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On the Ballot: Who's Running for Office in Oakland County

Patch is giving voters a look at who's running in the Aug. 7 primary, happening Tuesday.

Birmingham's August primary happens tomorrow, and there's a lot of issues and candidates on the ballot.

As you prepare to go to the polls tomorrow, Patch wants to help you get a final grasp on who's running, what they stand for and what issues are on the table.

Oakland County Executive

Birmingham will be voting for new county executive this November. County executives serve four-year terms. On Tuesday, voters will vote for either a Republican or Democrat.

Republicans

L. Brooks Patterson

  • Residence: Clarkston
  • Occupation/Elected experience: Patterson has served as Oakland County Executive for the past 19 years.
  • What are the top three priorities for county executive: "L. Brooks Patterson's three primary issues are jobs, jobs and more jobs. Before the Great Recession, Patterson had a vision to diversify Oakland County's economy from manufacturing to knowledge-based jobs."

E. Wadsworth Sherrod

  • Residence: West Bloomfield
  • Occupation/Elected experience: Sherrod is currently attending Birmingham's Bible School.
  • What are the top three priorities for county executive: Sherrod says he wants to "help smaller communities operate and put them back on track," is looking to expand county resources and providing funding for high school graduates to go to community college and find jobs.

Democrats

Kevin Howley

  • Residence: Huntington Woods
  • Occupation/Elected experience: With a MBA from Harvard Business School and a Masters in Public Policy, Howley has worked in management for small businesses since 2004. From 1986-2003, Howley was an executive for several international companies.
  • What are the top three priorities for county executive: According to Howley, Oakland County needs: neighborhood and property value stabilization, diversification in the county economy and to be made a destination of choice throughout Michigan.

County Commissioner — 12th District

Birmingham will be voting for a new county commissioner in November. The district's current commissioner, . County commissioners serve two-year terms. On Tuesday, voters will vote for either a Republican or Democrat.

Republicans

Shelley Goodman Taub

  • Residence: Bloomfield Hills
  • Occupation: Taub served in "business management" for 30 years prior to entering public service.
  • Elected experience: Taub served as a state representative for four years and an Oakland County commissioner for 14 years.
  • What are the top three priorities for county commissioners: Taub's prioties are the budget — "A Commissioner's main job is fiduciary" — jobs (particularly "re-tooling" the county's workforce) and infrastructure. "The role of government is to fund that which individuals cannot. Roads and sewers fall into that category."

Democrats

Paul Secrest

  • Residence: Bloomfield Hills
  • Occupation: Secrest worked for 27 years in the purchasing department at Chrysler. Currently works part-time at an investment advisory firm and in automotive consulting.
  • Elected experience: n/a
  • What are the top three priorities for county commissioners: Secret is focusing on jobs — "My primary reason for running for a County Commissioner position is to help head off this very serious threat" —, roads and outsourcing. "The County must have the option to outsource, but the County needs to use outsourcing only as a last resort — both parties lose with an outsource."

Prosecuting Attorney

Voters in Birmingham will be elected a new prosecuting attorney this November. Prosecutors serve four-year terms. On Tuesday, voters will vote for either a Republican or Democrat.

Republicans

Mike Bishop

  • Residence: Rochester
  • Occuapation: Bishop currently practices law at his private practice and is an adjunct Professor of Law.
  • Elected experience: Bishop has served in the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate.
  • What are the top three priorities for the prosecuting attorney: Oakland County's prosecuting attorney must ensure justice, Bishop says, protect families and collaborate with others. "The duty of the Prosecutor is to ensure justice, which means not only being tough on crime, but aggressively representing victims of crime and their families with respect and compassion." 

Democrats

Jessica Cooper

  • Residence: Franklin
  • Occupation: Before being elected to the prosecutor's office, Cooper served as a judge in Michigan's district and circuit courts, as well as the Michigan Court of Appeals.
  • Elected experience: Cooper was elected Oakland County Prosecutor in 2008.
  • What are the top three priorities for the prosecuting attorney: Cooper says key to the prosecuting attorney is safety of the community, professionalism, ethics and fairness and using the office's resources economically and effectively. "Cutting expenses without cutting personnel to maintain productivity and a high conviction rate." 

Oakland County Sheriff

In November, voters will elect a new sheriff to serve a four-year term. On Tuesday, voters will vote for either a Republican or Democrat.

Republicans

Michael Bouchard

  • Residence: Birmingham
  • Occupation: Before being elected to the county sheriff's office, Bouchard was a police officer for 25 years.
  • Elected experience: Bouchard currently serves as the Oakland County Sheriff and has also served a state senator.
  • What are the top three priorities for the county sheriff: "For the county as a whole, my priorities would be public safety, economic development and education. Those three components often mean the difference between a community's success or failure."

James Stevens

  • Residence: Rochester Hills
  • Occupation/Elected experience: Stevens did not provide biographical information.
  • What are the top three priorities for the county sheriff: Stevens said he wants to get tough on crime and drugs, place more patrols in the county's neighborhoods and create a new crime hotline to get guns off the street. 

Jane Felice Boudreau, a Democrat from West Bloomfield, did not respond to a questionnaire from the League of Women Voters ahead of Tuesday's primary.

Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds

Voters in Birmingham and throughout Oakland County will vote for a new county clerk, to serve a four-year term. On Tuesday, voters will vote for either a Republican or Democrat.

Republicans

Bill Bullard

  • Residence: Highland
  • Occupation/Elected experience: Bullard currently serves as the Oakland County Clerk.
  • What are the top three priorities for the county clerk: According to Bullard, protecting taxpayers, protecting property rights and maintain integrity in elections are his top three priorities. "In these tough times, all of us must be a part of the solution. That is why I voluntarily cut my own pay to share the burden and have worked tirelessly to find ways to do more with less."

Democrats

Lisa Brown

  • Residence: West Bloomfield
  • Occupation/Elected experience: Brown has served in the Michigan House of Representatives since 2008. Brown is also an attorney.
  • What are the top three priorities for the county clerk: Brown said she wants to bring accessibility, integrity and transparency to the county clerk office. "I am running for Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds to bring the leadership and integrity to the Clerk's office that our residents expect and deserve."

Oakland County Treasurer

Voters will elect a new county treasurer in November, to serve a four-year term. In August, voters will vote for either one Republican or one Democrat.

Republicans

Marty Knollenberg

  • Residence: Troy
  • Occupation/Elected experience: Knollenberg has served as both a small business owner and served in the Michigan House of Representives.
  • What are the top three priorities for county treasurer: Knollenberg said he wants to help create jobs and other economic opportunities, protect home values and bring accountability to the tax code. "I will continue working to make government more transparent, more accessible, and more accountable to the taxpayers as the next Oakland County Treasurer."

Democrats

Andy Meisner

  • Residence: Huntington Woods
  • Occupation/Elected experience: Meisner, a CPA, currently serves as the Oakland County Treasurer. He has also served in the Michigan House of Representatives. 
  • What are the top three priorities for county treasurer: Meisner said he wants to continue protecting property values, fighting foreclosures and securing the county's financial future. "Oakland County has turned the corner but our work is not done, which is why I am seeking re-election."

Water Resources Commissioner

Voters will elect a new Water Resources Commissioner in November, to serve a four-year term. In August, voters will pick either one Democrat or one Republican.

Republicans

John McCulloch

  • Residence: Royal Oak
  • Occupation/Elected experience: McCulloch currently serves as the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner.
  • What are the top three priorities for the water resources commissioner: McCulloch said he wants to hold the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department accountable, try to minimize price increases and support a permanent funding mechanism to pay for aging infrastructure. "As your Water Resources Commissioner, I have taken an aggressive approach on issues such as greater security measures to protect the state's water supply."

Democrats

Mark Danowski

  • Residence: Davisburg
  • Occupation/Elected experience: Danowski has served as the operation manager of a computer communications company and has worked with various federal, state and county environmental agencies. He worked for five years in the Water Resources Commissioner's office.
  • What are the top three priorities for the water resources commissioner: Danowski said he will seek a second source for the county's water, outside of the city of Detroit, while also working to solve storm and waste water overflow. "The (water resources commissioner's) office is a poorly run and wasteful operation. I will streamline operations to create efficiency."

Jim Nash

  • Residence: Farmington Hills
  • Occupation/Elected experience: Nash has served as an Oakland County Commissioner for eight years.
  • What are the top three priorities for the water resources commissioner: "As Water Resources Commissioner, I will do all I can to ensure fracking does not harm our water resources. ... I will work for a regional answer to this through inter-governmental cooperation, industry, academia, sustainability experts and citizens."

Information provided by the Oakland County League of Women Voters. For more, visit the League's Voter Guides.

james.stevensforsheriff August 06, 2012 at 01:30 PM
James Stevens is running for Oakland County Sheriff. 1. Number one objective is to make Oakland county citizens safe. How will I do that, I plan to set up a good citizen hotline directly to me, citizens will be rewarded with money and prizes which would be from private funding. 2. I plan to start Big Jim's Boot Camp to open up Jail space. which would be funded by myself and private funding and not the tax payers. 3. Cut cost save tax payers more money,find ways to save , lets keep taxes Low. 4. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE RESIDENTS NOT BE OUSTED FROM THERE HOMES DUE TO BANKING ISSUES , RATHER SEE THAT FAMILIES GET HELP TO KEEP THERE HOMES AS WELL. RATHER THAN SHERIFF'S THROWING PEOPLE TO THE STREETS, SO I WOULD DONATE 10% OR MORE OF MY SALARY TO HELP FAMILIES OUT. 5. Reward officers for there work, bonuses given thru out the year from my personal fund and not the tax payers.

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