SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) - Metro Detroit voters have a multitude of choices to make as August 7 quickly approaches. Major decisions need to be made on the local, county, and state level. Southfield's political scene is not a volatile as some of the others cities through out the metro area as there are no millages on the ballot, but that does not mean there is a shortage of issues requiring voter approval.
One of the biggest decisions Southfield voters will make in the upcoming primaries will be to select congressional representative in the newly formed 14th Congressional District . A drop in population as reported by the 2010 census prompted lawmakers to redraw district lines. The new lines have been a source of controversy, as a result the reapportionment, as it is referred, is currently being challenged in the courts and with the U.S. Department of Justice.
As the courts weigh the matter, a Democratic and Republican candidate must be selected in the upcoming primary to compete in the general election this November.
Next weeks primary will differ greatly from previous elections in part because the 14th Congressional District is new. As such there is no incumbent congressman running for reelection, even though there are two sitting congressmen on the ballot.
Prior to reapportionment, the 14th Congressional District was represented by longtime Congressmen John Conyers, who will now run for a seat in the 13th Congressional District which is currently represented by Hansen Clarke. Gary Peters currently represents the 9th Congressional District. Representatives Clarke and Peters must acquaint themselves with voters in a new district who may not be aware of their track records. On top of that their battle for votes in Southfield could be particularly challenging as voters may recognize one name above all others as they head to the poles.
Brenda Lawrence has served the people of Southfield for well over a decade. First as a city councilperson in 1997 and later as mayor since 2001. Mayor Lawrence is now on her third term, and in that time she has announced her candidacy for Oakland County Executive in 2008, for lieutenant governor in 2010 and she was also the running mate of Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in the gubernatorial elections that same year. It's clear Mayor Lawrence has high aspirations, how that will translate with voters at the poles remains to be seen.
Also on the Ballot is the Honorable Bob Costello who has served the people of Michigan as a Magistrate in Detroit's 36th District Court since 1989. Judge Costello has been practicing law since 1977 and brings a wealth of legal experience to the table.
Rounding out the Democratic field is State Representative Mary Waters who has served the people of Michigan for the past 6 years. While Representative Waters no longer actively serves, her experience and history in serving Michigan's 4th Congressional District is sure to win her many votes
The Republican field isn't nearly as congested. The lone candidate is relative newcomer John Hualer, a native Detroiter whose family's tool and die shop catered to the automotive industry for years until falling victim to the economic downtown and the decline of the automotive industry.
While some of the names are more familiar than others in Southfield, the need for quality representation effects everyone in the city and Beyond. The decisions made on August 7 will set the stage for the future, which begins now as you research your candidates for the 14th Congressional District.
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