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January 30, 2013

Former lawmaker, former mayor, others vie for mayoral seat

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

As the Feb. 12 deadline looms for candidates to file to run for mayor, Troy Mayor Dane Slater and former lawmaker Marty Knollenberg have tossed their hats into the ring with about a dozen others.

Candidates must either get 400 valid signatures or pay a $100 filing fee in order to appear on the ballot. 

At press time, 12, including Slater, had filed paperwork to gather the signatures to get on the ballot. Only former state Rep. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, paid the filing fee.

The 11 others who obtained filing packets to run for the mayoral seat are Andrew Dabish, Planning Commissioner Ed Kempen, Michael Curran, Nicola Travis, Stephen Grassi, David Elsas, Jon Desjardins, Faris Alami, Scott Welborn, Dan Brake and Nick Cherasaro.

Brake’s documentation indicated that he picked up the packet for another person.

Brake told the Troy Times that he picked up the packet but remained undecided whether he would seek the mayoral office. “I’m comfortable to see a quality list of candidates,” he said.

Knollenberg said that running for the Troy mayoral office was not something he set out to do.

“I had a lot of support from a lot of different people,” Knollenberg said. He paid the filing fee Jan. 22 because he thought it was the quickest way to get the word out.

“We need a unifier, a fresh face at the city level,” he said. “I bring that. I’ve been in the majority in the Legislature and I’ve been in the minority. I know what it takes to work with everybody.”

Knollenberg sought the office of Oakland County treasurer last November after he was term-limited in the state House, but he was defeated by incumbent Democrat Andy Meisner. Knollenberg served as state representative for Troy and Clawson from 2007-12.  He also served on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners from 2003-04.

Referring to his political party affiliation, Knollenberg said he would represent everyone in the community, as he did in the Legislature. “I welcome feedback from everyone. My political record speaks for itself. I represent everybody. That’s how I do business.”

Slater obtained the filing packet from the Troy City Clerk’s office Jan. 25.

Slater initially said he would not run for the mayoral seat in the special election.

“My hope was that somebody would step forward to continue with a nonpartisan direction. When that didn’t happen, I changed my mind,” Slater said. He retired from the Troy Police Department as captain and declined to name a political party affiliation. “The people in Troy deserve a better choice. I can offer a nonpartisan choice.”

Slater said he also got a lot of support. He is collecting signatures because, “If you can’t get 400 people to back you for this position, you shouldn’t even be trying.” He added that, in lieu of the filing fee, he planned to donate $100 to either the Boys & Girls Club of Troy or the Troy Community Coalition.

Troy City Clerk Aileen Bittner said the deadline for candidates to withdraw from the May 7 special election is 4 p.m. Feb. 15.

The mayoral term to fill the office of Janice Daniels, who was recalled in November, expires in November 2015.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.