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  • By Lisa Brody

Local election results; vote counting continues

New faces will populate Township Hall in Bloomfield Township, with Dani Walsh winning the race to become township supervisor, Martin Brook to become township clerk, and Neil Barnett, Michael Schostak, Stephanie Fakih and Valerie Sayles Murray as the trustees following an unprecedented number of residents turned out to vote on Tuesday, November 3, and Birmingham voters overwhelmingly approved a parks and recreation bond.

Bloomfield Township After months of hotly contested races and verbal sparring, there will be an almost all new administration in Bloomfield Township. Current trustee Democrat Dani Walsh narrowly prevailed for township supervisor over former township treasurer Dan Devine, 51 percent to 49 percent. While Devine, a Republican, prevailed with day-of voters, Walsh crushed it with absentee voters. With 29,677 overall votes cast, Walsh received 15,054 votes to Devine's 14,623 votes. For clerk, Democrat Martin Brook, an attorney, won 50.44 percent of the vote, over Republican Tom Smyly, a township police officer who had 49.56 percent of votes cast. Only 257 votes separated the two, with Brook receiving 14,769 votes to Smyly's 14,512 votes. Incumbent treasurer Brian Kepes was running unopposed, and received 18,391 votes. For township trustee, four Democrats and four Republicans ran to fill four open seats. Incumbent trustee Michael Schostak, a Republican finishing his first four-year term in office, was the top vote getter, with 14,560 votes for 13.21 percent. Political newcomer Stephanie Fakih, a Democrat, received 13.07 percent of the vote with 14,405 votes, followed by Republican veteran Neal Barnett, a long-time trustee, with 12.99 percent, and 14,324 votes. Rounding out the trustee table is Democrat Valerie Sayles Murray, who received 14,124 votes, for 12.81 percent of the vote. U.S. Congress In the 9th District, which includes Bloomfield Township, with votes still to be counted, Congressman Andy Levin (D) appears to be comfortably leading his Republican challenger Charles Langworthy. Although 11th District incumbent Democrat Congresswoman Haley Stevens had trailed GOP challenger Eric Esshaki in the early morning hours, she eventually pulled ahead of the Republican in the Wayne County portion of the district to offset any shortages in the Oakland portion of her district. With 100 percent of the sprawling district voting results in, Stevens beat Esshaki by 10,714 votes, or 226,076 to 215,362. By county, Stevens lost Oakland County but carried the Wayne County portion of the district by over 15,000 votes for her victory.

State House of Representatives

With almost 98 percent of precincts reporting, Rep. Mari Manoogian (D), of the 40th District, which represents Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township and the western portion of West Bloomfield, appears to have beaten Republican Kendra Cleary, 37,421 votes, for 57.45 percent of the vote, to 27,656 votes or 42.46 percent.

Oakland County

For the Oakland County Board of Commission, Republican Chuck Moss maintained a lead over Democrat Kelly Dillaha to keep the 12th District seat red. Moss ended the election with 21,498 votes, for 52 percent of the vote, over Dillaha, who had 19,891, for 48 percent.

In the 13th District, longtime commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D) will return to the board, having beat Republican Max Rohtbart, 65 percent, with 22,628 votes, to 35 percent, 12,097 votes.

The predicted blue shift for Oakland County continued, with 97 percent of the vote in, incumbent county executive Democrat David Coulter will return for a full term in January, having beat Republican Mike Kowall, 55 percent to 44 percent. At this writing, Coulter has 399,197 votes versus Kowall's 327,290.

Incumbent county clerk Lisa Brown prevailed with 56 percent of the vote, 398,717 votes, over Republican challenger Tina Barton, who received 44 percent or 314,358 votes.

Democrat Karen McDonald, who soundly beat incumbent prosecutor Jessica Cooper in the primary in August, will be the new Oakland County Prosecutor, winning 57 percent of the county's vote, 407,304 votes, to Republican Lin Goetz's 43 percent, with 306,884 votes.

Longtime Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard is the lone Republican in county government, having fended off challenger Vince Gregory, a former Democratic state legislator. Bouchard had 401,831 votes for 55 percent of the vote, versus Gregory, with 337,419 votes.

Democrat Robert Wittenberg will be the new county treasurer, with 54 percent of votes cast, 382,911 votes. Republican Joe Kent received 328,085 votes.

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash, a Democrat, will return for another term, having won with 57 percent or 402,964 votes. Challenger Republican Jim Stevens, had 307,010 votes.

Local proposals

In Birmingham, voters approved an $11.25 million parks and recreation bond, with 70 percent of voters approving the measure which will allow the city to improve, upgrade and maintain the city’s 26 parks, recreational facilities, playgrounds and two miles of Rouge River trails, a new irrigation system at Springdale Golf Course, as well as provide major improvements to the Birmingham Ice Arena. Approval of the bond, which was approved by a vote of 9,538 votes for to 4,048 votes against, will necessitate a priority planning determination by the parks and recreation board.

With 80 percent of precincts reporting, the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Millage appears to be on track to win, with 76 percent of voters voting yes, versus 24 percent voting against.

School boards

Two open seats were filled on Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education, with incumbent Lori Ajluny receiving almost 35 percent of the votes, 16,561 votes out of a total 47,838 votes cast. Joining Ajluny will be new board member Luke Joseph, with 9,835 votes, 20.6 percent, who narrowly beat out fellow candidate Nash Salami by 23 votes. Four candidates ran for the board of education.

On the Bloomfield Hills Schools school board, three new board members will replace three long term board members. Siva Kumar, with 18.72 percent or 8,048 votes, will be joined by Michelle Southward, 7,869 votes, along with Jonathan VanGemert, who received 6,664 votes.

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