28th District race set for November

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published August 31, 2016


WARREN — The race for the 28th District state House seat has come down to just two names. Well, maybe three.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Warren City Councilman Pat Green is set to appear on the ballot in his first bid for statewide office after a 20-point win in the primary over a field of three other candidates. Green, of Warren, garnered 50.3 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary election on Aug. 2, followed by Lori Stone (30.7 percent), Mike Westphal (13.8 percent) and Paul M. Kardasz (5.2 percent).

Green will face Antoine Davison — who filed to run for office under that name, but later said he legally changed his name to Antoine Davenport — on Nov. 8. Davenport, of Warren, who still officially appeared as Davison on Macomb County’s candidate listing at press time, was the lone Republican candidate to file for a run at the seat representing part of Warren and Center Line.

“Taking some things from the local level to the state level, things that we see as issues here that need better handling, with road funding, with education, with energy policy — those are the things I want to focus on in my first term, should I be elected in November,” Green said. “I’m looking forward to the new challenges by working at the state level.”

Green, an insurance agent, was elected to a seat on the Warren City Council in 2007 and is currently in the second year of his third four-year term. He represented the city at large for the first four years and was elected to a seat representing District 1 on the western edge of Warren, between Eight Mile and 14 Mile roads, after a city charter change in 2011. 

The Green family has a history of local public service. Pat Green’s brother, Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green, is Warren’s top law enforcement official and also serves on the Warren Woods Public Schools Board of Education. His other brother, Jon Green, served on the Warren Consolidated Schools board, and his sister-in-law, Nancy Cooper-Green, was a former assistant city attorney in Warren.

“It’s obviously much different than what we have here at the local level,” Green said of his run for a seat in the state Legislature. “I think my experience, nine years on the Warren City Council, is going to put me far ahead of my freshman colleagues. There is a lot of current legislation that’s active right now that I’ve been reading up on, making sure that I understand everything that’s going on as much as I can on this level.”

Davenport, a customer service representative who handles tuition reimbursement, said he previously worked as a regional field director for the Michigan Republican Party. He was elected as a Republican precinct delegate in Warren’s District 1 in August, and said he also served on the 9th Congressional District’s Executive Committee for the Republican Party.

“One of the things I’m very concerned about is tuition cost, and education in general,” Davenport said.

He said he would favor a county school district model that would be more effective than increased state control.

“We have over 550 school districts, but we have 83 counties,” Davenport said. “They would have a better feel than the state would.”

Davenport also said he would work to encourage job creation in Warren and Center Line, where he said it’s needed.

“I think it’s still being ignored. We need more job creation in those areas,” Davenport said. “Why don’t we give first-time small businesses one to three years of tax-free incentives?”

He also said he supports criminal justice reform, particularly for first-time nonviolent offenders.

“I’m proposing we put them in the hands of the church and community organizations,” Davenport said. “That doesn’t cost the state any money. Judges can give them that option. Chances are, they have a better chance of not going to jail. They won’t repeat those mistakes.”

Davenport said that he’ll work to change his name on the ballot, but that his candidacy is straightforward.

“I am going to be a public servant. You won’t have to lobby. And it won’t be politics as usual, because frankly I’m sick of it,” Davenport said.