Inside and outside of Oakland

Tea Party group files in local races

  Mike Bosnic, a Republican running to unseat incumbent county Commissioner Tim Burns, D-Clawson, says a fake tea party candidate has joined the race to split the Republican vote and give the Nov. 2 election to Burns.

Also filed to run is Grant Wolski, 20, of Troy, who lists his party affiliation as Tea Party.
  Wolski is part of a slate of candidates filed with the Michigan Secretary of State’s office by the group called Tea Party, which is seeking statewide political party status on the November ballot.
Tea party groups and Republicans have called the group a front for the Democratic Party and an attempt to confuse voters. Tea party groups maintain they don’t want status as an independent party.
  “It is clear Wolski is a shill for the Democrats,” Bosnic said in a fax. “Since Burns knows he cannot stand on the Democrats’ failed agenda, it appears the Democrats are resorting to desperate tactics to try to eke out a win in November.”
  Burns said Bosnic is pulling tricks by getting someone to run as an independent candidate in an attempt to dilute voting in November.
  “I’m really not aware of what he’s talking about at all,” Burns said of the Tea Party group. “The only thing I’m aware of is that he’s up to political dirty tricks by getting Paul Garfield to run as an independent.
“He’s trying to distract people from his normal dirty tricks.”
  The commission seat held by Burns is one of the more contentious local races this year. The seat represents the southern half of Troy and Clawson.
  Republicans and Democrats each hold 12 seats, and there is one vacancy on the 25-member commission. But Republicans have controlled the board for three decades until the recent vacancy.
  Burns defeated Bosnic in 2008 by just 128 votes to win re-election to a second two-year term. Burns first won election to the seat in 2006 with a 359-vote margin.
  Bosnic says proof of Wolski’s connection to Democrats is that his affidavit for candidacy was notarized by Oakland County Democratic Party Operations Director Jason Bauer.
  Bauer said he had no comment about Wolski or the Tea Party group.
  “I am a public notary and notarize many, many things,” Bauer said. “I will notarize anything you want.”
  A message seeking comment was left on Wolski’s voicemail.
Wolski is one of several Oakland County residents who are part of the Tea Party slate of candidates seeking local offices.
  Also running from the Tea Party group is Ruth Ann Spearman of South Lyon for the District 8 county commission seat, and Aaron Tyler of Clarkston for the District 2 county commission seat.
  The District 8 seat represents Lyon Township, Wixom, Walled Lake and part of Novi. It was left vacant in June by the death of Commissioner Jeff Potter, R-South Lyon. Also on the ballot in November will be Democrat Michele Berry and Republican Phillip J. Weipert, who won a spot on the ballot as a write-in in the Aug. 3 primary.
  District 2 is held by county Commission Chairman Bill Bullard, R-Highland, and represents Holly, Springfield and Rose townships.
  Other Tea Party group candidates slotted for local races are:

  • n Matthew David Quinn of Waterford in the 43rd state House district representing Waterford, Lake Angelus and part of West Bloomfield. The seat is held by Republican Gail Haines of Lake Angelus. Also on the November ballot is Democrat Regina Strong.
  • n Susan Quashot of Royal Oak in the 26th state House district. The seat represents Royal Oak and Madison Heights and is being vacated by term-limited state Rep. Marie Donigan, D-Royal Oak. Also on the ballot are Republican Ken Rosen and Democrat Jim Townsend.
  • n  Andrew S. Nicholls of Waterford in the 26th state Senate district. The seat represents part of Genesee County and the Oakland County communities of Waterford, Springfield, Groveland and Brandon townships. The seat is being vacated by term-limited Sen. Deb Cherry, a Genesee County Democrat. Also on the November ballot are Republican David Robertson of Grand Blanc and Democrat Katherine Houston of Ortonville.
  • n Heather Sartorius of New Hudson in the 15th state Senate district. The seat represents Holly, Rose, Highland, White Lake, Milford, Commerce, West Bloomfield and Lyon townships plus Novi, Wixom, Walled Lake, Wolverine Lake and Orchard Lake. It is being vacated by term-limited Sen. Nancy Cassis, R-Novi. On the November ballot are White Lake Republican Mike Kowall and Commerce Township Democrat Pam Jackson.
  • n  Thomas Murdock of Troy in the 13th state Senate district. The seat represents Royal Oak, Madison Heights, Clawson, Troy, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township. It is held by Republican John Pappageorge of Troy. Also on the November ballot is Democrat Aaron Bailey.
  • Johnathon Young of Auburn Hills in the 12th state Senate district. The seat is being vacated by term-limited Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, and represents Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Lake Angelus, Auburn Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, and the townships of Oakland, Orion, Independence, Oxford and Addison. On the November ballot are Lake Orion Republican Jim Marleau and Rochester Hills Democrat Casandra Ulbrich.
  The Tea Party group elected its slate of candidates at a July 24 convention in Saginaw, according to documents filed with the state.
  The Michigan Board of State Canvassers is scheduled to rule Monday, Aug. 23, on whether the petitions submitted by the group are sufficient for Tea Party to appear as a political party on the November ballot.
  The State Board of Canvassers has to verify that the number of signatures gathered by the group are valid and gathered within 180 days, with 100 signatures each from half the state’s 15 congressional districts.
  The group filed 59,400 signatures seeking party status. It needs 38,013 valid signatures to be recognized in Michigan as a political party, according to state elections workers.
  Besides the Democratic and Republican parties, the only other parties certified to list candidates on the November ballot are the Libertarian Party, the Natural Law Party, the Green Party and the U.S. Taxpayers Party.
  Independent candidates will also appear on the ballot.

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