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  • Lisa Brody and Dana Casadei

Results from the August 4 primary election

Upsets, and near upsets, were the results of voters turning out in wide numbers on primary day, Tuesday, August 4, with Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie and Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper failing in their bids for reelection, Oakland County Executive David Coulter prevailing over Treasurer Andy Meisner to represent the Democrats against Republican Mike Kowall for the county's top spot. Oakland Countdy had 322,454 ballots cast out of 995,114 registered voters, a 32 percent turnout in a primary, with a majority voting by absentee ballots due to Michigan's new “no reason” absentee law and health concerns in the midst of a pandemic. BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP: Former Bloomfield Township Treasurer Dan Devine, turned out of office by voters in 2016, came back in the Republican supervisor's race, prevailing over incumbent Leo Savoie, with 4,895 votes, 62 percent, to 3,033 votes for Savoie. Devine will face Democrat Dani Walsh in November, who received 5,692 votes, 83 percent of the Democratic vote, versus Scott Nadeau, who had informally dropped out of the race and endorsed Walsh. Nadeau received 1,161 votes, for 17 percent of the total. Treasurer Brian Kepes narrowly survived a challenge from Mark Antakli. Kepes received 51 percent of the votes, 3,915 votes, to Antakli's 3,765 votes. Both Kepes and Antakli are Republicans, and with no Democrat running in November, Kepes will keep his position. In the race to replace incumbent clerk Jan Roncelli, who is retiring, a three-way contest on the Republican side ended with Bloomfield Township police officer Tom Smyly receiving the most votes, 2,884, 39 percent of the total, versus David Thomas' 2,567 votes, 34.5 percent, and Malissa Bossardet, 1,970, 26.5 percent. Smyly will face Democrat Martin Brook in November, who received 6,579 votes Tuesday running unopposed. All four Democrat nominees for Bloomfield Township Trustee will move forward to the November election. Stephanie Fakih took the majority of the votes with 26 percent, 5,407 votes, followed closely by Valerie Sayles Murray’s 5,373 votes at 26 percent. Linda P. Ulrey and Mitsuaki Murashige rounded out the candidates with 25 percent, or 5,102 votes, and 23 percent, or 4,848 votes, respectively. The Democrat nominees will face four Republicans, two of whom are currently on the board of trustees, in November to fill all four spots on the board. Current trustee Michael Schostak, who was elected to the position in 2016, took the most Republican votes with 4,533, or 22 percent. Schostak’s total was followed by Don Valente’s 4,472 votes, or 22 percent; incumbent Neal Barnett received 4,209 votes, or 21 percent; and Timothy Robert Meyer, who narrowly filled the last slot with 3,598, or 18 percent. All positions in Bloomfield Township are four-year terms in office. U.S. CONGRESS DISTRICT 9: Republican Charles Langworthy will face incumbent Andy Levin (D) in November for this two-year seat in Congress, which winds from Bloomfield Township, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, through to Macomb County. Langworthy received a total of 32,053 votes, versus his opponent Gabi Grossbard, who received 23,807 votes. U.S. CONGRESS DISTRICT 11: Five Republicans battled in this district, which covers Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, western Oakland and Wayne counties, to take on incumbent Democrat Haley Stevens for a two-year term in November. Eric Esshaki of Birmingham, an attorney and retired nurse, won the five-way contest, with 17,935 votes, and 31 percent of Oakland County's vote. Carmelita Greco had 14,053 votes, 24 percent of the votes; former congressman Kerry Bentivolio, 12,966 votes, 22 percent; Frank Acosta, 7,231 votes, 12 percent; and Whittney Williams, 6,673 votes, 11 percent. OAKLAND COUNTY EXECUTIVE: One of the most hotly contested and contentious campaigns of this primary season was between the two Democrats seeking to be top dog of the county in 2020. Incumbent Democrat David Coulter of Ferndale, who was appointed last August to complete the term of the late L. Brooks Patterson, was the voters choice to both represent the party in November and to complete Patterson's term. Coulter prevailed over county treasurer Andy Meisner, with Coulter receiving 91,795 votes countywide, for 53 percent, versus Meisner's 80,323 votes, 47 percent of the total, to move forward to November. To complete the term, between November and January 2020, Coulter received 94,326 votes, 56 percent, to Meisner's 81,438 votes, 44 percent. Coulter will face Republican Mike Kowall in November for the new four-year term of office. Kowall, a former state Senator and White Lake Supervisor, handily beat Jeffrey Nutt, with 89,397 votes, for 75 percent of the votes cast. OAKLAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Incumbent Prosecutor Jessica Cooper failed in her bid for a fourth four-year stint as the county prosecutor, with challenger Karen McDonald soundly defeating her in the Democratic primary, by a two-to-one margin. McDonald, a former circuit court judge and assistant prosecutor, received 120,514 votes, 66 percent of the votes cast, to Cooper's 61,945 votes. McDonald will face Republican Lin Goetz in November. OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF: Three Democratic candidates faced off Tuesday to be the party's standard bearer in November against long-time Republican Sheriff Michael Bouchard. Former state Sen. Vince Gregory won the title, with 44 percent of the vote, 71,420 votes cast. Challengers Barnett Jones received 63,527 votes, for 39 percent, while Randy Maloney received 27,329 votes, 17 percent of the total. OAKLAND COUNTY CLERK: Two Republicans sought to face incumbent Democrat county clerk Lisa Brown in November, with Rochester Hills Clerk Tina Barton coming out on top. Barton had 72,409 votes, for 64 percent of the total cast, versus Patrick Wilson, who received 40,837 votes. COUNTY TREASURER: With Treasurer Andy Meisner running for county executive, this seat is open this year. Democrat Robert Wittenberg, a state Representative who is term-limited, will be the Democratic nominee, receiving 69 percent of the total votes cast, 115,452 votes. His opponent, Robert Corbett, a Madison Heights councilman, received 51,123 votes. Wittenberg will face off against Republican Joe Kent, who beat GOP opponent Susan Anderson. Kent received 60,267 votes, 54 percent, while Anderson had 51,297 votes. WATER RESOURCES COMMISSIONER: Almost 100,000 votes were cast for the Republican candidate for Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner, with Jim Stevens prevailing over his competition, Robert E. Buxbaum and Steven L. Johnson. Stevens took 38 percent of the vote with 37,539 votes compared to Buxbaum’s 33 percent, or 33,016 votes, and Johnson’s 29 percent, 28,229 votes. Stevens will face current Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash on the November ballot for the four-year term position. Nash ran unopposed in the Democrat primary and has held the position since 2012. COUNTY COMMISSION – DISTRICT 12: Kelly Dillaha took almost three-quarters of the ballots cast for this county commission seat for the 12th district to win the Democratic primary. Dillaha received 74 percent of the votes, or 7,251 votes, compared to William Gage’s 2,540 votes. Dillaha will face Republican Chuck Moss, who ran unopposed in the primary, this November. This seat is open for the first time in years with current county commissioner Shelley Goodman Taub retiring. COUNTY COMMISSION – DISTRICT 13: Current Oakland County Marcia Gershenson cruised back to the Democratic nomination, fending off challenger Sean Thomas by a landslide, receiving 82 percent of the vote, or 9,996 votes. Thomas received 2,242 votes. Gershenson, who has held the position since first being elected in 2004, will face in November Republican Max Rohtbart who ran unopposed in the primary. BLOOMFIELD HILLS SCHOOLS BOND: Voters in the Bloomfield Hills School district approved a $200 million bond to support school renovation, additions, security and the reassignment of some school populations, with 9,334 votes, 61 percent approving the bond, versus 5,932 votes against. BLOOMFIELD HILLS LIBRARY MILLAGE: In Bloomfield Hills, voters approved a library millage replacement, with 67 percent approval, or 1,040 votes, to authorize the replacement of the existing library millage, set to expire this year, of .3766 mills per year to a new library millage of up to .52 mills a year for a period of six years. This millage will begin with the July 2021 levy and raise approximately $318,852 in its first year, for the purposes of funding a library contract with the Baldwin Public Library of Birmingham, to provide library services and privileges for Bloomfield Hills residents.

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