prosecutor Jessica Cooper of Beverly Hills, who is defending her 12 years in office, against former Judge Karen McDonald of Birmingham, who is challenging Cooper's record.

The winner of the primary will face Republican Lin Goetz of Lake Orion in November.

Oakland County Sheriff

Incumbent Republican Michael Bouchard faces no opposition in August. He will face the winner of a three-way Democratic primary race that includes Vincent Gregory of Lathrup Village; Barnett Jones of Lake Orion; and Randy Maloney of Waterford.

Oakland County Clerk

Incumbent Clerk Lisa Brown (D) will take on the winner of the Republican primary, where Republican Tina Barton, currently the clerk in Rochester Hills,  is opposed by Patrick Wilson of Bloomfield Hills.

Oakland County Treasurer

This office will be vacant, as treasurer Andy Meisner is running for county executive. Two Democrats, state Rep. Robert Wittenberg (Huntington Woods), who is term-limited, will face Madison Heights councilman Robert Corbett Jr.

Republicans Joe Kent of Oxford, a tax attorney, and Susan Anderson, a Royal Oak accountant, are challenging one another in the August primary.

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner

Incumbent Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash, a Democrat, faces no opposition in August. He will face the winner of the Republican primary in November.

Running to challenge Nash are Robert Buxbaum of Oak Park, an engineer who lost to Nash in 2016; Steven Johnson of Highland; and Jim Stevens, a 2015 Rochester Hills mayoral candidate.

Oakland County Commissioner-12th District
Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township


Former state Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham) has the Republican field to himself in August in this newly-open district, following the retirement of long-time commissioner Shelley Goodman Taub. He will face either Democrat Kelly Dillaha of Birmingham or William Gage of Bloomfield Hills.

Oakland County Commissioner-13th District
Bloomfield Township


Democratic incumbent Marcia Gershenson of Bloomfield Township will be challenged in the August primary by fellow Democrat Sean Thomas of Farmington Hills. The winner of the primary will face Republican Max Rohtbart in November.

Bloomfield Township

All seven board of trustee offices, including Supervisor, Clerk and Treasurer, which are four-year terms, are open in November. For the first time ever, there are both Republican and Democratic candidates for all offices, meaning there will be primaries on both sides of the aisle in August.

Bloomfield Township Supervisor

Incumbent Supervisor Leo Savoie, a Republican, is running for another four-year term, his third, after being appointed in 2011. He will face two Republican challengers in the primary, former treasurer Dan Devine, who lost his position in 2016, and Dave Thomas. However, the field will likely be whittled down to one as both Devine and Thomas also filed to run as township clerk, and by state election law, they must withdraw from one race by 4 p.m. Friday, April 24, or be disqualified from both.

Three Democrats are running for supervisor. Current trustee Dani Walsh, Jeff Axt, who ran unsuccessfully for trustee in 2016, and Jeff Nadeau are all running on the Democratic ticket in the August primary.

Bloomfield Township Clerk

After 16 years, Bloomfield Township Clerk Jan Roncelli is retiring, leaving big shoes to fill in the clerk's office. Republicans Dan Devine, the former township treasurer, and Dave Thomas filed for the clerk's position although both also filed for the supervisor position on the GOP ticket. Also filing was Tom Smyly and Malissa Bossardet, who also filed to run as a Republican candidate for the 40th state House district and for Bloomfield Township trustee. Bossaradet was an unsuccessful GOP candidate for the 40th District state House seat in 2018. All three will have to choose the seat they are running for by Friday, April 24 at 4 p.m.

If there remains a Republican, the winner will face Democrat Martin Brook for the position in November.

Bloomfield Township Treasurer

Incumbent Treasurer Brian Kepes (R ), completing his first term in the office after several terms as trustee and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, is looking to retain his position. He will face fellow Republican Mark Antakli in August. The winner will take on Democrat Jeff Axt in November, unless Axt withdraws from the position, as he is also running for supervisor.

Bloomfield Township Trustee

All four trustee spots are up for election and Republican incumbents Neal Barnett and Michael Schostak have filed for reelection. Incumbent Republican trustee Dani Walsh filed for supervisor and Dave Buckley did not file.

There are a total of 11 candidates who have filed for the four trustee openings, each carrying a four-year term.

Filing on the Democrat ticket are  Stephanie Fakih, Mitsuaki Murashige, Valerie Sayles Murray and Linda Ulrey. Filing on the Republican ticket, in addition to Barnett and Schostak, are Jeff Axt, Malissa Bossardet, Timothy Robert Meyer, Eric Pernie, Don Valente and Linda Ulrey, who also filed as a Democrat. 

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