More than 661,000 ballots were cast in yesterday’s Tuesday, Nov. 6 general election in Oakland County, representing a 71 percent turnout among eligible voters, and there were quite a few shockwaves sent through the local political establishment as two Republican mainstays of county government were ousted and a longtime Waterford Township chief executive was given the boot.
What follows is a breakdown of last night’s election results, starting at the top of the local ticket.
The following results are considered unofficial until certified by the Board of Canvassers.
11th Congressional District
Milford Republican Kerry Bentivolio, a Tea Party favorite, took home 117,758 votes to Canton Township Democrat Dr. Syed Taj’s 95,353 votes in Oakland County, meaning that the former teacher and veteran of the Vietnam and Iraq wars earned a two-year term in Congress paying $174,000 per year, according to unofficial results from the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.
Bentivolio succeeds former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter in the 11th Congressional District — which represents Waterford, West Bloomfield, White Lake, Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Walled Lake, Wixom, Milford, White Lake, and Highland — in the 113th Congress, but he was beaten by Democrat David A. Curson of Belleville to fill the remainder of McCotter’s term.
14th Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-Orchard Lake, Waterford, West Bloomfield) handily earned another term, this time representing the new 14th Congressional District, which represents Orchard Lake and West Bloomfield.
Peters, first elected to Congress in 2008, easily dispatched Republican John Hauler, capturing 121,915 votes in Oakland County, with a scant 31,376 going to Hauler, Peters’ nearest challenger.
Peters fended off a spate of Democratic challengers in the Aug. 7 primary election, including U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, to go on to the general election, eventually netting the two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives paying $174,000.
29th state House of Representatives District
State Rep. Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) has easily won a full two-year term in the state’s lower legislative chamber after trouncing Republican Brian Stebick in Tuesday’s general election, capturing 76 percent of the vote (25,584 votes) to Stebick’s 22.3 percent (7,470 votes).
State representatives earn about $71,000 per year.
38th state House of Representatives District
State Rep. Hugh Crawford (R-Walled Lake, Wixom) has earned his third and final term in the state House of Representatives in a new district representing Walled Lake in the lakes area.
Crawford, of Novi, came home with a 19-point win over Democrat Chuck Tindall, taking 59 percent of the vote (26,478 votes) to Tindall’s 41 percent (18,253 votes), according to unofficial results from the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office.
39th state House of Representatives District
In a surprisingly tight race between Republican Klint Kesto and Democrat Pam Jackson, Kesto secured a two-year term in the state House of Representatives with 53 percent of the vote to Jackson’s 46 percent.
Kesto will, in the new 39th state House District, represent Commerce, West Bloomfield, Wixom and Wolverine Lake.
40th state House of Representatives District
Bloomfield Hills City Commission member Michael D. McCready handily won a two-year term in the state’s lower legislative chamber over West Bloomfield Democrat Dorian Coston, taking 57 percent of the vote (31,915 votes) to Coston’s 40 percent (22,771 votes), according to unofficial results from the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office.
The new 40th state House of Representatives District represents Orchard Lake in the lakes area, although the majority of the district is situated in the Birmingham and Bloomfield region east of Telegraph.
Libertarian Steve Burgis captured 2 percent of the vote.
43rd state House of Representatives District
State Rep. Gail Haines (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield) has for a second time defeated Neil Billington, earning her third and final term in the state House.
Billington challenged Haines in the 2010 Republican primary election and lost handily. This time around, Haines again cruised past the Waterford Democrat, taking 60 percent of the vote (26,552 votes) to Billington’s 39 percent (17,149 votes), according to unofficial results that still have to be certified by the Board of Canvassers.
44th state House of Representatives District
State Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake, Highland) dispatched of Democrat Tom Crawford of Milford in yesterday’s general election, taking 63 percent of the vote (29,775 votes) to Crawford’s 33 percent (15,743 votes) to earn her third and final term in the state House, according to unofficial results.
Libertarian Scott Poquette took 4 percent of the vote (1,901 votes).
Oakland County Executive
L. Brooks Patterson has earned a sixth four-year term as Oakland County executive after defeating Democrat Kevin Howley, 57 percent (352,318 votes) to 43 percent (267,108 votes), unofficial results show.
Oakland County Prosecutor
County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper will be the county’s top lawyer for another four years after handing Rochester Republican Mike Bishop, the former state Senate majority leader, a 52-45 defeat.
Cooper took 311,916 votes to Bishop’s 274,086 votes, according to unofficial results from the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office.
Oakland County Sheriff
Michael Bouchard, a Republican, has earned another term as Oakland County sheriff by defeating a familiar face in Democrat Jane Felice Boudreau, 59-41.
Bouchard received 364,385 votes to Felice Boudreau’s 252,066 votes.
Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds
Highland Township Republican Bill Bullard, Jr. (272,592 votes) will be looking for another job in a few months after he suffered a 53-46 defeat to Democratic challenger state Rep. Lisa Brown (313,391 votes), whose House district represents West Bloomfield, Commerce and Wolverine Lake.
Brown forgoes her third and final term in the state House of Representatives to become the county’s top elections official.
Oakland County Treasurer
Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner successfully fended off a challenge from term-limited state Rep. Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy).
Meisner, first elected to the post in 2008 after defeating Republican Pat Dohany, took 53 percent of the vote (319,859 votes) to Knollenberg’s 46 percent (277,149 votes).
Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner
John P. McCulloch, the long-time Republican county water resources commissioner, succumbed to a challenge from county Commissioner Jim Nash (D-Farmington Hills) in one of the closer races in the county.
McCulloch, a former state lawmaker and Board of Commissioners chairman, received 49 percent of the vote (285,446 votes) to Nash’s 50 percent (292,889 votes).
2nd Oakland County Board of Commissioners District
Incumbent Republican Oakland County Commissioner Bob Hoffman has won another two-year term on the county board as the 2nd District Commissioner, representing Highland Township in the lakes area.
Hoffman captured 16,435 votes (62.26 percent). Democrat Sherlynn Everly garnered 9,862 votes (37.36 percent).
County commissioners currently are paid $32,093 per year.
4th Oakland County Board of Commissioners District
Incumbent Oakland County Commissioner Tom Middleton (R-Waterford) has earned another term on the county board, handing Democrat Phillip Reid a 61-38 defeat.
Middleton took 16,863 votes to Reid’s 10,531 votes, according to unofficial tallies.
5th Oakland County Board of Commissioners District
County Commissioner John A. Scott (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield) defeated Democrat Alexandria T. Riley in yesterday’s general election with 54 percent of the vote (15,202 votes) to Riley’s 41 percent (11,706 votes), according to unofficial results.
Also receiving votes was independent John C. Scott (4 percent, 1,173 votes), who is facing an election fraud charge for his alleged role in an apparent scheme to siphon votes away from the incumbent Scott.
7th Oakland County Board of Commissioners District
Republican incumbent Commissioner Christine Long has earned another two-year term to the county board in a new district that represents Commerce, Walled Lake, Wolverine Lake and a portion of West Bloomfield.
Long fended off Democrat Paul Caradonna by capturing 59 percent of the vote to Caradonna’s 41 percent. She received 16,332 votes, while Caradonna received 11,389, according to unofficial tallies.
13th Oakland County Board of Commissioners District
Democratic incumbent Marcia Gershenson, a commissioner whose district now represents West Bloomfield, has earned another term on the Board of Commissioners, unofficial election results show.
Gershenson (64 percent, or 19,432 votes) easily fended off Al Zaparackas, a Republican who received 35 percent of the vote (10,728 votes).
Commerce Township Clerk
Even though township Clerk Dan Munro said he would resign the clerk’s job if elected in the Tuesday, Nov. 6 general election to work in the private sector, voters overwhelmingly chose him over independent candidate Janet Bushey, who Munro is backing.
Munro received 66 percent of the vote (10,809 votes) to Bushey’s 33 percent (5,376 votes).
Munro has stated publicly that if he was elected, he would resign effective in January 2013 and recommend that the township Board of Trustees appoint Bushey.
Highland Township Supervisor
Republican Rick Hamill has earned a four-year term as Highland Township supervisor, according to unofficial vote totals for the township. With all eight township precincts reporting, Hamill pocketed 6,564 votes (68.9 percent), while Democrat Doug Bourgeois collected 2,930 votes (30.7 percent). The Highland Township supervisor is paid $65,691 annually.
“It’s a major relief,” Hamill said. “I fought my way through this and worked really hard for this.”
Results posted by 9 p.m. by the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds’ Elections Division showed Hamill winning all eight voting precincts in Highland Township.
Hamill, a local business owner, said while Highland Township voters have traditionally favored Republican candidates, he didn’t expect an easy win.
“The population of the township was expecting (a win), but I don’t count my chickens before they hatch,” he said during a phone interview in which a crowd of supporters could be heard cheering him from a victory party at M-59 West.
Hamill, who serves as facilities manager for the Highland Township Library and Design Committee Chairman for the Highland Downtown Development Authority, stressed a desire during his campaign to make the township more business-friendly in hopes of attracting more business to the community.
On Tuesday, Hamill said he plans to start working with employees and giving direction on the way he would like to manage the township.
“My first order of business will be to start working with the employees to show them how we can start working as a team and turn this into a fun and exciting experience,” he said.
A 16-year veteran of the Highland Township Fire Department and owner of a martial arts business for 25 years, Bourgeois stressed many of the same issues during his campaign.
Bourgeois, who was in Trenton, New Jersey Tuesday night providing disaster relief assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said he wished Hamill well in the new position.
“If he needs any help, I will help him. He knows that,” Bourgeois said.
Despite the large margin in votes, Bourgeois said he was proud of his campaign.
“I was the first person to run as a Democrat (for supervisor in a general election) in Highland Township in at least 20 years,” he said. “So many people that I talked to during the campaign didn’t even know there was a democrat running.”
Milford Township Supervisor
Incumbent Republican Milford Township Supervisor Don Green easily thwarted a challenge from independent candidate Jim Crane to earn another four-year term as the township’s chief executive officer.
Green received 74 percent of the vote (5,853 votes) to Crane’s 26 percent (2,075 votes).
Milford Skate Park Ballot Proposal
Milford voters overwhelmingly opposed a proposed 20-year millage — 0.25 mills in the first four years and 0.025 mills in the remaining 16 years — for the construction of a proposed skate garden.
Sixty-four percent (5,768 votes) opposed it and 36 percent (3,192 votes) supported it.
Waterford Township Supervisor
Republican challenger Gary Wall has knocked off incumbent Democrat Carl Solden for a four-year term as Waterford Township Supervisor.
Wall earned 16,867 votes (50.86 percent), while Solden received 16,145 votes (48.69 percent).
Waterford Township Trustee
Republican incumbent Trustee Anthony Bartolotta (15,523 votes, 13.50 percent), Republican challenger Julie Brown (15,506 votes, 13.48 percent), Democratic challenger Donna Kelley (14,555 votes, 12.65 percent), and Republican challenger Karen Joliat (14,508 votes, 12.61 percent) each won four-year terms on the township Board of Trustees.
Waterford Township Ballot Proposals
Waterford voters rejected two local ballot questions — a proposed special assessment district (SAD) to support police services, and a proposed millage for the township’s parks and recreation programs.
The police SAD was defeated with 17,289 “no” votes (51.62 percent) compared to 16,207 “yes” votes (48.38 percent); while the parks and recreation millage was rejected with 17,441 “no” votes (51.76 percent) against 16,253 “yes” votes (48.24 percent).
West Bloomfield Township Supervisor
Incumbent Democrat Michele Economou Ureste easily handled a challenge from former township supervisor David Flaisher, who ran as an independent candidate, earning a second four-year term as the township’s chief executive.
Ureste captured 67 percent of the vote (19,576 votes) to Flaisher’s 32 percent (9,310 votes).
West Bloomfield Township Trustee
There will be one new member of the West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees as Democrat Diane Rosenfeld Swimmer earned a four-year term, along with incumbent Democrats Larry Brown, Steven Kaplan and Howard Rosenberg.
Kaplan earned 22.26 percent (21,528 votes) of 96,698 votes cast, while Brown garnered (21.19 percent (20,448 votes), followed by Rosenberg with 20.70 percent (20,020 votes) and Swimmer with 20.24 percent (19,568 votes).
West Bloomfield Township Parks and Recreation Commissioner
West Bloomfield residents reelected Democrats Mervin Aronoff, Carol Hack, Margie Fiszman-Kirsch and Marc E. Jeffries to the West Bloomfield Township Parks and Recreation Commission, while also electing Sheryl L. Mitchell (Democrat), Paul Karmo (Republican) and Joe Green (Independent).
Aronoff earned 15.13 percent of 123,562 votes cast, followed by Hack with 15.07 percent, Fiszman-Kirsch with 14.72 percent, Mitchell with 14.24 percent, Jeffries with 14.04 percent, Karmo with 11.91 percent and Green with 5.43 percent.
Independents Gary Morof and Thomas Ryan Nafso were shut out of the park commissioners race with 5.18 percent and 3.96 percent of the vote respectively.
Parks and recreation commissioners serve four-year terms.
White Lake Township Supervisor
White Lake Supervisor Greg Baroni will serve four more years in his position following his victory Tuesday over Democratic challenger Michael Smith.
“Thanks for the vote and the support,” Baroni said late Tuesday. “I will do my best for the next four years and try to keep (the township) on track.”
Baroni, who was appointed to the supervisor position nearly two years ago, won the general election by a 21-percent margin. Final unofficial results from the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Election Division indicate Baroni took 60.32 percent (8,575 votes), while Smith garnered 39.28 percent (5,583 votes) of the vote total.
Smith is the deputy clerk for the city of Clawson and has served on the Walled Lake Schools Board of Education since 2010.
Baroni, reached by phone Tuesday with 11 of 12 precincts reporting, was initially hesitant to accept victory.
“I’m the type of person that never says never,” he said. “You don’t want to call a horse race until it’s over with.”
In August, Baroni narrowly defeated Republican candidate Matt Sprader during the primary election. At the time, Baroni said the race came down to absentee ballots.
Unofficial election results on Tuesday indicated Baroni took 2,977 absentee ballots, compared to Smith’s 1,776.
The township supervisor is paid $75,000 annually and serves a four-year term. He and new township trustees will be sworn into office during the boards Nov. 20 meeting.
Oakland County Circuit Court Incumbent Position
Oakland County voters saw no need for change at the Circuit Court level as five incumbents earned six-year terms on the bench over two state assistant attorneys general who came under fire for out-of-state funding benefiting their campaigns.
Incumbents Leo Bowman (15.27 percent, 234,004 votes), Phyllis McMillen (16.59 percent, 254,326 votes), Denise Langford Morris (16.99 percent, 260,373 votes), Wendy Potts (17.51 percent, 268,414 votes) and Michael Warren (16.31 percent, 249,945 votes) all earned six-year terms on the bench.
Challengers Deborah Carley (9.89 percent, 151,601 votes) and William Rollstin (6.98 percent, 106,915 votes) were the challengers.
“We are grateful for all of the support extended to the Unity Slate during this election and look forward to continuing our service to the people of Oakland County from the Circuit Court bench,” McMillen said.
Oakland County Circuit Court Non-incumbent Position
In the race to replace retiring Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick, who couldn’t run for election due to age restrictions, Karen McDonald triumphed (59 percent, 250,254 votes) over Dan Christ (40 percent, 171,141 votes) to earn a six-year term on the Circuit Court bench.
48th District Court
Incumbent Judge Diane D’Agostini had no problems fending off a challenge from attorney Josh Arnkoff to earn another six-year term serving the 48th District Court, located in Bloomfield and serving West Bloomfield Township.
D’Agostini earned 61 percent of the vote (11,035 votes) to Arnkoff’s 38 percent (6,838 votes).
51st District Court
Waterford voters retained 51st District Court Judge Jodi Debbrecht with 15,580 votes (60.41 percent). Challenger Andrea Dean received 10,052 votes (38.98 percent).
Oakland Community College Board of Trustees
In a crowded field, Pamala M. Davis (14.34 percent) and Christine Marie O’Sullivan (15.06 percent) both earned terms serving the state’s largest community college system’s Board of Trustees.
All told, there were 13 candidates. The only other candidate to break double-digits was David Trott, who earned 10.15 percvent of the vote.
Huron Valley Schools Board of Education
Former Huron Valley Schools Board of Education trustee and president Lisa Blackwell came out on top in the school board race during today’s general election. Of the two trustee seats open, Blackwell and contender Beth Lewis received the lion’s share of the vote.
Blackwell earned about 36 percent of the total vote with 27 of 29 precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. Lewis earned nearly 24 percent. Challengers Eric Wallis net approximately 21 percent, and Jerry Aubry earned nearly 20 percent.
School board members serve four-year terms and earn $30 per meeting.
Huron Valley Schools Non-homestead Millage Renewal
Voters in the district supported the proposal with 64 percent of the vote, while 36 percent opposed the 10-year renewal at 18 mills on all non-homestead properties in the district.
Walled Lake Consolidated School District Building and Site Sinking Fund Proposal
District voters approved a renewal of a 0.5-mill, 10-year building and site sinking fund levy to fund capital improvement projects at district buildings and facilities.
Sixty-one percent of district voters supported the renewal, while 39 percent voted against it.
West Bloomfield Schools Building and Site Sinking Fund Proposal
District voters shot down the West Bloomfield Schools proposal for a new building and site sinking fund levy for 10 years at a rate of 1.5 mills.
Unofficial results show that 54 percent of district voters opposed the proposal, while 46 percent of them supported it.
West Bloomfield Schools Board of Education
Julie Beaty earned a 54-46 win over John Reed to earn a four-year term on the district school board.
Beaty received 6,187 votes to Reed’s 5,298 votes, according to unofficial results.
Wixom Operating Millage Ballot Proposal
Wixom voters have overwhelmingly approved a millage increase for city operations, with 3,678 voters supporting the millage increase (60 percent), and 2,435 voting against the millage proposal (39.8 percent).
The 3.5-mill, four-year operating millage will support city operating expenses for services such as police and fire, public works, and parks and recreation services. Wixom voters scuttled an Aug. 7 primary election ballot question that would have raised the city’s charter millage cap by nearly 5 mills in perpetuity.
A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value, which is generally equal to half a property’s market value. The owner of a city property with a taxable value of $100,000 ($200,000 market value) will pay an additional $350 a year in property taxes to the city starting next year.
“As we say in Wixom, the world is governed by those who show up and the people here did,” said City Manager Mike Dornan. “(The millage vote) shows how important world-class quality services is to a world-class community.”
The millage, which will be collected for the first time in July 2013, will generate over $2.2 million per year or $8.85 million over a four-year period.
“The day after the election is anti-climactic because it’s time for the community to take a look at itself and responsibly move forward and use these funds prudently,” Dornan said.
“This time around we did what the voters asked us to do — we informed them and gave them a sunset (on the millage levy) and it’s great people supported it,” said Mayor Kevin Hinkley. “It was a phenomenal turnout on the millage and on the vote.”
The city is facing a deficit of over $1.7 million in 2013; $2.1 million in 2014; $2.5 million in 2015; and $2.6 million in 2016 for a total deficit over four years of $8.98 million.
Michigan Proposal 2012-01
The effort to repeal the state’s emergency financial manager law has succeeded, with 1.76 million ballots cast in favor of the repeal and 1.69 million voting to uphold the law that has come under fire in some circles.
In Oakland County, 58 percent voted to uphold the law, while 42 percent voted to repeal it, according to unofficial results from the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office.
Michigan Proposal 2012-02
A move to enshrine collective bargaining rights into the state’s constitution failed, with 2.18 million votes against and 1.34 million votes cast in favor, according to unofficial results from the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.
Oakland County voters overwhelmingly opposed the measure, with 61 percent voting against it and 39 percent supporting it, unofficial tallies show.
Michigan Proposal 2012-03
Electric utility companies will not be required by the state constitution to produce 25 percent of their electricity using renewable energy resources after voters overwhelmingly shot down the proposal.
About 2.29 million voted against the proposal, while 1.22 million supported it.
Sixty-two percent of Oakalnd County voters opposed the measure, while 38 percent supported it.
Michigan Proposal 2012-04
Voters saw no need to enshrine in the state constitution collective bargaining rights for home health care workers as 2.13 million opposed the proposal while 1.4 million supported it, according to unofficial results from the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.
Almost 60 percent of the Oakland County electorate opposed the effort, while 40 percent supported it, according to unofficial results.
Michigan Proposal 2012-05
An effort to require a two-thirds majority of the state Legislature or a popular vote of the people to raise taxes or expand the tax base went down in flames as 2.39 million Michigan voters opposed the measure, while 1.09 million supported it, according to unofficial tallies.
Oakland County voters emphatically shot down the effort, with 70 percent opposing and 30 percent supporting.
Michigan Proposal 2012-06
A proposal to require a vote of the people before constructing a new international bridge to Canada didn’t pass muster with voters as 2.13 million opposed the effort largely supported by the Detroit International Bridge Co., while 1.37 million supported it, according to unofficial results from the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.
Sixty-six percent of Oakland County opposed it, while 34 percent supported it, unofficial tallies from the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office show.
News editor Tim Dmoch, assistant news editor Kirk Pinho, and staff writers Kevin Elliott, Michael Shelton and Leslie Shepard contributed to this report.