It’s a who’s who of Dem allies on new Oakland County exec. Coulter’s transition team

    Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter, March 18, 2019 | Susan J. Demas

    New Democratic Oakland County County Executive Dave Coulter has tapped a slew of well-known Democratic allies for his 10-member transition team.

    Coulter, the former mayor of Ferndale, was picked last month by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, which has a Democratic majority. The Oakland County GOP has filed suit to block his appointment. The metro Detroit county was led for years by Republican L. Brooks Patterson, who died in office after a cancer battle.

    Oakland County board appoints Ferndale mayor to succeed Patterson

    The new county executive announced Friday that his transition team will include Oakland County Commission Vice Chair Marcia Gershenson; University of Michigan Regent Paul Brown; Lisa Canada, political and legislative director for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights; Dave Hecker, president of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan; and Gilda Jacobs, a former state senator and representative who’s now president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy.

    Other members are Sean Carlson, executive director of the Michigan Defense Center Huron Valley Schools board member; Jaimie Clayton, president and CEO of Oakland Family Services; Jeff Denha, CEO of Brass Aluminum Forging; Glenn McIntosh, vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer at Oakland University; and Mary Zatina, senior vice president of government relations and community affairs at Beaumont Health.

    The group’s first meeting is scheduled for next week.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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