Township Treasurer Sowerby announces run for House seat

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published December 9, 2015

 Bill Sowerby

Bill Sowerby


MACOMB COUNTY — After serving as Clinton Township treasurer for 19 years and county commissioner for eight years, Bill Sowerby has decided that now is the time to make changes at the state level.

On Dec. 3, the current township treasurer officially announced his candidacy for the Michigan House of Representatives in District 31.

Marilyn Lane currently holds the position, which expires Jan. 1, 2017.

While not exactly saying when his decision was made to leave local government and try his hand in Lansing, Sowerby simply stated that now is his time to go.

“The reason I’m doing this is because, after serving the years I have at the local level, I feel I have the experience and the knowledge to add value to the discussion and action going on in Lansing,” Sowerby said. “I’ve been talking to a lot of residents in recent months and it seems that residents’ concerns tend to be focused more on issues that are state related, and that’s where I feel my greatest service is as a public servant for residents of District 31 to be utilized.”

Sowerby is also the chairperson of the township’s Budget, Ways and Means Committee, as well as the co-chair of one of the biggest community blood drives in southeast Michigan.

Among his chief platforms are public education and labor legislation.

“My concern is that hardworking Michiganders have taken a raw deal in the state with some of the recent anti-labor legislation that’s occurred,” he said. “I’m going there to support our hardworking residents of this district and hardworking residents of Michigan.

“I was one of the strong leaders that helped bring Clinton Township through the worst recession we’ve seen in a generation, and when we came out of that, the township is today fiscally sound. I can bring the same kind of fiscal responsibility to Lansing.”

His competition is John Fleming, a practicing attorney who previously spent five years working for Rep. Lane before taking the bar exam and starting his own career.

On Sept. 14, Fleming announced that he was throwing his own hat in the ring, citing his experience as an intermediary in Lansing as being greatly beneficial.

“I can hit the ground running on day one,” Fleming said around the time of his announcement.

Fleming also said he plans on focusing on education, as well as senior citizens, the environment and the economy.

When asked what Sowerby thought about his Democratic rival, he said, “This will be a spirited primary.”

Sowerby, who became county commissioner in 1986 and township treasurer in 1996, said his record speaks for itself. Notably, he has a 100 percent attendance record at Clinton Township Board of Trustees meetings.

“I have made lots of great relationships through helping my constituents in Clinton Township,” Sowerby said. “I hope to make even better relationships helping, if elected, those residents in Fraser and Mount Clemens as well.”

Win or lose, Sowerby will permanently be leaving his treasurer position in mid-November 2016.