The growing Detroit exurbs of Livingston County have long been a GOP bastion, but there are some signs that the red wall is being breached.
The county was supposed to be the Republican firewall in the mid-Michigan 8th Congressional District, but now-U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) triumphed in 2018 over then-U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Rochester). And now WHMI-FM reports that the all-Republican Livingston County Board of Commissioners is no more.
Gary Childs, a moderate GOP commissioner representing Green Oak Township and part of Brighton Township, announced this week that he’s now a Democrat:
Childs, who has been at odds with fellow commissioners on a variety of issues including the broadcasting of meetings and most recently about denying health care coverage to non-union employees for all abortions except those in which the life of the mother is in danger, said while he “cherish(ed)” his six and a half years as an elected County Commissioner, “the increasing political polarization I observe has become more and more disturbing to me.”
Childs said he has been a Republican with moderate views throughout his adult life and that he believes strongly, “whatever is best for our country, our county, and our towns should drive our leadership.”
The most high-profile party switch in Michigan this year came from U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Cascade Township, who represents the 3rd Congressional District in West Michigan and left the GOP in July after calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment to become an independent.