An overview of local elections in Oakland County

A Republican and Democrat explain what Oakland County primaries will look like based on changing demographics and political values in the area.

Oakland County is the second most populated place in Michigan. It’s where some of the state’s most highly educated residents reside. And it’s also a significant driver of the state’s economy, with many white-collar jobs produced there.

But over the last decade or so, Oakland County has changed demographically. And that means the politics of the area have changed as well, creating a liberal stronghold.

“We’ve seen Oakland County go from being a red county to being a purple county to now pretty solidly blue.” — Dennis Darnoi, Republican political consultant

Listen: What the political makeup of Oakland County looks like and how that will show up in the primaries.



Dennis Darnoi is a Republican political consultant who tracks voter data. He says there’s a divide between the urban, suburban and rural voters within the Republican Party — adding that most urban and suburban conservative voters are focused on quality-of-life issues, such as crime and education.

“We’ve seen Oakland County,” says Darnoi, “go from being a red county to being a purple county to now pretty solidly blue.”

Dave Woodward is a Democrat and the chair of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. He says the new political district lines that were drawn have helped liberals in southeast Michigan work together to improve on things like education, health care and job creation.

“Our partnership with our surrounding communities — particularly Detroit, Wayne County and surrounding areas — I think the new lines lend itself to a new opportunity to be working together, to approach these problems with a regional lens,” says Woodward.

Find out who’s running in Oakland County here and find out more about the candidates here.

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