Editorial: Our choices in Oakland County

The Detroit News

One of the most-watched races in Oakland County is the one for county executive. In the quarter century that L. Brooks Patterson has held this office, he has proven one of the most effective politicians in Michigan. And the Republican from Waterford is still doing good work for the county and has assembled a team of capable people determined to keep county government on a positive trajectory.

We think he’s earned another term.

He faces a tough challenge in Democrat Vicki Barnett of Farmington Hills, who is a former state representative, city council member and mayor.

For county clerk, Republican Bill Bullard Jr. of Highland is challenging incumbent Democrat Lisa Brown of West Bloomfield. Bullard wants his old job back, and we think he should get it. Brown, previously in the state Legislature, is seeking a second term. Bullard is the former chairman of the commissioners, and he was appointed as clerk in 2010.

In the bid for county treasurer, Democrat incumbent Andy Meisner of Royal Oak deserves a third term as treasurer. Meisner faces Republican John McCulloch of Royal Oak, the former Oakland County water resources commissioner.

Republican Robert Buxbaum of Oak Park is running against Democrat incumbent Jim Nash of Farmington Hills for Oakland water resources commissioner. Nash gets our support for a second term.

For prosecutor, incumbent Democrat Jessica Cooper of Beverly Hills is challenged by Republican Mike Goetz of Lake Orion, and we think he should get it. A prosecutor with 20 years of experience and an assistant attorney general, Goetz has the chops to do the job well and has the support of county leaders. Cooper has focused too much on going after teens who inadvertently run afoul of child pornography laws by “sexting” with each other.

Republican incumbent Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Birmingham faces Democrat Craig Covey of Ferndale. Bouchard, a career politician, has done well managing one of the largest sheriff’s departments in the country and should get a fifth term. Covey is the former mayor of Ferndale.

In the competitive Circuit Court race, we back Lorie Savin over Victoria Valentine. Savin has served for 13 years as a referee in the Oakland Circuit Court’s Family Division. She seems well prepared to step into the open judicial seat.

Oakland County commissioners

Every district is contested, and members serve two-year terms.

District 1 (Orion Township, Orion, Lake Angelus, portions of Auburn Hills and Independence Township): Republican incumbent Michael Gingell of Clarkston is running for a sixth term. He chairs the commission, and he should get another term. Gingell faces Democrat Michelle Bryant of Lake Orion, who is a registered nurse.

District 2 (Village of Holly, and the townships of Groveland, Highland, Holly, Springfield and Rose): Republican incumbent Bob Hoffman of Highland is seeking a fourth term, and he gets our nod. Hoffman, who has a background as a contractor and farmer, says he will continue to vote as a fiscal conservative. He faces Democrat Rhonda Carr of Holly.

District 3 (Townships of Addison, Brandon, Oakland, and Oxford; villages of Ortonville, Leonard, and Oxford): Republican Michael Spisz of Oxford would like a third term, and he has our support. Michelle McClellan of Oxford is running on the Democratic side.

District 4 (Independence Township, Clarkston, and part of Waterford Township): Republican incumbent Tom Middleton of Clarkston is running for an eighth term, and he’s our pick. Democrat Phillip Reid of Clarkston is running against him.

District 5 (Keego Harbor, Village of Orchard Lake, Sylvan Lake with a portion of Waterford Township and West Bloomfield Township): This is an open seat, and Republican Tom Berman of Keego Harbor beat four other contenders in the primary and should win this time, too. An attorney, he has served on the City Council. Democrat Julia Pulver of West Bloomfield, opposes him.

District 6 (White Lake Township and a portion of Waterford): Republican incumbent Eileen Kowall of Clarkston is running for her second term, and has our vote. Democrat Kimberli Troutt of White Lake is challenging her.

District 7 (Commerce Township, West Bloomfield Township, Walled Lake & the Village of Wolverine Lake): Republican incumbent Christine Long of Commerce Twp. seeks an eighth term as a commissioner and should get it. Long is challenged by Democrat Frederick Golding of Commerce.

District 8 (South Lyon, Wixom, Lyon Charter Twp. and Milford Twp.): Republican incumbent Phil Weipert of South Lyon, who owns a law office, deserves another term. Democrat Roland Schneider of Milford is running against him.

District 9 (Novi, Northville and the Township of Novi): GOP incumbent Hugh Crawford of Novi is running for his second term, and the former state representative has our support. He’s facing Democrat Colleen Crossey of Novi.

District 10 (Pontiac): Democrat incumbent David Bowman of Pontiac seeks a second term and he gets our nod. On the Republican side, David Foster of Pontiac is running.

District 11 (southern portion of Rochester Hills, northern portion of Troy and a portion of Auburn Hills): Incumbent Robert Gosselin isn’t seeking a sixth term, and we recommend Republican Doug Tietz of Troy to replace him. He has served on the City Council. Democrat Bob Storc of Rochester Hills is his opponent.

District 12 (Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham): Republican incumbent Shelley Goodman Taub of Bloomfield Hills seeks a fifth term and is our top choice. Democrat Charles Gaba of Bloomfield Hills is her opponent.

District 13 (West Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Township and Farmington Hills): Democrat incumbent Marcia Gershenson of Bloomfield Hills has our support over Republican Michelle Dinardo of Farmington Hills. Gershenson is in her sixth term.

District 14 (Farmington Hills, Farmington, Southfield Township, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Franklin): Republican incumbent Bill Dwyer of Farmington Hills is our choice. The former police commissioner for the Warren Police Department seeks a fourth term. He faces Democrat William Miller III of Farmington Hills.

District 15 (Rochester and a large portion of Rochester Hills): Republican incumbent Adam Kochenderfer was appointed by the board last year, and we think the Rochester Hills attorney deserves voter support. Democrat Mary Ward of Rochester Hills, a retired teacher, is also running.

District 16 (Clawson, Troy and a portion of Royal Oak): Republican incumbent Wade Fleming of Troy, should get a second term. He faces Democrat Charles Salgat of Troy, who is involved with local politics.

District 17 (Southfield, Lathrup Village and Oak Park): Democrat incumbent Nancy Quarles has held her office since 2010, and she should get another term. Republican David Cuttner of Southfield is her opponent.

District 18 (Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Oak Park and the Charter Township of Royal Oak): Democrat incumbent Helaine Zack of Huntington Woods is seeking another term, and she has our support. She faces Republican Steven Zimberg of Huntington Woods.

District 19 (Berkley and Royal Oak): Democrat David Woodward of Royal Oak seeks a seventh term and he’s our top choice. Republican Michael Ryan of Royal Oak, a dentist, is challenging him.

District 20 (Madison Heights, Pleasant Ridge, Troy and Royal Oak): Incumbent Democrat Gary McGillivray of Madison Heights has served on the board since 2009, and he’s the best suited for the job. Republican David Harrell of Troy is also running.

District 21 (Southfield and Farmington Hills): Incumbent Democrat Janet Jackson of Southfield should get a fifth term. She faces Richard Van Camp of Farmington Hills.