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Crowded District 1 county commissioner race heats up



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May 19, 2010 - By Susan Bromley

Staff Writer

Brandon Twp.- The field of candidates for Oakland County Commissioner, District 1, stands at nine, with four of the candidates from this area.

Ken Christie, Andrew Potter and Ken Quisenberry have announced they are running for the position, joining fellow area resident Beth Nuccio, who officially announced her candidacy in March. Also on the August primary ballot will be five Oxford residents— Tony Albensi (R), Joe Bunting (R), James R. Porritt, Jr. (R), Steven Porter (R) and John Roshek, Jr. (R).

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Potter and Nuccio are also running as Republicans, while Christie and Quisenberry will compete for the Democratic spot on the November ballot.

Quisenberry, 51, filed a petition May 11 to be placed on the ballot for county commissioner.

"I've been active in government in the community for many years and would like to continue to be," he said. "I think I can have a more positive impact on northern Oakland County. I am a budget-oriented person anyway, and I would like to make sure northern Oakland County is well represented in county spending."

Quisenberry, a village of Ortonville resident, has served as village council president the last three years, and served (alongside fellow candidate Nuccio), on the Brandon School Board from 1998-2006, as treasurer and also as president.

Quisenberry retired as a lieutenant with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office in 2003, after 25 years of service. He is owner of Capital Investigations, a private investigation firm based in Ortonville and is a 1977 Brandon High School graduate.

His competition for the Democratic nomination, Christie, is a township resident who has been a UPS driver for 25 years and is the union steward for Teamsters Local 243. He is a member of the North Oakland Democratic Club and precinct delegate to the Michigan Democratic Convention who filed in part for the county commissioner seat because he didn't want the Republicans to run unopposed as he has seen in the past.

"I want to guarantee Democrats a choice in November and working men and women a voice," said Christie, 45. "I'm a 'We, the people, for the people' kind of person. The issues are always changing. My main concern with a down economy is not to lose anything we have now. I'd like to put a stop to using the board of commissioners as a staging ground for partisan resolutions."

Potter, like Quisenberry, is a retired police officer; however, the Republican candidate declined to say for what department he worked or for how long. He retired in June 2006 and is currently enrolled in the master's program for public administration, specializing in municipal and county government, at the University of Michigan-Flint. He will graduate next month.

The 47-year-old township resident received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University in 1989, is a Boy Scout Troop 199 leader, Ortonville Community Emergency Fund volunteer and has been a soccer coach in Brandon Recreation.

"I am running for county commissioner to further my education in county and municipal government and to be involved in the fiscal concerns that we all have," said Potter.

"One of the main things I'm concerned with is the county commissioner is a part-time position, but most people don't realize they receive full-time benefits. I think that should be eliminated. I'm also a big proponent of small businesses and would like them to stay in the area and keep the integrity of the small towns in District 1."

District 1 includes about 50,000 residents, covering Addison, Brandon, Groveland, and Oxford townships in addition to villages of Oxford, Leonard, and Ortonville. It also encompasses two voting precincts in Independence Township.

Current County Commissioner Brad Jacobsen (R-Oxford), won't be seeking re-election because he's running for the 46th District seat in the Michigan State House of Representatives, a seat occupied by Jim Marleau (R-Lake Orion).

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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