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Senate OKs moving Oakland County election to 2018

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday approved changing the election of the Oakland County executive position to gubernatorial election years, aligning Oakland County with the terms for the executive positions in Wayne and Macomb counties.

Senate Bill 110 would require a special two-year term in 2017 and 2018 to realign the four-year term to begin after the next gubernatorial election. Republican Oakland Executive L. Brooks Patterson said in June 2014 he would run for re-election in 2016.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 25-11 in favor of the legislation, mostly along party lines as Democrats protested the bill.

Sen. Dave Robertson, a Grand Blanc Township Republican who represents part of northern Oakland County, said the county executive positions in the tri-counties should be elected on the same schedule.

“I feel what’s good for the Wayne and Macomb county goose is good for the Oakland County gander,” Robertson said on the Senate floor.

Democrats contend the legislation is an attempt help Republicans elect a successor to longtime Executive Patterson, the 76-year-old who has held the county’s top job since 1993.

Patterson spokesman Bill Mullan said the county executive supports the legislation.

“This legislation gets him in sync with the other county executive elections,” Mullan said. “No matter which election cycle he’s on, County Executive Patterson is focused on creating jobs in the knowledge-based economy, maintaining a balanced three-year budget, being on the leading-edge of technology and improving quality of life.”

The bill now heads to the Michigan House for consideration.

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