Election results for Birmingham, Bloomfield area
By Lisa Brody and David Hohendorf
Voters throughout Oakland County turned out in wide numbers to vote on Tuesday, November 8, both standing in line to vote in person and by absentee ballot, where Oakland voters supported Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel, along with all three statewide ballot proposals and the Oakland County Transit Millage, among numerous other races and ballot proposals. Congresswoman Haley Stevens will return to Washington to represent Oakland County, Democratic state Senators Mallory McMorrow and Jeremy Moss were re-elected to second terms in new districts, and Democrats and Republicans split their representation in newly-designed state House districts.
Birmingham voters approved an update to the city charter, and in Bloomfield Township, residents approved two new millage renewals.
Voters in Oakland County, including those in Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, have chosen to send incumbent Democrat Haley Stevens back to Congress for her third term, this time to represent Michigan's 11th District. Stevens, of Birmingham, fended off challenger Mark Ambrose, a Republican from Bloomfield Township, by a wide margin. With 90 percent of the vote reported, 61 percent of voters in the district, or 220,240 votes, comprising Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Waterford, West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake, Commerce, Wixom, White Lake, Walled Lake, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Keego Harbor, Lake Angelus, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Sylvan Lake, Troy, Wolverine Lake, voted for Stevens, versus Ambrose, with 39 percent, and 140,083 votes. “I can't tell you how honored and humbled to represent my home for a third time in Congress, and how excited I am to be able to do so while driving down Woodward Avenue: from Pontiac to Ferndale, never leaving the 11th District,” Stevens said in a statement. “Whether you voted for me or not, I promise you this: I am working for you… and I will never stop fighting for you.”
In two newly-redistricted Oakland County districts, incumbent Democratic state Senators were re-elected to the state Senate, although they will be representing new districts. State Sen. Jeremy Moss of Southfield, representing the new 7th District, comprised of Southfield, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Lake Angelus, part of Waterford, Franklin, Lathrup Village, Beverly Hills and part of Wayne County, was overwhelmingly re-elected to office. Moss faced Republican challenger Corinne Khederian of Bloomfield Township, and prevailed, with 71 percent of the vote reported, winning 73 percent of the vote, with 59,418 votes cast, to Khederian's 27 percent, 21,901 votes.
In the new 8th District, now made up of Birmingham, Royal Oak, Clawson, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Ferndale, Oak Park and part of Detroit, Democratic state Senator Mallory McMorrow, who skyrocketed to national fame with a ferocious rebuttal to Republican attacks on Democrats, annihilated her Republican challenger, Brandon Ronald Simpson of Detroit, with 98 percent of votes cast, she received 73 percent, getting 64,209 votes in Oakland County compared to Simpson, with 27 percent and 24,015 votes.
State House of Representatives
From one state House district representing Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills with the previous 40th District, with redistricting there are now five different state House districts covering the area. In 5th District, representing Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Oak Park, Berkley, Beverly Hills, Royal Oak, Southfield and part of Detroit, Democrat Natalie Price overwhelming prevailed over her Republican counterpart Paul Taros, 69 percent and 17,771 votes, to 31 percent and 8,138 votes.
In the 19th District, covering part of Birmingham, part of Bloomfield Township, Franklin, Beverly Hills, part of Farmington Hills and part of Southfield, with 80 percent of votes counted, incumbent Democrat state Rep. Samantha Steckloff won with 67 percent of the vote and 27,968 votes, versus Republican Anthony Paesano, who earned 33 percent of the vote and 13,487 votes.
Democrat Noah Arbit will head to Lansing as the new state representative for the 20th District to represent Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake, Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor and Commerce Township. Arbit received 57 percent of the vote, 27,825 votes, against his Republican opponent Albert Mansour, who had 43 percent or 21,302 votes. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Arbit wrote early Wednesday morning on Facebook. “I pledge to you that I will wake up every morning and work my heart out for the people of this community that I love.”
In the closest local matchup, Republican Donni Steele of Orion Township will be the new state representative for the 54th District, covering part of Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Auburn Hills and Orion Township. Steele received 51 percent of the district's vote, with 22,959 votes, versus Democrat Shadia Martini of Bloomfield Township, who had 49 percent of the votes, and 21,913votes.
In the 56th District, covering part of Birmingham, part of Bloomfield Township, most of Troy, Clawson and part of Royal Oak, Democrat Sharon MacDonell won with 24,167 votes for 58 percent, versus Mark Gunn, who had 17,479 votes for 42 percent.
Oakland County Commission
In the 1st county district, which includes part of Birmingham, part of Troy and part of Royal Oak, Democrat Dave Woodward, current chair of the board of commissioners, was the victor for a two-year term, with 16,871 votes, against Republican Chris Meister, who had 9,003 votes.
Democrat Angela Powell, incumbent of Pontiac, took the race against Republican Gjyste Nucalaj for the county board spot in the 9th district which includes part of Bloomfield Township and part of Pontiac. Powell had 9,257 votes to 334 votes for Gjyste.
Incumbent Democrat Marcia Gershenson won the race, 16,699 to 11,197, against Republican S. Dave Sullivan for the 11th district county board seat which includes part of Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield and Orchard Lake.
In the contest for the 19th district, which incudes most of Birmingham, part of Royal Oak, Huntington Woods and Ferndale, incumbent Democrat Charlie Cavell had 25,395 votes against Joseph Pucci, who took 10,390 votes.
Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education
With just over 100 percent of the votes counted, Nicole Spencer, with 12,486 votes, and Colleen Zammit, with 8,773 votes, won the two six-year positions on the board of education for the Birmingham Public School district from a field of six contenders.
Of the remaining field, Art Jack had 7,523 votes; Bradley Wing, 7,203 votes; incumbent Kimberly Whitman, 6,562 votes; and Samuel Oh, 3,483votes.
Colleen Zammit was considered the far right candidate in the race, with backing from the DeVos family-supported Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP), as well as affiliation with other groups like Get Kids Back To School and Moms of Liberty, considered part of the ultra-conservative movement on culture war issues such as parental rights and education content in the classrooms. Zammit amassed nearly $15,000 in campaign contributions prior to the election, according to a required pre-election campaign finance report on file with the county clerk, along with campaign from outside conservative groups.
Spencer, according to pre-election filings, collected $5,160 in campaign contributions.
Kimberly Whitman, the only incumbent candidate in the race, according to campaign finance reports, collected no outside contributions during this election cycle similar to the way she conducted her last campaign for this school board office.
Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education
Four four-year spots on the Bloomfield Hills School Board of Education were sought by 10 candidates in this general election and the race.
Leading the candidate field,to win board positions, with 100 percent of votes counted, was Tareq Falah, with 7,241 votes, followed by incumbent board member Paul Kolin, 6,933 votes; Carolyn Noble, 6,849 votes; and Meagan Hill, with 6, 835 votes.
Of the remaining votes, 6,549 votes went to Harris Ng; 6,069 went to Lindsay Baker; 5,802 went to Sandeep Chada; 5,432 went to Nicholas Haugen; 4,253 went to Lauren Wilson; and 3,493 votes went to Jim Baker.
Kolin, Hill, Ng and Lindsay Baker had run for office as a slate, and as a group pulled together just over $31,000 in campaign donations, which included a $10,000 loan by Ng to his campaign, according to pre-election campaign finance reports filed with the county.
.Wilson, considered the candidate representing far right groups involved in school board elections amidst the culture wars, amassed over $13,000 in campaign donations, including a $500 donation from a GOP political action committee, according to pre-election reports filed with the county clerk's office.
County, local millages and issues
Voters in Oakland County, with 78 percent of precincts reporting, approved a proposal, 293,141-222,782, to authorize a .95-mill tax for 10 years that will expand mass transit on a county-wide basis. Past efforts to gain support for a county-wide mass transit had failed mainly due to opposition from the more rural areas of the county.
As it was originally proposed, the new mass transit tax would replace the one-mill levy paid by most county communities each year for SMART mass transit service. Currently, not all communities participate in the SMART system because of the ability for individual communities to opt out of the system and the tax. The proposed new county mass transit millage plan does not allow communities to opt out ,which became an issue with more rural county communities which did not support the new plan. However, this new millage will cover the entire county.
Birmingham voters approved a proposed amendment to the city charter which raises the ceiling for contracts and purchases of goods without having to follow formal bidding and approval processes. In 1987 the current $6,000 ceiling was established and any purchase above that level had to go through a request for proposal process, competitive bidding and city commission approval.
The new ceiling proposed in the charter amendment was $75,000. Any expenditure above that level would have to go through the formal process of competitive bidding and approval by the city commission. Voters cast 6,565 in favor of the charter change versus 3,773 votes against the change.
Bloomfield Township voters were asked to approve two local millage renewals. The safety path millage renewal asked for .4511 mills renewal to continue a 70-mile safety path network connecting it to neighboring communities, providing residents walkable access to destinations within the township and outdoor fitness. Residents approved the millage, 63 percent to 37 percent, with all precincts reporting, to continue building and maintaining safety paths in the township.
The second millage question, for the Senior Services millage renewal and increase, asked for a renewal of the senior services millage of .2273 mills and to increase the millage by .1027 mills, for a total millage rate of .3300 mills for 10 years. The senior center is open to all residents over the age of 50 – and more than 50 percent of Bloomfield Township residents are over 50. Voters gave a thumbs up to renewing and increasing the millage for the senior center, 67 percent to 33 percent.