Advance Notice: Briefs

Woodward withdraws from Oakland County executive race

By: - August 15, 2019 3:40 pm

Gerald Poisson (left) and Dave Woodward (right)

WXYZ-TV in Detroit reported Thursday that former Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chair Dave Woodward has withdrawn his candidacy for the position of county executive.

According to the report, acting County Executive Gerald Poisson informed them that Woodward, a Democrat long viewed as the frontrunner, was withdrawing from the race and that he is still on the Board of Commissioners, as his resignation hadn’t yet been finalized.

Woodward was one of five candidates interviewed Wednesday for the executive position that opened when longtime County Executive L. Brooks Patterson died earlier this month. Woodward’s resignation from the board, which was intended to aid his candidacy, left it split evenly 10-10 between Democrats and Republicans.

On Wednesday, Thomas Middleton, the lone Republican on the three-person panel set to interview the executive candidates decided to boycott the proceedings, saying they weren’t given enough time to prepare. Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner, who has said he’ll seek the seat in 2020, has questioned “the integrity of [the] process” in declining to seek the interim position.

Neither Woodward nor a spokesperson for the Board of Commissioners immediately responded to a request for comment. On Friday, the board will convene to hear the results of Wednesday’s interviews, and then hold a vote where a simple majority could elect a successor to finish Patterson’s term.

If no successor is elected by the board within 30 days of Patterson’s death, a special election will be held next May.

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Derek Robertson
Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.