August 2 primary election voting returns
By Lisa Brody and David Hohendorf
Primary election day 2022 is in the books, with voters across Oakland Count choosing a GOP candidate for governor to face Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November, picking stand bearers for each party for congress and state House, Senate and county commission offices in November, and passing a Bloomfield Township public safety millage proposal and a renewal of a Bloomfield Hills Schools operating millage.
Voter turnout was low throughout the county, with the Oakland County Clerk's office reporting a 28.5 percent turnout as of 11:30 p.m., with 295,068 ballots cast in the county out of 1,034,171 registered voters.
In all, according to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, more than 1.1 million absentee ballots of the 1,313,811 requested absentee ballots had been returned to clerk's offices.
11TH DISTRICT: On the Democratic side, this battle between two incumbent members of congress, Andy Levin and Haley Stevens, led to Stevens prevailing by a wide margin, 59 percent to 41 percent, with 86 percent of precincts counted. For some, it was a decision between a moderate Democrat and a stridently progressive one. The focus of Stevens' campaign was her work with former President Obama's auto task force, her work with manufacturing in the district, notably her efforts to get more women and girls involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, as well as work on the automobile chip shortage. Levin centered his attention on his efforts as a union organizer, work on climate efforts and Medicare for All, and his affiliation with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and fellow Rep. Rashida Tlaib. They both touted support from Planned Parenthood, and both showed strong support for abortion choice, notably after the Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v Wade.
Stevens took the majority of precincts and communities in the district, winning Birmingham, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, White Lake, Waterford, Wixom, Commerce Township, and they appeared to split precincts of Bloomfield Township, which is in Levin's former 9th District. Levin prevailed in Royal Oak, Ferndale and Huntington Woods.
“Measure me on my hard work,” Stevens said to a crowd of supporters at her victory party. “Let's continue to do the work of the people, for Oakland County.”
In a release, she said, “When I put up my hand to flip a seat blue in 2018 and become the first Democrat to represent Michigan’s 11th Congressional District since before the Moon Landing, I had no idea the incredible journey that I was about to begin. Since Michigan voters sent me to Congress, I have visited over 180 manufacturers across SE Michigan, introduced and passed legislation to champion women and girls in STEM, returned over $100 million dollars to my constituents through casework and brought millions to the communities I represent for new, federally funded projects. Last week, the House passed the CHIPS and Science Act, a historic piece of bipartisan, bicameral legislation, 70 percent of which originated in my House Science, Space and Technology Committee… As a proud daughter of Oakland County, I can’t wait to be the first woman to represent so many communities here in the new 11th District.”
Republicans chose Mark Ambrose of Bloomfield Township, with 38,296 votes, or 70 percent, over Matthew DenOtter of Highland, who had 16,193 votes for 30 percent of the total. Ambrose will face Stevens in November for the congressional seat in a district that most concede leans Democrat following reapportionment.
7TH DISTRICT: Incumbent state Senator Jeremy Moss of Southfield was the overwhelming favorite of Democratic primary voters, receiving 84 percent of the vote, for 30,615 votes against Ryan Foster, who had 16 percent, with 6,247 votes. In this new district, Moss will represent Bloomfield Township, as well as Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Franklin. He will face Republican Corinne Khederian of Bloomfield Township in November.
8TH DISTRICT: In a battle between two incumbent Democratic state Senators, Mallory McMorrow of Royal Oak and Marshall Bullock II of Detroit, McMorrow prevailed over Bullock, 83 percent, with 27,646 votes, to 17 percent, and 5,665 votes, with 96 percent of precincts reporting. McMorrow has represented Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills for the last four years, and if she wins in November, which is considered a “safe” Democratic district, she will continue to represent Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills in the new district. McMorrow will face Republican Brandon Ronald Simpson in the general election, who did not have a challenger.
5TH DISTRICT: With 96.15 percent of precincts reporting, Natalie Price, a Berkley City Commissioner, was the leading Democrat in the primary contest with 4,719 votes from Oakland County, followed by Michelle Wooddell of Southfield with 1,982 votes and Reggie Reg Davis of Detroit who took 1,417 votes in the Oakland portion of the district, which includes part of Birmingham, part of Bloomfield Township, stretching into the south portion of the county and into Detroit. Votes from the Detroit part of the district, with a minor part of the total registered voters, were still unavailable as of 11:30 p.m. In the Republican primary for this district, Paul Taros of Birmingham notched 1,633 votes to 1,018 votes for Keith Albertie of Birmingham.
20TH DISTRICT: The apparent leading Democrat, collecting 6,833 votes with 88.89 percent of precincts reporting, was Noah Arbit of West Bloomfield in a district that includes part of Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake and part of Commerce Township, along with Keego Harbor and Sylvan Lake. West Bloomfield Schools board member Ken Ferguson had 4,492 votes while James Sklar, a lawyer and former state House employee had 3,292 votes at 11:30 p.m. Arbit will likely be facing in the November general election Republican Albert Mansour of West Bloomfield, a realtor, who garnered 3,698 votes against West Bloomfield attorney Diana Theresa Mohyi, who had 3,230 votes.
54TH DISTRICT: This district includes part of Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Auburn Hills and Orion Township. On the Democrat ticket, with 100 percent of the vote counted, Shadia Martini of Bloomfield Township was marginally ahead of Bloomfield Township Trustee Stephanie Fakih, 3,785 votes to 3,401 votes. The third candidates in this race, Gary Gerson, a former teacher and coach at Cranbrook Schools, had 2,451 votes. Martini., who migrated from Syria in 1992 to America with a B.S. in architecture engineering, now owns a real estate firm, construction company and medical spa. On the Republican primary race, Lake Orion Treasurer and former trustee Donni Steele won with 5,992 votes against 4,415 votes for Sandy Kiesel of Lake Orion.
56TH DISTRICT: The race between Democrats Sharon MacDonell of Troy and Cyndi Peltonen of Clawson for the district which includes part of Birmingham and part of Bloomfield Township, most of Troy, Clawson and part of Royal Oak was too close to call as of midnight, with only 32.43 percent of precincts reporting. MacDonell, a community activist in Troy who made her name with her efforts to save the Troy library in past years, had 3,871 votes, while Peltonen, who ran for the state House in 2014 and 2016, had 3,175 votes. The winner of this contest will face Republican Mark Gunn of Troy, who had no challenger in the primary.
OAKLAND COUNTY COMMISSION
9TH DISTRICT: In the only contested county commission district that included a portion of the local area – part of Bloomfield Township along with part of Pontiac – current commissioner Angela Powell of Pontiac, first elected in 2018, was the apparent winner. Democrat Powell, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, had 4,978 votes and challenger Mark E. Holland had 1,150 votes. Powell will face in November Republican Gjyste Nucalaj who was uncontested in the primary.
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY MILLAGE: Bloomfield Township replaced two expiring public safety millages totaling 3.2879 mills with this public safety replacement millage, totaling 3.89 mills for 10 years, and residents approved it, 63 percent to 37 percent, with 8,497 voters approving the millage.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS SCHOOLS MILLAGE RESTORATION: Voters in the Bloomfield Hills Schools district approved this operating restoration millage proposal, 62 percent to 38 percent, with 12,278 votes cast. The operating millage restoration proposal for Bloomfield Hills Schools is to restore tax money lost due to the Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment, only on properties classified as non- homestead, which also includes commercial and business properties, and allow the district to levy the statutory limit of 18 mills.