AFL-CIO President Confirms Support for Clerk Candidate
Challenger Neha Patel refutes incumbent's claim of misleading public in Patch interview.
A late-arriving endorsement and a website not being updated with the latest information is to blame for a situation leading to West Bloomfield Township Clerk candidates trading barbs prior to the Aug. 7 primary.
As a challenger to the incumbent Cathy Shaughnessy, Neha Patel claimed in an interview with Patch which published Tuesday to be endorsed by the AFL-CIO union group based in Metro Detroit.
However, list of endorsements on detroitaflcio.org did not indicate endorsements for Patel or any other candidate for the Township Board of Trustees at the time the story on Patch was published.
Shaughnessy pointed out the error in a press release Tuesday, claiming to have called the AFL-CIO office with a negative response to the question of whether Patel had been endorsed.
"The Township Clerk runs every election in the community and must be honest," Shaughnessy wrote. "My opponent’s claim about receiving the AFL-CIO endorsement demonstrates poor judgment and questionable integrity. ... She has misled voters."
Patel told Patch in reply that she feels "tired of the negative press."
"I'm a good citizen, I'm running to have change in West Bloomfield so we don't have these politics," she said. "It's time we hear positive things about the township."
On Tuesday afternoon, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO President Chris Michalakis indicated support for Patel, along with incumbents Michele Economou Ureste, Teri Weingarden, and Steven Kaplan, running again as Supervisor, Treasurer, and Trustee, respectively.
"We made the endorsement probably 1-2 weeks ago, and I just e-mailed them to let them know," Michalakis said. "We were just late in the process."
"We think that they're the best choices to represent working families in West Bloomfield and they seem committed to working for working people."
For more on the 2012 election in West Bloomfield, visit its Topic Page on Patch.