Warren’s Green elected to Michigan House

Departure will create vacancy on Warren City Council

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published November 11, 2016

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WARREN — Third-term Warren City Councilman Patrick Green said he would resign his post effective Nov. 11 following his election to the Michigan House of Representatives.

Green, first elected to the council in 2007, defeated Republican Antoine Davison by a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent Nov. 8 to win election to the 28th District seat, representing Center Line and a portion of Warren. By nearly identical margins, voters elected Green to both a full two-year term beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, and a partial term set to begin immediately.

The seat was vacated by Derek Miller, who took an appointment to become the Macomb County treasurer in January, but lost election to that seat on Nov. 8 to Republican challenger Larry Rocca.

Green told the Warren Weekly he planned to submit a letter to City Clerk Paul Wojno on Nov. 11, after press time. Once it is officially received, he can be sworn in as a state legislator; and once the election is certified, he can begin work immediately.

“I’m so happy (voters) supported me in the race for state representative and gave me their trust,” Green said after the win. “I will work as hard as possible to bring good legislation to Warren and Center Line. I’m just proud to be representing everybody.”

Green was elected to what amounted to an at-large seat on the then nine-member Warren City Council in November 2007. Four years later, he ran in what became District 1, along the western edge of the city, between Eight Mile and 14 Mile roads. A charter amendment approved by Warren voters in 2010 cut the size of the council from nine to seven, with five seats representing specific districts and two representing the city at large.

According to the charter, any vacancy in a district seat should be filled through a council appointment within 30 days. That differs from a vacancy in an at-large seat, where the seat would be filled by the candidate who finished outside of the top two winners to receive the next highest vote total in the last at-large council race.

The 30-day clock will apparently begin once the council receives written notification from Wojno’s office.

A call to Warren’s legal department seeking clarification of the process went unreturned as of press time.

At least one candidate, Davison, who also goes by the name Antoine Davenport, has already expressed an interest in being considered for an appointment to Green’s soon-to-be vacated council seat.

“I would like to first thank the voters of the 28th House District for their support in my bid to represent their interests and residents and business owners in Warren and Center Line,” Davison said in a media release on Nov. 10. “I respect the voice of the majority that elected former Warren City Councilman Patrick Green, and I am confident that the 28th House District will be represented with professionalism and enthusiasm in Lansing.

“However, Representative Green has now left a vacant seat on the Warren City Council. I will seek nomination and appointment of the vacant council District 1 seat under the applicable guidelines set by the Warren city charter, and as within the rules and procedures set by the council for the process,” Davison said.

In other local election results, for the Michigan House of Representatives, Democrat Henry Yanez kept his seat in House District 25 by getting about 54.1 percent of the vote, defeating his challenger, Republican Steve Naumovski, who had 45.9 percent.

Democratic incumbents Andrey Duzyj, Marvin Sauger and Veronica Klinefelt all comfortably won re-election to the Macomb County Board of Commissioners.

Duzyj garnered 16,582 votes to defeat Republican challenger Danita R. Buchholtz-Feirstein (9,137 votes) in District 1.

In District 2, Sauger took 16,216 votes to beat Republican Ronald C. Michaels (9,249 votes) and U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate Brian P. Sumeracki (1,679 votes).

Klinefelt will keep her District 3 seat for a third term after bringing in 19,704 votes, compared with Republican challenger Ryan Hurd’s 9,573 votes.

“Obviously, I am appreciative of the support that the voters have given me, and I’m going to go back up to the county and continue to scrutinize the budget and try to provide the services that the residents expect while not spending too much money in the process,” Klinefelt said.

Going into her third term at the county level, she said she thinks her experience in local government will continue to serve her well.

“I think it’s very helpful having served at the local level, at the city level. I feel like I have a better understanding of the decisions that are made at the county level and how they impact the city,” said the former Eastpointe City Council member.

Three candidates ran for one two-year term to represent District 22 in the state House of Representatives. Democratic incumbent John Chirkun won with more than 60 percent of the vote, gathering 21,482 votes from residents in Roseville and Warren. Republican Jeff Bonnell received 12,337 votes, and U.S. Taxpayers candidate Les Townsend received 1,779 votes.

A state representative for Roseville and Warren, Chirkun spent 13 years on the Roseville City Council, including the last six years as mayor.

“I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the House next year. I want to try to fully fund schools, I want to get some more revenue sharing for the cities, and I’m really confident we can do that this time so we can help public safety in the cities of Warren and Roseville,” said Chirkun.

“I’d like to work with the colleges to promote more jobs. I’d like to see businesses get tax credits if they hire people from Michigan, instead of out of state. That’s the main things on my agenda,” Chirkun said.

Staff Writers Bria Brown and Kristyne E. Demske contributed to this story.

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