Voters to narrow down field of candidates

Advertiser Times | Published July 30, 2014

Voters in Harper Woods will be heading to the polls Aug. 5 to vote for primary candidates in several races, including a new 14th Congressional District seat, the Michigan House and Senate, and Wayne County Commission races. Residents will be asked to decide on a transportation millage and the Wayne County Regional Education Service Agency — or Wayne RESA — regional enhancement millage proposal. They also will be asked to consider a Harper Woods Schools Operating Millage Renewal Proposal. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. that day. Contact your local city clerk’s office for more information about poll locations or visit your city’s website.
Candidates were asked, in 150 words or fewer, to state the top items they would wish to accomplish if elected and how they would go about accomplishing them. If candidates went over the word limits, ( … ) replaced the rest of the answers. (I) indicates the candidate is an incumbent. The answers are printed verbatim.
For additional information about the candidates, the League of Women Voters of Grosse Pointe is offering a free voter guide and information about polling places online at For more information, call (313) 881-6343 or visit

U.S. House of Representatives, District 14
One candidate is running for the Republican nomination, and four candidates are running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one two-year term in November.

Christina Conyers
Did not respond before press time.

Hansen Clarke
Age: 57
Occupation: Former member of Congress, Attorney, Law School Professor
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: I’ve been a life-long Detroiter
Education:  Bachelor of Fine Arts, Cornell University; Juris Doctor, Georgetown Law Center
Previously held elected offices: Member of the Michigan House of Representatives, 1991-1992, 1999-2002; Member of the Michigan Senate, 2002-2010; Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 2011-2013
Top goals: My top three legislative priorities are 1) providing meaningful economic opportunity to residents of our region. 2) improving education for metro Detroit residents from pre-K through career-readiness; and 3) empowering metro Detroit workers and voters. My core mission as a legislator is to fight for opportunity for people struggling to make it, and I will work to promote policies that spur our economic growth and make high-quality education accessible to all. I will also work to give metro Detroit residents a strong voice in Congress and ensure all eligible voters are able to exercise their right to vote. You can learn more about our campaign at

Burgess D. Foster
Age: 46
Occupation: Sunday school teacher, social studies teacher, adjunct professor (Faculty Pool WCCCD)
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: Not answered
Education: Master’s of Science (Management): Ba Cum Laude, History; Minor: Political Science
Previously held elected offices: Former precinct delegate
Top goals: 1. Job stimulus
a. Small business lending/hiring credits
i. Incentivize banks to issue more small bus. loans in economically depressed “Blight Zones” i.e. Det., Pontiac <$200,000.01
ii. For every 1,000 workers hired at 75 percent of the national average, cut corp. tax rate by 1 percent
2. Empowering middle class with more tax breaks.
a. Main Street over Wall Street
i. Allow credit card, car loan, and mortgage % deduction
3. Lowering price at the gas pump.
a. Executive order
i. Mandating all vehicles sold in the USA by 2018 is capable of using E85 Engine Petro that will yield 1:1 ratio of MPG, that all 117,000 gas stations offer two types of alternative fuel sources, i.e., E85, electric, due to national security and ridding the USA from fossil fuel dependence (20M barrels per day @ $100 per barrel = $730B Saved), incentivize oil companies to convert their refinery prod. over to bio-diesel or E85 by doubling pollution credits.

Rudy Hobbs
Age: 39
Occupation: State Representative (35th District)
Municipality of residence: Southfield
For how long: 14 years
Education:  B.A. in Elementary Education, M.A. in Education Administration
Previously held elected offices: Southfield School Board, State Representative
Top goals: Unlocking our economic potential – We must invest in projects such as road maintenance, mass transit, the rail tunnel, and the international bridge crossing which both serve our community and put people to work. Such projects will create jobs, increase trade, and ensure our region’s continued economic growth and prosperity.
Education - As a former first-grade teacher, I know firsthand that a quality education is critical to competing in our global economy. In Congress, I will fight to expand early childhood education, including all-day kindergarten, improve math and science programs, and keep college affordable for all.
Protecting the Great Lakes – In Lansing, I fought off Wisconsin’s attempts at diverting water from our Great Lakes, even before they could formally file the request. I will continue to fight to protect our lakes from invasive species like the Asian Carp.

Brenda Lawrence
Did not respond before press time.

State Representative,1st District
One candidate is running for the
Republican nomination, and seven candidates are running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one two-year term in November.

John Raymond Hauler
Age: 47
Occupation: Operations Manager Advanced-Cable LLC
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Woods
For how long: 13 years
Education: High School Diploma, Some college, Die maker, Certified Program Manager
Previously held elected offices:  Not answered
Top goals: I was born in the city of Detroit from a Mother that ran Stamping Presses in my Father’s Tool & Die Manufacturing Plant and a Father that built the manufacturing dies. I grew up in a modest home on the eastside of Detroit, with 5 brothers and sisters. At the age of 7, I started sweeping floors at our father’s shop. I realized then how difficult it was to provide for his family as he worked 16 to 18 hours a day. Through his whole life he worked hard to have the American Dream for his children, which he succeeded in.
I am running for State Rep. to make Education our TOP priority! This will be accomplished through Charter schools, improving government education with Responsibility and Accountability. Finally, adding CO-OPS that will educate children thru seniors, local businesses for training and government to maintain a safe environment. Stop trying to reinvent this country every 2 years!
I am John Hauler and this is my message! Thanks and God Bless this Great Country!

Brian R. Banks (I)
Age: 37
Occupation: State Representative
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: 7 years
Education: PhD Candidate, Walden University – Juris Doctor, Michigan State University College of Law – Master of Education, Wayne State University – Bachelor of Science – Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: State Representative 2013-present
Top goals: As your State Representative I’ve served you with a 100 % voting and attendance record and will continue to fight for:
Lower Insurance Rates – Your education, occupation, credit score, and zip code should not be deciding factors as to what your insurance rates should be. Your driving record should be the only factor.
Equal Education Funding - As a former elementary school teacher I am committed to ensuring that all our children have access to the quality education they need to reach their full potential.
Seniors – I reject the notion of balancing the state budget on the backs of seniors and will continue to work to repeal the senior pension tax.
Repeal of Fireworks law – You have a right to enjoy home in a quiet & peaceful manner. Recently, we’ve seen an increase in injuries, as well as disturbance of the peace. I will work to repeal the fireworks law.

Paul Fillmore
Did not respond before press time.

Corey Josef Gilchrist
Did not respond before press time.

Taryn Jones
Age: 26
Occupation: Software Consultant
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: 2 years
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics & Economics, Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: N/A
Top goals: “Bridging the Gap by Raising the Bar”
• Raising the Standard of Public Education
- Increasing literacy, funding & accountability in all public school systems in Michigan to ensure our citizens are assets in the global market.
• Creating A Bond between Citizen & Protector
- Ensuring every community has a personal relationship with their public safety liaisons by establishing an open door policy that creates neighborhoods that work together instead of against one another.
• Protecting the Rights of Women, Workers, and Veterans
- Guaranteeing the opportunity for freedom of choice and equality for all people, most importantly the disadvantaged, in every facet of life including access to quality healthcare, education, and career services.
TWITTER: @taryn4staterep,
#Taryn4StateRep #LetsRaiseTheBar

Michael Koester
Age: 31
Occupation: I own and manage my own small business.  It’s a small restaurant named Wild Red located in St Clair Shores and it is a concept that I designed from the ground up.
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Woods
For how long: ~30 years
Education: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor 2004; Masters of Engineering in Manufacturing, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor 2007; Warren De La Salle - 2001
Previously held elected offices:  I currently serve on the Grosse Pointe Woods City Council
Top goals: The top 3 things I want to accomplish all revolve around growing Michigan’s economy.  First is developing a sustainable plan for infrastructure funding and investment.  Secondly, I plan on working to spur new business growth, and in conjunction with that, new jobs for our state.  Finally, I want to make higher education more affordable and ensure that those students who graduate from the great universities in this state stay here and contribute to our state’s growth.
I plan on accomplishing these goals by using a data driven approach to show my fellow legislators that action in these arenas is a benefit for the entire state.  Additionally, being a small business owner myself, I know what it takes to grow something and will be able to use that experience to craft impactful legislation.

Harry Scott
Age: 52
Occupation: Business owner
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: 9 years
Education: Cram bridge business school, JCC, Lawton
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Jobs, Education and safety I am themayorofrochelle My plan is to create 15,250 job that will last ten years. A new district one authority police department. If you are not 21 years old a clear mandate you must be in school. Housing hud2.

Rebecca Thompson
Did not respond before press time.

State Representative, 2nd District
One candidate is running for the Republican
nomination, and three candidates are running for the Democratic nomination, to compete for one two-year term in November.

Daniel J. Lamar
Age: 60
Occupation: landlord/musician
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: 60 years
Education: Grauduate of Denby High, attended Wayne and Macomb Colleges, MSU Fire and Casulaty Institute Graduate
Previously held elected offices: Precinct delegate 2006-2010
Top goals: The repair of the State’s road system is the number (1) issue.  After coordination with the federal government regarding receipt of federal funds, the remainder of road and bridge repairs should be funded through gasoline taxes and submission of bond issue to the voters.
The current education reforms should be given an opportinity to improve the system.  However, in order to affect a well-conceived approach, the future concentration should be on student incentives and discipline.
We must bolster the middle class including our senior citizens, through economic avenues such as increasing the nontaxable income limits on persons from the current level to $60,000: and addressing premium increases by auto insurance companies because of age irregardless of driving/accident record.

Andrew Casazza
Age: 27
Occupation: Project Manager
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Park
For how long: 27 years
Education: B.S. in Finance from Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Education: We need to work in a bipartisan manor to restore cuts made to in-classroom funding. District 2 has seen significant cuts over the past four years to its education; these cuts need to stop now
Budget: We have a $ 50 Billion state budget all rolled into only two omnibus bills. We can create a fiscally smarter, more efficient plan that also holds our legislatures more accountable. This will free up much needed funds for road and infrastructure projects in the future
Crime: We need to ensure that state crime fighting resources are being spent in areas that need them most. I will work to see that state funding would go to not just departments, but precincts where violent crime is well above the national average. These areas deserve real funding, boots on the ground, and the equipment necessary to make a real difference
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Bill Miller
Age: 51
Occupation: Heavy Equipment Operator, Operating Engineer
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: 50 yrs
Education: HS Diploma, Some college
Previously held elected offices: No previously held offices
Top goals: Properly fund roads and infrastructure by utilizing existing fuel tax and increase weight restriction fines.
Properly fund Public Education by utilizing existing taxes properly. Limit Charter Schools.
Repeal Right to Work by suspending the law and placing it on the ballot for the voters to decide.
As your State Rep. I will not do just enough to get your vote I will fight for your vote and for the issues that affect every corner of our district. You will also see me in the district not just in election years. For more info on me and my goals go to www.voteforbill

Alberta Tinsley Talabi (I)
Age: 58
Occupation: State Representative; Founder - Mack Alive Incorporated; Founder - Campaign Against Alcohol and Tobacco Billboard Advertising; Founder - Coalition for a Drug Free Detroit
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: Life-long resident
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Social Work; Fellow – Boston College; Fellow - Washington University
Previously held elected offices: Council member – Detroit City Council
Commissioner  - Wayne County Commission
Top goals: 1. Employment for all.
I will work with members of the state legislature to invest in workforce training and business creation for diverse employment opportunities. I will work to improve class-room preparation to create a job-ready workforce.
2. Quality education
I will work with educators to focus on classroom preparation of a job-ready workforce. I will work with members of the state legislature to make quality education for all Michigan students the highest priority and provide resources including classroom materials and teacher preparation so that public school students (and others) will receive a quality education.
3. Re-distribution of the state tax burden
I will work with citizen groups and community agencies to provide clarity on how the current state tax structure places an unfair tax burden on seniors and families with children. I will work with state legislators to better understand these financial hardships and to restructure the state tax structure.

State Senator, 2nd District
One candidate is running for the Republican
nomination, and four candidates are running for the Democratic nomination, to compete for one four-year term in November.

Mark Ashley Price
Did not respond before press time.

Bert Johnson (I)
Age: 40
Occupation: State Senator
Municipality of residence: Highland Park
For how long: Almost 9 years (since November, 2005), Lifelong Detroiter prior
Education: University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy; University of Detroit - Mercy
Previously held elected offices: State Senator (2011-present); State Representative (2007-2010)
Top goals: We must adequately fund road maintenance and repair across Michigan. I have been appointed to the special committee that will negotiate this solution and I will work to ensure fairness for citizens in the funding formula put forth.
I will push to restore some semblance of tax fairness for Michiganders. This could include eliminating the pension tax, restoring the earned income tax credit, and reinstating the homestead tax credit.
Also, we must fully fund our pre-K-12 public education system. School districts continue slipping into fiscal insolvency and children are being shortchanged with the massive cuts to the K-12 budget over the past several years.
These things will be done in a bipartisan manner, as have most of my legislative accomplishments, including creation of the Regional Transit Authority for southeastern Michigan.
More information can be found at and you can follow along with my daily work at and

Georgia Lemmons
Did not respond before press time.

Taras P. Nykoriak
Did not respond before press time.

John Olumba
Age: 33
Occupation: Law and Education
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: I lived in Detroit as a youth and returned following law school.
Education: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (dual major economics/political science). University College of London Faculty of Laws and Northern Illinois University College of Law (Juris Doctor)
Previously held elected offices: State Representative
Top goals: The Economy: We can create jobs by encouraging new industries with solid public policy. I introduced legislation that re-creates an industry we’ve ignored - trade, imports and exports. Changing our port law would create an economic incubator that could easily create 250,000 jobs. Movement of labor is also critical to the economy, which is why I’ll continue working on statewide transit.
Budget priorities:
As chairman of an appropriations sub-committee I negotiated the budget directly. I cut corrections, and shifted resources to elementary education. I sponsored legislation linking students’ attendance to welfare eligibility because education stops multi-generational poverty. Smart reforms like these allow the return of tax dollars to citizens.
For Women:
As a husband, father of three girls, brother of four sisters, and a son I am thoughtful and prayerful on women’s issues. I don’t have the answers, but I’m smart enough to ask the nine of them.

Wayne County Commissioner, District 1
One candidate is running for the Republican nomination, and three candidates are running for the Democratic nomination to compete for one two-year term in November.

John Steininger
Did not respond before press time.

Frank Accavitti Jr.
Age: 56
Occupation: President Care House Child Advocacy Center & CEO Accavitti Consulting Group
Municipality of residence: Grosse Pointe Shores
For how long: 4 years
Education: Fraser High School
Western Michigan University
Wayne State University
Previously held elected offices: Councilman City of Eastpointe
Mayor City of Eastpointe
State Representative Eastpointe, Roseville & Fraser
County Commissioner Eastpointe & Warren
Top goals: What the people of this district need first and foremost is a Commission who negotiates with his fellow commissioners, promotes compromise, offers amendments, and brings forward his own plans for change. Our current Commissioner hides behind the statement “I didn’t like it so I just voted no” that’s not in the best interest of the district residents. The Constitutes deserve much more and I will deliver. My work will include Restoring the Residents faith and trust in Wayne County Government. The People need to know their taxes are not being wasted, the budget is balanced and costs are reduced. Likewise, every Business in Wayne County deserves exceptional county services. I’ll position the County to attract new Businesses and Jobs and also provided an atmosphere where existing Businesses can grow and thrive, rework the budget so the priorities include funding the Prosecutor’s efforts to fight crime, rebuild road infrastructure and improve Public Safety.

Latisha Johnson
Did not respond before press time.

Tim Killeen (I)
Age: 56
Occupation: Wayne County Commissioner — District 1
Municipality of residence: Detroit
For how long: Lifelong
Education: B.S. Biology and Teaching Certificate – Michigan State University
Previously held elected offices: Completing 4th term as county commissioner
Top goals: 1) Wayne County Jail
This issue must be resolved by choosing the least expensive option that gets the job done. I authored the resolution asking for the County Exec. to bring options to the Commission, not just the Mound Rd. proposal that has been floating around for 8 months now. The County cannot take on an additional $25-35 million in long-term debt.
2) Truth in Budgeting
I will only support a budget that honestly deals with the County’s annual structural deficit. I have voted against the last three budgets. They were all presented as a balanced budget and each year finished with deficits in the $25-30 million range. I will oppose any budget that is known ahead of time to be inadequate.
3) Mental Health
It is crucial that the new Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (where I am a Board member) takes the opportunity it has to expand quality services.

32-A District Court Judge
Six candidates are running for one, six-year term.

Keith Garrett Clark
Age: 47
Occupation: Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: 16 years
Education: Juris Doctorate, cum laude – Detroit College of Law (Now Michigan State
University Law School); Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice and Criminology – Ball
State University
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Canon 7B(1)(c) of the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct states that a judicial candidate should not make pledges or promises of conduct in office other than the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of the office. This is to ensure that a judge can make decisions based on the individual facts of each case and apply the law fairly and impartially. This also allows a judge to make the right decision even if it is politically unpopular. Judicial ethics are important to me and I would strive to faithfully perform the duties of the office of District Court Judge. As a lawyer and citizen I do recognize the benefit of specialized dockets dealing with substance abuse, domestic violence, veterans, and the mentally ill in addressing criminal behavior and holding people responsible. There is also a benefit in improving access to the court through flexible hours and alternate filing methods.

Susan L. Dunn
Age: Not Answered
Occupation: Attorney
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: 23 years
Education:  Juris Doctorate from U of D Mercy; BA from Wayne State
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Making Harper Woods a safer place is the first thing I hope to accomplish if elected judge, in part by:
Imposing harsher sentences for serious and repeat offenders, and having less tolerance for juvenile delinquents and people who prey on senior citizens.
Encouraging community involvement. I’ve been the coordinator of Judge LaRose’s Community Dispute Resolution program for years and lately have been meeting with a committee that includes the judge and police department to explore ways to encourage people to work together as a community to make Harper Woods a safer place.
Secondly, controlling blight. The owners of homes that are not kept up should receive harsh sanctions.
Lastly, I want to make the court more efficient. For instance, using a staggered docket that schedules different proceedings at different times. I believe people’s time is valuable and should be respected.
Questions? Go to

Hugh R. Marshall
Age: 52
Occupation: Lawyer for over 20 years
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long:  22 years
Education:  1. Bachelor of Public Relations (B.P.R.) Mt. St. Vincent University (1986)
    2. Baccalaureate of Laws (LL.B) - Law Degree - University of Windsor (1989)
    3. Juris Doctor (JD) - Law Degree - University of Detroit (1990)
    4. Qualified to practice law in both Michigan, and Ontario, Canada
Previously held elected offices: City Council. First elected in 1997 - most recently re-elected in 2013.
Top goals: 1. Strictly enforce our current codes, ordinances and laws. Council has recently beefed up and added new tougher measures. As Judge I would ensure that these new tougher ordinances be applied within the guidelines of the law.
2. Judge LaRose operates an effective and efficient court. However, there has been some recent increases in blight and crime due to the recent economic crisis. Being at a critical juncture for the City, I would keep intact Judge LaRose’s basic policies and procedures but would adapt immediately to change as needed.
3. 20 plus years in Criminal/Juvenile Courts representing abused and neglected children, I have seen a pattern of substance abuse and mental health issues. Yes, punishment is appropriate when warranted but a Judge should also consider the issue of rehabilitation. By attacking the root problem, I believe you can reduce the amount of re-offending and help these individuals live productive lives.

Lamar Dexter Moreland
Age: 57
Occupation: Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: 2 years 7 months
Education: Undergraduate:  Wayne State University, Bachelor in Finance.  Law school:  Detroit College of Law at Michigan State, Juris Doctorate.
Previously held elected offices: None
Top goals: Candidates are always asked what they intends to accomplish.  In the matter of a judge the question is obviously justice. What is Justice? For me justice is due process and reasonable access to the court. Due process is established by the Constitution and our state government. I will, of course,
abide by both.
The larger question is access to the court. To that end I will partner with area law schools and establish a law clinic to assist in day-to-day matters with an emphasis on senior citizen issues. Second, I will partner with various corporations and foundations and establish “the office of the Ombudsman”. This office will assist the residents with navigating the maze that is both corporate and government. Last, I will hold monthly forums to allow residents an opportunity to voice their concerns and how we can best address those concerns. Together we can find resolutions.

Daniel S. Palmer
Age: 49
Occupation: Litigation Attorney
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: 17 years
Education: University of Michigan — Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree; Wayne State University Law School— Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree
Previously held elected offices: Harper Woods Mayor Pro Tem, 2013–present; Harper Woods CityCouncilman, 2001–2013.
Top goals: First and foremost, I will be tough on crime, and I will accomplish this by working with our dedicated police department to conduct the court in a way that makes it clear that lawlessness will not be tolerated in Harper Woods. I will deal with criminals swiftly and decisively.
Second, I am committed to aggressively enforcing our city ordinances, mandating that residents maintain their property and conduct themselves in a way that is respectful to their neighbors. My judicial decisions will make it clear that any violation of our city ordinances will not be tolerated.
Finally, I pledge to be fair and impartial when making rulings. I have 24 years of legal experience, and as judge, my rulings will be based on the law and the facts presented. Also, the court will be run efficiently to save taxpayers money and deliver justice that serves our great community.
Please visit

Brian E. Selburn
Age: 63
Occupation: Attorney, self-employed
Municipality of residence: Harper Woods
For how long: 31 years
Education:  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) (1973); Detroit College of Law, Juris Doctorate (JD) (1979)
Previously held elected offices: Trustee, City of Harper Woods Board of Education (2005) and (2009), Currently President
Top goals: I will be good news for Harper Woods and bad news for criminals. In the Metro area there are communities that criminals avoid because of the tough reputation of their police and courts. I will work hard to make Harper Woods one of them.
I will respect people by being on time and listening and being fair to all.
I want fines in HW to be comparable with other communities and to actually be collected. An interactive website where people can pay their fines will help collect those fines and allow people to avoid coming to court altogether.
I will use my ties to the school district to increase the court’s involvement with our schools to teach young people how the court works and the consequences of both good and bad behavior.
I will establish a real sobriety court for drunk drivers modeled after other successful courts in the region.

School District of the City of Harper Woods Operating Millage Renewal Proposal
This proposal will allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance.
Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law in the School District of the City of Harper Woods, Wayne County, Michigan, be increased by 18.2858 mills ($18.2858 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 10 years, 2015 to 2024, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2015 is approximately $1,300,000 (this is a renewal of .5 mill, which expired with the 2014 tax levy, and 17.7858 mills, which will expire with the 2015 tax levy)?