Oakland County Executive David Coulter has secured a full, four-year term as county executive while four other Democrats clinch countywide elected office
In addition to Coulter, other Democrats elected and re-elected to countywide positions included Karen McDonald elected prosecutor, Lisa Brown reelected clerk/register of deeds, Jim Nash reelected water resources commissioner, and Robert Wittenberg elected treasurer.
Coulter said he’s full of gratitude to the voters. He believes that his message and vision resonated with voters including expanding access to health care services through the county’s public health clinics, responding effectively to the COVID-19 response, implementing the Oakland80 workforce talent initiative, and continuing responsible fiscal practices.
“In the end, they always get the final say,” he said. “I respect that and I appreciate the their confidence in the job that I’ve been doing and their willingness to give me four more years to do it. We’ve laid out a lot of direction over the past year and a half, which I think was helpful to give the voters a chance to get to know me a little better and understand what my priorities are.”
Sheriff Michael Bouchard was reelected to a fifth consecutive term. He remains the only Republican holding top elected office in Oakland County.
McDonald said stepping down as circuit court judge to run for prosecutor was a “big risk” and that there was “a lot at stake” for her personally, but even more so the county. She said her campaign was about exposing some flaws in the county’s criminal justice system, which “just don’t work.”
“Real common sense criminal justice reform needs to be implemented in Oakland County,” she said. “This has been the toughest 18 months of my life and I feel obviously relieved, but also very excited to do what I set out to do. I’m just a real person that wants to bring change to Oakland County. I think people want authentic and passionate leaders that are in it for the right reasons. I think that’s why my campaign was so successful. It was never about me.”
Lorie Savin also defeated Clarence Dass to win her first term as Oakland County Circuit Court judge. She’s humbled by the responsibility that the county voters have bestowed upon her, adding “I’m so incredibly thankful to every person in the community that supported me.”
“I really hope to be assigned to the family division,” she said. “That is my passion and one of the reasons I became a lawyer, which is really helping families that are going through the legal system, especially children. I just want to make it a priority that we serve those families that are affected by unfortunate circumstances as best as we can.”
Robert Wittenberg, a state representative who defeated Republican Joe Kent, to win the treasurer’s race, said he’s very thankful to everyone who voted in Oakland County.
“I look forward to representing everyone in the county as treasurer,” he said. “I thank Joe Kent for running a very positive campaign. I look forward to the work that we’re going to have to do. Elections aren’t about a single day or result, it’s about where we are going to go moving forward for our communities. I want to make sure I’m really proactive so people know what resources are available to them and that people can stay in our community.”
As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, all 506 of the county’s voting precincts were reporting full, unofficial results.
Here are the unofficial election results for the county’s top elected positions. All positions have four-year terms with the exception of circuit court judge, which is a six-year term.
OAKLAND COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Partial term ending 12/31/20:
- Democrat David Coulter (I): (406,777 votes)
- Republican Mike Kowall: (321,097 votes)
Full-term ending 12/31/24:
- Democrat David Coulter (I): (403,709 votes)
- Republican Mike Kowall: (321,751 votes)
Coulter, who was appointed in August 2019 to finish out the late L. Brooks Patterson’s term, is seeking his first full-term ad county executive. He served as Ferndale’s mayor from 2011 through 2019 and as a county commissioner from 2002 through 2010. During his time as Ferndale’s mayor, he also worked full-time as director of external relations for the Children’s Foundation of Michigan.
Oakland County voters will see two major party candidates on their ballot under the race for Oakland County Executive.
OAKLAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR
- Democrat Karen McDonald: (4111,817 votes)
- Republican Lin Goetz: (311,310 votes)
McDonald was elected Oakland County Circuit Court judge in November 2012 and served until April 2019 as a family court judge with a docket of divorce/custody, child abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquent matters. Prior to her service with the county, she was a private practice attorney and shareholder at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss P.C., specializing in civil and family law from 2004 through 2013. From 1999 through 2004, McDonald served as an assistant prosecuting attorney within the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office where she prosecuted child sexual assault cases, general misdemeanors, and felonies.
Oakland County voters will see two major party candidates on their ballot under the race for Oakland County prosecutor.
OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF
- Republican Michael Bouchard (I): (407,600 votes)
- Democrat Vincent Gregory: (340,903 votes)
Bouchard was appointed to the position in 1999 following the untimely death of Sheriff John Nichols in December 1998. He has been re-elected to the position four times (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016). He was elected to the State Senate in 1991 and went on to serve seven years, which included time as Senate majority floor leader. In 2006 he ran for U.S. Senate, but lost in the general election to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Three years later, he ran an unsuccessful race for governor.
Oakland County voters will see two major party candidates on their ballot under the race for Oakland County sheriff.
OAKLAND COUNTY TREASURER
- Democrat Robert Wittenberg: (387,061 votes)
- Republican Joe Kent: (332,533votes)
Oakland County voters will see two candidates on their ballot under the race for Oakland County treasurer.
OAKLAND COUNTY CLERK/REGISTER OF DEEDS
- Democrat Lisa Brown (I): (403,137 votes)
- Republican Tina Barton: (318,822 votes)
Oakland County voters will see two candidates on their ballot under the race for Oakland County clerk and register of deeds.
OAKLAND COUNTY WATER RESOURCES COMMISSIONER
- Democrat Jim Nash (I): (406,839 votes)
- Republican Jim Stevens: (311,055 votes)
Oakland County voters will see two major party candidates on their ballot under the race for Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner.
OAKLAND COUNTY 6TH CIRCUIT COURT, NON-INCUMBENT POSITION
- Clarence Dass: (220,008 votes)
- Lorie Savin: (272,756 votes)
Oakland County voters will see two candidates on their ballot under the non-incumbent race for Oakland County Circuit Court judge.
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