Lisa Brown’s political path is now decided after months of speculation about what she would do following the redistricting process for the state Legislature that made her 39th state House District lean Republican.
Brown, whose current state House district represents West Bloomfield, Commerce, and Wolverine Lake, has announced that she will run for Oakland County clerk/register of deeds, a job currently held by Republican Bill Bullard, Jr.
“Elected officials should be public servants before being politicians,” Brown said in a press release announcing her candidacy. “The county clerk in Oakland County is on the front line for not just protecting, but promoting integrity and customer service in county government. It’s time we have a clerk who puts the public before politics.”
“It is unacceptable that our county clerk, in his own words, encouraged legislative leaders in Lansing to sidestep public input, while orchestrating one of the most blatantly partisan undertakings we have seen ever seen in Michigan — let alone Oakland County,” said Brown, referring to e-mails between Republican officials and lobbyists released last month related to the passage of Public Act 280 of 2011, which gave redistricting power for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners to that Republican-controlled body after the Oakland County Reapportionment Commission helmed by Democrats approved new district lines a year ago.
“It’s clearly a problem that Bill Bullard takes his role as a Republican political operative more seriously than serving the public as clerk,” Brown said.
Bullard fired back with the following statement:
“I welcome Rep. Brown to the race for Oakland County Clerk. I am very proud of the accomplishments of my first year and half in office such as our new efforts to improve access and convenience for Oakland County residents through enhanced online services. I look forward to debating Rep. Brown on our very different views of how this office can best serve the public.
“One of the most important jobs of the Oakland County Clerk is to safeguard honest and fair elections,” Bullard added. “I think Rep. Brown could show her commitment to election integrity by first returning the campaign donations she received in the past from two … election fraud felons, Michael McGuiness ($525 in 2009) and Jason Bauer ($250 in 2009). This would send a strong signal that she wouldn’t let this office be abused by the gamesmanship of Oakland County Democrats to purposefully confuse voters and manipulate our elections.”
Brown announced her decision to run for the four-year position that pays $138,999 annually yesterday, Tuesday, April 17.
Tim Burns, a former Democratic county commissioner from Clawson, also announced he is running for the clerk/register of deeds position.
Brown is serving her second of three possible terms in the state House.