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Editorial: Our choices for Oakland County

The Detroit News Editorial Board

Oakland County voters will nominate general election candidates for a variety of races in the Aug. 4 primary. Here are The Detroit News’ recommendations. 

County executive

Dave Coulter was appointed by the county commission to fill out the remainder of L. Brooks Patterson's term after the death of the longtime county executive. Coulter, the former mayor of Ferndale, has displayed a fairly steady hand in the interim role, and has earned the opportunity to vie for a full term. He faces Treasurer Andy Meisner in the Democratic Primary. 

Two Republicans are seeking the nomination. Former state Sen. Mike Kowall's deep experience and free market vision for Oakland County make him the better choice over Jeffrey Nutt, a Troy attorney.

Oakland County voters will nominate general election candidates for a variety of races in the Aug. 4 primary.

Clerk

Incumbent Lisa Brown is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Of the two Republicans seeking the nomination, Rochester Hills Clerk Tina Barton gets the nod over Patrick Wilson of Bloomfield Hills, a criminal defense attorney.

Prosecutor

Incumbent Jessica Cooper is being challenged by Karen McDonald, a former circuit court judge and assistant prosecutor. Cooper has earned the opposition. She has not set the right priorities for her office, focusing on offenses such as teen texting over more serious public safety issues. McDonald will bring a better vision to the office, if elected, and should get the nomination. Lin Goetz, a Lake Orion attorney, is unopposed on the Republican ballot.

Sheriff

Longtime Sheriff Mike Bouchard is unopposed for the Republican nomination in his bid for a sixth term. Three Democrats are seeking to challenge him. Vincent Gregory, a former state senator and retired Wayne County Sheriff's detective, is the better choice over Barnett Jones, a retired Oakland County Sheriff's captain. Jones was involved in a double-dipping controversy for collecting paychecks from both the city of Flint and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Waterford resident Randy Maloney is also on the Democratic ballot.

Treasurer

Andy Meisner's decision to run for county executive leaves that office open. On the Democratic ballot, term-limited state Rep. Robert Wittenberg, who served on the House tax policy and financial liability reform committees, is the better choice over Madison Heights City Councilman Robert Corbett Jr., a real estate agent. Among the Republican hopefuls, Susan Anderson, a bookkeeper and treasurer of the Oakland Community College Board of Trustees, is the choice over Oxford businessman Joe Kent.

Water commissioner

Incumbent Jim Nash is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. Of the  Republicans, Robert Buxbaum, a Michigan State chemical engineering professor, should be nominated over Jim Stevens of Rochester Hills and Steven Johnson of Highland Township.

Congress

8th District (Western Oakland County): First term Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Holly is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Four Republicans are hoping to unseat her.  Paul Junge of Brighton, a former federal immigration official, is the best choice in a Republican field that includes Mike Detmer of Howell, an auto dealership employee; Marine veteran Alan Hoover of Ortonville, and attorney Krystina Lyke of Fowlerville.

9th District (southeastern Oakland County): Incumbent Rep. Andy Levin is unopposed for a second term in the Democratic primary. Gabi Grossbard of Southfield is the preferred choice among the Republican challengers over Charles Langworthy of Roseville.

11th District (western Oakland County, western Wayne County): First term incumbent Rep. Haley Stevens is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Five Republicans are seeking the Republican nomination. Of the group, the preference is Eric Esshaki, a Birmingham nurse and business attorney, over former Congressman Kerry Bentivolio of Milford, Carmelita Greco of Northville and Whittney Williams of Canton.

14th District (southern Oakland County, Detroit): Incumbent Rep. Brenda Lawrence faces a challenge from Detroiter Terrance Morrison. She should be renominated. Of her Republican challengers, Daryle Houston of Southfield, a former Wayne County assistant prosecutor, gets the endorsement over Robert Vance Patrick, a Southfield contractor.

State House

26th District (Royal Oak and vicinity): Democratic incumbent Rep. Jim Ellison is unopposed. Neither of the two Republicans, Barbara Barber of Madison Heights and Chris Meister of Royal Oak, returned our questionnaire.

27th District (Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge and vicinity): Eight Democrats are competing for this open seat. We recommend social worker Matt Stoel over Crystal Bailey of Oak Park, Kevin Kresch of Hazel Park, Robert Lathrop of Berkley, Dan Tuck of Hazel Park, Martin Tutwiler of Oak Park, Regina Weiss of Oak Park and Kelli Williams of Oak Park. Republican Elizabeth Goss is running unopposed.

29th District (Pontiac, Auburn Hills and vicinity): Incumbent Rep. Brenda Carter of Pontiac is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Neither of the Republicans, Vernon Molnar of Auburn Hills and Dave Sullivan of Orchard Lake, returned our questionnaire. 

35th District (Southfield, Franklin and vicinity.) Incumbent Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden of Southfield should get the Democratic nomination over challenger Shadia Martini of Franklin. Daniela Davis of Beverly Hills is unopposed for the Republican nomination. 

37th District (Farmington Hills): Randy Bruce, a psychologist from Farmington Hills, should get the Democratic nomination over Michael Bridges and Samantha Steckloff, both also of Farmington Hills. Republican Mitch Swoboda is unopposed.

38th District (Novi, Northville): Novi City Council member Kelly Breen is preferred over Megan McAllister of Northville in the Democratic primary. On the Republican side, tech entrepreneur Sreenivas Cherukuri of Novi is the choice over Chase Turner of Northville and Krista Spencer of Novi.

39th District (West Bloomfield and vicinity): Republican incumbent Rep. Ryan Berman of Union Lake is unopposed, as is his Democratic challenger Julia Pulver of West Bloomfield.

40th District (Birmingham, Bloomfield): Both Democratic incumbent Rep. Mari Manoogian of Birmingham and her Republican challenger, Kendra Cleary of Bloomfield Hills, are unopposed. 

41st District: (Troy): Democratic incumbent Rep. Padma Kuppa is unopposed. On the Republican ballot, finance executive Andrew Sosnoski, is the choice over Evan Agnello. All are from Troy. 

43rd District (Clarkston) Both Republican incumbent Rep. Andrea Schroeder and her Democratic challenger, Nicole Breadon, are unopposed. Both are from Clarkston. 

44th District (Milford) Republican incumbent Rep. Matt Maddock is unopposed, as is his Democratic challenger, Denise Forrest. Both are from Milford.

45th District (Rochester, Rochester Hills): Brendan Johnson of Rochester, who has a background in non-profits, is the preferred Democrat over Barb Anness of Rochester HIlls. Mark Tisdel is running unopposed on the Republican ticket.

46th District (Oxford and vicinity): Republican incumbent Rep. John Reilly of Oakland and his Democratic opponent, Jody LaMacchia of Oxford, are running unopposed.

51st District (Flushing and vicinity): Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Mueller of Linden is unopposed. Of the Democrats, Brad May of Fenton, a mental health professional, is the choice over Conner Wallace of Flushing. 

Endorsements are determined independently by The Detroit News Editorial Board and have no influence on news coverage.