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In just a month, Michigan voters will be heading to the polls for a primary election to select their candidates for November. The headline race for the Democratic nominee for Oakland County Executive features two good men, both of whom have a long history of being solid on issues of concern for the LGBTQ community, and one of whom happens to be gay.
Being a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I have made a practice and a commitment in my business career to aggressively support the advancement and growth of job candidates from underrepresented communities. I’ve been fired for being gay and have lost other jobs for the same reason. I understand the challenges we face. All things being equal, I always hired the candidate facing glass ceilings. All things being close to equal, I provided extra weight to the value of having underrepresented voices at the table to those that had not yet had the chance to shine in their career.
All that being said, I am endorsing the candidacy of Andy Meisner for Oakland County Executive. While both men are solid on the policy issues we care about, those policy issues become unimportant if the Democrat doesn’t win. And the stakes are even higher in 2020 with a presidential race, a U.S. Senate race and two Michigan Supreme Court seats on the ballot. Oakland County is critical to each of those races. Democrats need to drive a solid majority in the County to win statewide races. Our selection of Andy to head the Democratic ticket in Oakland County is a reflection of the reality that, in this race, “all things are not equal”, or near thereto.
Meisner is a proven and seasoned candidate. He has won election as Oakland County Treasurer three times — with larger margins than any other Democratic candidate in the County. He has created campaign teams that are broadly representative and, more importantly, have shown an ability to operate with high energy and success. Meisner has built coalitions throughout the County that have tapped into communities that are often considered swing voters. Andy knows how to raise money and is already far outraising the other primary and general election candidates. Not only does Andy have the better odds of winning in the November election, but he’ll also have coattails that will be critical for so many other elections.
This unique time in our history puts another key decision-making factor in play: getting elected is important of course, but being able to deliver will be critical. Our current economic meltdown is putting severe pressure on municipal budgets. Andy’s eight-year stint as Oakland County Treasurer and his history as a member of the Michigan Legislature gives me an extra level of confidence that he can put the team in place to weather this storm. Experience matters.
I’m excited about the abundance of LGBTQ candidates across the state of Michigan running for positions from city commission to U.S. Congress. It’s important for us to continue to break through glass ceilings and push past discrimination to take our rightful place at the table. We all have a responsibility to mentor and support community leaders with great potential so that they are well-positioned to meet future challenges. For today’s challenges, however, I’m endorsing Andy Meisner for Oakland County Executive.