A look at Wayne County primary elections outside of Detroit

Many of the Republican primary legislative candidates in Wayne County are trying to “out-Trump each other,” according to a former member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.

Wayne County is a large and diverse area. It includes the Gross Pointe in the east, Canton and Livonia to the west, and Taylor and Trenton to the south. The cities within Wayne County express themselves in different ways politically.

Last year, for the first time ever, Grosse Pointe Park elected a woman as the city’s mayor. That’s also as Arab-American mayors were elected in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Hamtramck. And now, with the political lines redistricted, cities within the county are finding themselves sharing representatives with new neighbors.

“I think that the governor, our current governor, has done a good job in trying to solidify the base in Wayne County.” — Robert Ficano, former Wayne County executive


Listen: How the primary elections are shaping up in Wayne County outside of Detroit.

 


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Robert Ficano is a former Wayne County executive. He says the Republican gubernatorial candidates are “pretty weak,” especially compared with the track record of Michigan’s current governor.

“I think that the governor, our current governor, has done a good job in trying to solidify the base in Wayne County,” says Ficano. “She’s been sensitive not only to Detroit but to parts of western Wayne County and Downriver.”

John Knappman is a former president of the Downriver Bar Association and former member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers. He says former President Donald Trump reflects the desires of some voters in Wayne County.

“Some of the frustrations, four years ago that they felt, Trump echoed,” says Knappman. “People think that Donald Trump came up with this and said this, and they followed him. No, I think it’s more clear as we go along that Donald Trump was following a ground-up effort in the Republican Party among people who were coming together on certain issues.”

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