Macomb County voters selected Lisa Sinclair as the Republican nominee for the Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office, while Democrat Fred Miller pulled out a narrow victory over State Sen. Steve Bieda.

Macomb County voters selected Lisa Sinclair as the Republican nominee for the Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office, while Democrat Fred Miller pulled out a narrow victory over State Sen. Steve Bieda.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Miller, Sinclair emerge from large Macomb County Clerk primary field

By: Joshua Gordon | C&G Newspapers | Published August 8, 2018

MOUNT CLEMENS — After nearly 20 months of turmoil in the Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office, county residents are closer to a new clerk being named.

Lisa Sinclair won the Republican primary with 11,638 votes, or just under 18 percent, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, outlasting 10 other Republican candidates in the process. Fred Miller, who ran for the office during the November 2016 election, won the Democratic nomination with 33.5 percent of the vote, or 25,295 votes.

Miller faced off against five other candidates, including State Sen. Steve Bieda, who dropped out of the U.S. House of Representatives race to run for clerk. Bieda came in just behind Miller with 30.8 percent of the votes, or 23,224 votes.

Miller said while he is pleased with Tuesday’s election results, it is only the beginning.

“I expect the fall campaign is going to be tough, and I will not let up until the votes are counted in November,” he said. “I look forward to continuing to talk with and listen to Macomb County citizens about how we can help make the clerk’s office deliver the high level of efficient and effective public services that Macomb County residents deserve.”

Former Macomb County Commissioner James Perna came in second on the Republican side, with 9,124 votes, and fellow former Commissioner Nicholyn Brandenburg was third with 8,513 votes.

Sinclair said it was great to see voters respond to her promise of a fair and efficient clerk's office, and that her experience as an emergency room nurse will keep her tough if elected to office in November.

"As an emergency room nurse, I have the skills to straighten out the emergency at the Clerk’s office," Sinclair said. "I will bring a healing calm and quality back to the office. I want to be there for residents during the best of times, a new baby or marriage, and during the worst of times, death or divorce.”

When Sinclair and Miller face off in the November general election, it will be to fill a position that has been a point of contention since early 2017 when then-Clerk Karen Spranger had issues with both county officials and her own employees.

Spranger filed a lawsuit in the summer of 2017 against the county seeking a ruling on her job duties. The county filed a countersuit questioning the address that Spranger used on her election affidavit.

Spranger beat Miller in the November 2016 election in what was considered at the time a surprise victory.

On March 27, Judge Daniel Kelly in St. Clair County Circuit Court issued a written opinion that said there was no evidence that Spranger lived in Warren, and therefore she had usurped the office of the county clerk and was not eligible for the position. Spranger was immediately removed from office after the ruling.

Kathy Smith has been serving as temporary clerk since May 7, when she was appointed by the judges of Macomb County Circuit Court. Smith, who has served in a number of positions in the court for 34 years, replaced former temporary clerk Kathy Brower, who had taken over the position immediately after Spranger's removal from office.