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ROYAL OAK – Attorney Jim Rasor was elected to one of three open seats on the Royal Oak Commission, becoming the second openly gay man to win a seat on that city’s commission. Gary Lelito, Royal Oak’s first openly gay commissioner, did not seek reelection this year.
“I am really excited to get to work,” said Rasor, who said he was bleary-eyed after a long election night and an early morning court appearance.
Rasor attributed his win to a strong coalition of supporters who responded to his message of progress, jobs and streamlining city government.
“We had an unprecedented coalition of old and young, straight and gay, Republican and Democrat – any way you could slice the demographic, they came out and supported this campaign,” said Rasor. “Royal Oak is such a cosmopolitan community, it is only fitting that this is the way we should succeed.”
When asked what was the toughest part of the campaign for him, Rasor responded with characteristic optimism: “Hard is a point of view. I thought the whole thing was really cool. I really enjoyed it. It was really just a great experience.”
Also on the ballot in Royal Oak was a referendum to put a moratorium on any new liquor licenses in the city for two years. Rasor, who did not support the moratorium, said scare tactics were used by the opposition that ultimately reflected badly on the city.
“The other side was putting out all this propaganda that the city is not safe, that our downtown is out of control, that our police can’t handle the downtown. All of that was false. I think it is outrageous that some leaders were trying to scare senior citizens into believing they aren’t safe, and voters saw through it and realized it’s simply not true. It restored my faith in the voters and the process,” said Rasor.
Rasor said that FBI statistics clearly show that Royal Oak is safer than ever. Crime is down by 40 percent over 10 years, and the fire department response time is excellent.
Rasor will be sworn in on Dec. 7. He said that his new role as city commissioner will not effect his law practice much since the Rasor Law firm has expanded. “Others in the practice can step in ably if a conflict should arise for me,” he said.