Republican Forlini edges out Miller in Macomb clerk race

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published November 4, 2020




MACOMB COUNTY — It was the third race in which Anthony Forlini ran and won against an incumbent.

Forlini, a Republican, defeated incumbent Democrat Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Fred Miller by a margin of 50.8% to 49.2%. About 469,000 total votes were cast in the contest.

“Fred ran a really good campaign,” Forlini said Nov. 4. “I was able to get the voters out at the polls, and he did a great job getting absentee ballot voters out at the polls.”

Both have name recognition in the region and state due to various political offices held. Forlini said he has a great reputation of being very bipartisan. He even had some Democrats aid him with his campaign.

“My name I.D. was good and we worked hard and I had a great team behind me, a tremendous team behind me,” he said.

The clerk race was emblematic of a Republican shift at the top in Macomb County, with the sheriff race won by incumbent Anthony Wickersham being the only one of five races won by a Democrat.

Forlini said Macomb County has kind of become the Oakland County of old, when it had heavier Republican leanings in politics. He referred to “common sense brick-and-mortar trade guys” who “want a paycheck, they want to go to work and vote for someone to make sure they have a job.”

“I see Macomb County as the home of hard-working, blue collar voters,” he continued. “They’re no-nonsense and identifying with Republicans because I think Democrats left that door open — they moved too far left.”

Miller said Nov. 4 he had spoken with Forlini by phone while results were being determined. The pair agreed to reconvene a couple weeks later for “a smooth transition” in the office.

“I feel good that in the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of this crazy political season, working with all the local clerks and our team at the county, we were able to pull off a relatively-speaking very smooth election,” Miller said. “All the voters can be assured that it was an accurate, safe, secure election.”

The turnout was high as expected, with more Democrats voting absentee and more Republicans voting in person. Miller said precinct numbers were transmitted shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. election night.

“The sheer volume of absentee ballots proved to be a challenge,” he said.

By 9 a.m. Nov. 4, all absentee ballots were essentially counted.

Forlini said his first plan as the new clerk/register of deeds is to “identify key players” and get a grasp of the talent who can keep the office moving in a forward direction.

He will officially take over Jan. 1, 2021.