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In the race for Oakland County Executive, there are two excellent choices in the Democratic primary on Aug. 4 – Dave Coulter and Andy Meisner. Between these two longtime advocates for LGBTQ issues, BTL strongly endorses Dave Coulter. As the interim Oakland County executive, Coulter has proven himself to be a competent, energetic, creative and resourceful leader. And with over 1.2 million residents in the county, he is the LGBTQ elected official representing more residents in the state than anyone else, except for Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Coulter has been active for decades in LGBTQ political groups and HIV/AIDS organizations. He served as the executive director of the Michigan AIDS Fund and was the second openly gay mayor of Ferndale from 2011 until August 2019. Coulter has been an openly LGBTQ politician for almost two decades. In 2013 he was the first Michigan Mayor to perform a same-sex marriage. He was also elected to be the first openly gay Oakland County Commissioner, a position he held from 2002 to 2011. He served as a vice chair of the Michigan Democratic Party LGBTQ Caucus.
Last year the Oakland County Commission voted to appoint him to serve out the remainder of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s term following Patterson’s death. Coulter is running now to continue in that position he’s held since last year.
Coulter understands how government works and has consistently been a strong representative of the LGBTQ community. His deep experience fighting the AIDS epidemic has served him well in responding to the current COVID-19 epidemic. He has been swift and decisive in issuing safety orders and getting necessary resources to the people, health care providers and businesses in Oakland County. We were lucky to have someone with his perspective on such a serious health crisis in that position when the epidemic broke out.
This is a chance for the LGBTQ community to elect one of our own, and we should take this opportunity to hold on to such a high-level seat at the table. Allies are certainly critical but diversity is also essential. LGBTQ people are underrepresented at all levels of government. Coulter will serve Oakland County well and be a highly visible representative of our community.