Coulter, Kowall prevail in Oakland County executive primary

By: Mike Koury | C&G Newspapers | Published August 6, 2020






OAKLAND COUNTY — The Oakland County executive candidates have been set for the Nov. 3 general election.

Incumbent Democrat Dave Coulter and Republican challenger Mike Kowall won their primary elections Aug. 4, defeating Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner and attorney Jeffrey Nutt, respectively.

After all 506 precincts reported in, Coulter received 109,599 votes to Meisner’s 93,321. Kowall received 91,359 to Nutt’s 30,487.

“I feel very grateful to the voters who took a look at the work that I’ve done over the last year, around COVID and trying to get our economy recovered and bringing progressive change to Oakland County, and that’s work that resonated with voters,” Coulter said.

Kowall, a former state senator and representative, was not only excited to win his primary, but also to see how much he won by, which was a difference of more than 60,000.

“That just assures me that the name recognition that I was assuming that I had is pretty close to where I needed to be,” he said. “We still have a lot of work to do. There’s areas of the county of course that don’t know me, and I’m going to be doing everything I can for the next 90 days to turn that around.”

Coulter and Kowall, who are running for a four-year term, also won their respective primary elections to be the executive from Nov. 3 until Dec. 31. This came about when Coulter was appointed to the position in August 2019 after the death of L. Brooks Patterson. The law stated that the appointment would run until the next election, so a separate election was added to cover the remaining two months of 2020.

The campaigning will continue for the candidates for several more months, and Kowall recognized how different it will be as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“It’s real different now than what normally I would’ve done,” Kowall said. “With this COVID situation, the events that normally go on, they’re not as prevalent as what they had been in the past, so we have to be a little bit more creative. We’re spending a lot of time on the telephone with people, and we’re finding most folks are very comfortable in that.”

“I’m really excited to keep it (going), that it’s going to be going on through November,” he continued. “God willing, we’ll be successful and then we can continue Oakland County going in the direction that we all believe it needs to go in.”

Coulter said both he and Kowall are going to have a “good and vigorous debate” about the future direction of Oakland County and the direction they want to take it in.

“Every campaign and every opponent is slightly different, and knowing Mike Kowall for a number of years — and he’s a good man — I think we’re gonna have some real differences about what’s best for Oakland County going forward,” he said.

In addition to Coulter and Kowall, Connor Nepomuceno will be on the November ballot as a Libertarian Party candidate for the office.