Election Handbook: Candidate Q&As, Ballot Measures and Voter Guides
Find answers to your Aug. 7 primary elections questions here.
The Aug. 7 primary election is now less than 24 hours away, and that means one thing for West Bloomfield residents: prepare to participate in democracy.
Remember, the primary is partially closed, meaning voters can only choose candidates in either the Republican or Democrat section of the partisan ballot. Check here for more information about voting in Aug. 7 primary.
Here's a look at some of the candidates and issues that you will see on your ballot:
Most candidates participated in a League of Women Voters Oakland area-sponsored forum, which you can view online at civiccentertv.com.
- Township Supervisor: In what some have called a campaign frought with conflict, the Democrat, incumbent, first-termer Michele Economou Ureste takes on former Ferndale Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Warshay, Robert Egren, and Republican write-in candidate Dennis Thomson.
- Township Clerk: Another heated campaign sees the Democrat, incumbent, first-term Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy go up against first-time candidate Neha Patel.
- Township Treasurer: Current Trustee Gene Farber seeks to take the treasury's spot from Democrat, incumbent, first-termer Teri Adelberg Weingarden.
- Trustee candidates: Incumbents Howard Rosenberg, Larry Brown, and Steven Kaplan, all Democrats, defend their spots against Al Zara, Jeremy Kaplan, Gerald J. Sukenic, Hartley Harris, Diane Rosenfeld Swimmer, Tom Pustelak, and Anna Janek (write-in).
- Oakland County Executive: L. Brooks Patterson will seek another term. He will be challenged by Republican E. Wadsworth Sherrod III in the primary. Kevin Howley of Huntington Woods is the Democratic candidate.
- Oakland County Sheriff: Mike Bouchard will seek another term. He will be challenged by Republican James Stevens of Rochester Hills in the primary. Jane Felice Boudreau is the Democratic candidate.
- Oakland County Prosecutor: Mike Bishop, the Republican former Senate Majority Leader from Rochester, will challenge Democratic incumbent Jessica Cooper, of Franklin.
- Oakland County Clerk: Democrat Lisa Brown of West Bloomfield will challenge Bill Bullard, the Republican incumbent.
- Oakland County Treasurer: Republican Marty Knollenberg will challenge Democrat Andy Meisner.
- Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner: Republican John McCulloch will seek another term. Democrats Mark Danowski and Jim Nash will face off in the primary.
Because of redistricting, West Bloomfield now falls into three different County Commission districts.
- District 5: Incumbent John Scott, a Republican from Waterford, will face Democrat Alexandria T. Riley of Sylvan Lake in November.
- District 7: Incumbent Christine Long, a Republican from Commerce, will face Democrat Paul Caradonna of Commerce in November.
- District 13: Incumbent Marcia Gershenson, a Democrat from Bloomfield Hills, faces Al Zaparackas of Farmington Hills in November.
Incumbent U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for one of two Senate seats.
District 9: Due to redistricting, 9th District U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) is now running in the 14th District. West Bloomfield Township is now in the newly redrawn 9th district, Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin is running unopposed in the Aug. 7 primary, while Gregory Dildilian, of Royal Oak, and Don Volaric, of Clinton Twp., vie for the Republican nomination.
District 11: With the implosion of incumbent U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's re-election campaign following a failed presidential bid and a petition-signature scandal, the path to the newly drawn 11th District is wide open.
The district now includes voters from Wayne and Oakland counties, including those in West Bloomfield, beginning in January. There are currently five candidates for the open seat: Republican Kerry Bentivolio, a war veteran, reindeer farmer and teacher from Milford; Nancy Cassis of Novi, a declared write-in candidate; Syed Taj, a Canton Township board member; William F. Roberts, a political activist, and The Rev. Drexel Morton, of Canton, also a write-in.
The field for the Republican Party candidate to represent West Bloomfield in the State House is crowded. Bloomfield Hills City Commissioner Mike McCready, Oakland County Commissioner and Birmingham-based attorney David Potts, West Bloomfield attorney David Wolkinson and Birmingham Board of Education Trustee Robert Lawrence will round out the GOP side of the ticket. On the ballot for Democrats is West Bloomfield's Dorian Coston. All seek the open seat left by term-limited Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham).
The election season has been just as interesting on the west side of town, as two Democrats — Regina Strong of West Bloomfield and Pam Jackson of Commerce — will square off for the right to represent their party against the winner of a -deep Republican field including West Bloomfield residents Brad Hantler, a 21-year-old recent college graduate, and Bubba Urdan, a marketing entrepreneur turning to politics for the first time. The rest of the field rounds out with: Klint Kesto, Nicholas Kennedy, Kristine Zrinyi, and Albert Clawson.
There will be four proposals on the ballot for West Bloomfield residents:
10-year renewal for Parks and Recreation
The general operating millage rate, currently set at 0.2435 per $1,000 of taxable value on taxable property in the township and due to expire in 2013, would continue for 10 years if approved by voters.
New, 12-year millage for Parks and Recreation
Since then, he continued, the Parks and Recreation Commission has decided to take from other savings to recoup losses of $950,000 in tax revenue. The new millage proposal would add on 0.35 per $1,000 of taxable value beginning in 2013.
Parks and Recreation Director Dan Navarre said that in the wake of the 2008 market crash, the budget for operational staffing and spending has been cut by $500,000 over the past three years.
If approved by voters, a millage proposal to benefit the Art Institute Authority created by county officials would add on 0.2 mills to December 2012 property tax bills. The millage, which would expire in 2021, would cost a taxpayer owning a home with a taxable value of $100,000 approximately $20 a year.
- DIA Millage Proposal Raises Delicate Questions for Suburban Voters on Aug. 7
- Letter to the Editor: DIA Is a Regional Asset, Should Be Funded Regionally
If approved, this proposal would levy .59 mills on Oakland County taxpayers in 23 "opt in" communities to provide regular bus service. In some areas, SMART also offers a dial-a-ride service that brings residents to either a destination or to a regular route bus.
At the Michigan Secretary of State, you can:
- Determine if you are registered to vote
- Find your polling location
- Contact your local election official
- Learn to use your voting equipment
- Find answers to frequently asked questions
- View your sample ballot
- There's still time to drop off your absent voter ballot at Town Hall. If you haven't turned in your ballot, you can still vote at your precinct on election day.
- A new state law eliminates the requirement to have instructions printed on your ballot. Instructions will be inserted into a plastic pouch that will be placed on the outside of your ballot's secrecy sleeve.
Stories on campaign contributions
- Letters to the editor on West Bloomfield Patch
- The Spinal Column Newsweekly (endorsements for township, county, state and national races)
- The Detroit News (county, state, national)
- The Detroit Free Press (county, state, national)
- League of Women Voters Oakland area questionnaires
Patch local editors Art Aisner and Joni Hubred-Golden contributed to this report.