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Candidates for State Representative, County Commissioner Attend Forum

Candidates for the newly created 18th Michigan House District, along with Macomb County Districts 3 and 10, participated in the St. Clair Shores Women’s Civic League Meet the Candidate night.

Residents had their first opportunity Thursday to hear from candidates who are vying for to represent St. Clair Shores in and .

The hosted a Meet the Candidates night at with the candidates for state representative and county commissioner. They covered a wide range of topics from budgetary concerns to the relationship between County Executive and the commission.

For county commission candidates, the issue of oversight and relationship with the county executive were as important issues for those running for office as businesses development along with attracting and retaining families.

“You can’t have one person unilaterally making decisions for the county,” said Zach Eineman, R-Harrison Township, who is concerned about the executive’s control over county contracts and the current court proceedings related to the issue.

Michael Boyle, D-St. Clair Shores, who previously served on the Board of Commissioners, stated that the “relationship is absolutely ridiculous” between the board and the county executive.

He added, “I think we were better off when we had 26 commissioners. We had more local control.”

Veronica Klinefelt, D-Eastpointe, also expressed her concerns of a balance of power. “I believe they want a strong county executive who is the voice of the county ... but they want checks and balances.”

Randell J. Shafer, R-St. Clair Shores, was concerned—like other candidates— that if there wasn’t a resolution to oversight of contracts that there could be corruption down the road with future executives and board of commissions.

“There are two head and one body,” he said. “We don’t want to happen in Macomb County what is happening in Wayne County.”

For state representative candidates, concern for water quality, state shared revenue and job opportunities in the state.

“We need to make sure Lansing understands  we need the money to provide services,” said Candice Rusie, R-St. Clair Shores, who is currently serving on St. Clair Shores City Council.

“We want a safe, vibrant community where people want to live,” said Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores, who previously served as state representative for St. Clair Shores.

Most of the exchanges between candidates were about the questions asked by the moderator, with the exception of the candidates for state representative where the Rusie raised the issue of Roberts accepting $175,000 in donations from "special interests" in her recent campaigns.

“I am not taking any PAC money,” Rusie said of her grassroots campaign. “It is not about the money, it is about the message.”

Roberts responded to the accusation by saying that she is against the amount of money it takes to run campaigns and stated that “I am not here to attack my opponent, and I didn’t come here to be attacked either.”

Voters will head to the polls Nov. 6 for the general election.

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