Term-limited state Rep. Marty Knollenberg wants Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner’s job, effectively ending a nascent Congressional campaign in which he had hoped to take on U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-Orchard Lake, Waterford, West Bloomfield) in the 2012 general election.
Knollenberg, a Republican who represents Troy and Clawson in the state House and is the son of former U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, was elected to the state’s lower chamber in 2006 after serving on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and the county Parks and Recreation Commission.
He has officially filed for candidacy and said the first part of the campaign will be reaching out to the public to let them know of his bid for the county treasurer position.
Knollenberg has launched a website for a congressional campaign, martyknollenberg.com, but those original plans are now off the table given the redistricting effort that lumped his hometown of Troy into the 11th Congressional District that’s currently held by a fellow Republican, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Waterford, White Lake, Highland, Milford, Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Walled, Wixom), who is running for president.
“Kind of what I had said all along is that, to me, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to run against a Republican incumbent,” Knollenberg said. “This creates an opportunity.
“I spoke with (Oakland County Executive L.) Brooks Patterson over the last several months or so and asked him what he thought of that possibility, and he actually is endorsing me at this point,” said Knollenberg, who chairs the state House Banking and Financial Services Committee, experience which he said would serve him well as a county treasurer.
“Just the chance to work with the county executive and his team of folks, I’m pretty excited about that,” he said. “They’ve done a tremendous job of maintaining the AAA bond rating for Oakland County.”
Knollenberg characterized himself as primarily a small business owner — he runs an insurance agency and a laundromat — while calling Meisner “essentially a lifelong politician.”
“I’m very busy working to protect Oakland County property values, to prevent the harm of foreclosures, to help the county taxpayer recover our lost value with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lawsuits. I’m focused on the job at hand,” Meisner said, adding that he intends to seek a second term as the county’s treasurer. “Keeping track of which office Rep. Knollenberg is running for — which is no easy task — is a little bit beyond my area of interest.”
The county’s treasurer serves a four-year term and is currently paid $127,154 annually.