Primary election day 2016 is in the books, with voters across Oakland County renewing the Detroit Zoo millage, choosing party candidates to run for Oakland County and state House offices in November, selecting Republican elected representatives for Bloomfield Township office, and two Bloomfield Township millage proposals won renewal requests from voters.
In one of the most contested and nasty election campaigns in memory, Bloomfield Township voters renewed the job contract of incumbent supervisor Leo Savoie over challenger Dave Thomas. Savoie has been in office since 2011; he was appointed to the post by the board of trustees after former supervisor Dave Payne resigned, and he was re-elected in 2012.
Savoie received 53 percent of the vote, with 4,244 votes, to Thomas' 3,792 votes. Of Savoie's votes, 2,083 came from absentee voters.
"I'm very glad how everything worked out," Savoie said on election night. "I'm looking forward to working with the new board and getting back on normal footing."
Incumbent clerk Jan Roncelli, who has been on the township board for 20 years, first elected as a trustee in 1996 and then as township clerk since 2004, overwhelmingly bested challenger Susie Kern, 61 percent to 39 percent, winning with 4,767 votes to Kern's 3078.
"I'm thrilled to be the clerk for another term. I'm glad the campaign cycle is over," Roncelli said.
In a huge upset after an extremely contentious campaign, 17-year incumbent treasurer Dan Devine was defeated by township trustee Brian Kepes, who filed to run for treasurer after Devine became a controversial figure, filing a whistleblower lawsuit against Bloomfield Township and township supervisor Leo Savoie, which was thrown out in December 2015, but which he has appealed, and alleging that Savoie could have "kidnapped" his missing daughter in May 2015, when she was actually at work. In July 2015, township trustees censured Devine.
With all precincts reporting, Kepes won 59 percent of the vote against Devine's 41 percent, receiving 4,803 votes, of which 2,276 came from absentee ballots, to Devine's 3,325.
Roncelli, wearing her election hat, noted that Kepes' lead was well over 60 percent with the precincts reporting, and evened out to 59 percent as the absentee ballots were counted. Overall, the township received about 5,400 absentee ballots.
"I think this is good for the township," Kepes said of his win.
Trustee Neal Barnett, who was re-elected with 3,573 votes, said that while he is delighted to be re-elected, he is happiest about Kepes' election as treasurer. "The deck is better than it was before," he said. "I'm just so thrilled the voters of Bloomfield Township voted Brian Kepes in as our next treasurer. He has the integrity and honesty that residents expect and he takes us back to where we used to be as a township, which is a non-political board. It's a good day in the township."...continued on page 2