Voters across metro Detroit were deciding on officials and judges, road and school measures and marijuana proposals.
Local government and district, probate and circuit court seats; road and school proposals, and legalizing marijuana were among the issues voted on today by metro Detroiters.
In Novi, District Court Judge Brian MacKenzie lost by 215 votes to challenger Travis Reeds with 100% of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.
Reeds, who highlighted troubles MacKenzie had, received 23,830 votes to MacKenzie’s 23,615 votes, according to the unofficial results.
Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper filed a complaint last year charging MacKenzie with illegally dismissing cases. Circuit Judge Colleen O’Brien ruled that MacKenzie had violated the law at least eight times, though she declined Cooper’s request to hold MacKenzie in contempt of court.
Also in Oakland County, the neighboring communities of Berkley, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge approved marijuana proposals — being three of 11 communities statewide with such proposals for voters.
The measure passed with 70% of the vote in Pleasant Ridge and Huntington Woods and 62% in Berkley, according to unofficial results.
Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson, staff writer Jim Schaefer, staff writer Kathleen Gray and Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson offer their takeaway from Tuesday’s elections and what it means for Michigan going forward.
In Berkley and Huntington Woods, the wording was almost identical: Should voters replace local ordinances that make marijuana possession a criminal offense with one allowing possession of small amounts of marijuana by those 21 and older, on non-public private property? In Pleasant Ridge, which has no local marijuana ban, the ordinance asks whether to make possession and use of marijuana the town’s “lowest law enforcement priority.”
Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger was exuberant about what he said was the third-largest voter turnout in decades in the small city of southeast Oakland County. And Metzger was equally upbeat about the local election results.
“We won all across the board with our proposals,” which included a tax increase for parks, a renewal of the city’s millage to pay for access to the Huntington Woods Public Library and a tax proposal for public services, he said.
In addition, voters passed a proposal to make marijuana possession the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority, giving it a greater margin than the city’s parks millage.
“So pot beat parks, but that’s OK,” Metzger quipped.
In Macomb County, voters countywide were saying no to forming a charter commission to make revisions to the county charter by 63% with nearly 49% of precincts reporting. The charter was approved by voters in 2009. The question will appear again on the ballot in 10 years.
With nearly nearly 47% of precincts reporting, attorney James Maceroni was leading Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Fox 56% to 44% for the Macomb County Circuit Court seat to be vacated by Maceroni’s father, Judge Peter Maceroni, who has to retire because of age.
In a district court race in Warren, Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Suzanne Faunce was leading incumbent Judge Dean Ausilio for a partial judicial term ending Jan. 1, 2017 with 57% of the vote, with 5% of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.
Macomb County Commissioner Michael Boyle, a Democrat, lost to Republican challenger Steve Marino by 395 votes with 100% of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.
Also in Macomb County, Warren voters were deciding on a new face for the District 1 county commission seat to be vacated by Democratic Commissioner Toni Moceri. Democrat Andrey Duzyj, who has served on the board before, was leading Republican challenger Joseph G. Kozar with 64% of the vote for the two-year term, according to nearly 12% of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.
In Dearborn, incumbent District Court Judge Mark Somers narrowly was re-elected with a less than 100 vote margin — 10,175 to 10,090 for Tony Guerriero, who was backed by Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly Jr., according to unofficial results.
O’Reilly said Somers cost the city money by losing cases filed by court employees. But Somers was strongly backed by some Arab-American activists. A flier circulated in recent days praising Somers for jailing in 2011 Terry Jones, the Quran-burning pastor from Florida, when he tried to hold a rally in Dearborn outside a mosque.
Wayne Mayor Abdul Haidous is expected to step into the 11th District Wayne County Commission seat vacated by Kevin McNamara, who ran for Wayne County executive but lost in the primary. The district includes Belleville, Sumpter Township, Van Buren Township, Huron Township, Romulus, Wayne and a part of Westland. Haidous has been mayor in Wayne since 1993.
Contact Christina Hall: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @challreporter
Staff Writer Bill Laitner, Niraj Warikoo and Marlon A. Walker contributed to this report.
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