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Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel Talks Regional Transit, His Political Future

Laura Weber Davis, WDET

We’re still two years out from the gubernatorial race in Michigan but there is already plenty of speculation in political circles about who may be interested in leading the state after 2018. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel is one of the names often mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate.

I never really thought about it, [but] I do hear it,” Hackel tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Hackel describes his approach to politics by saying, “I’ve been very unorthodox.” He explains that he never intended to run for his current role as Macomb County executive. He emphasizes that he doesn’t see his current position as a stepping stone. ”I’m not here being the county executive because I’m looking to run for governor,” he says.

He says he makes all of his decisions based off of the caveat, “What is the right thing to do? Bottom line.”  This philosophy is extended to his support of U.S. Rep. Candice Miller — a Republican — running for Macomb County public works commissioner against long standing fellow Democratic incumbent Anthony Marrocco. He calls Marrocco’s administration “unacceptable” and he accuses him of not operating with enough transparency.

Hackel also gives a Macomb County take on the recently unveiled Regional Transit Authority plan, which he supports.  ”It’s a hard sell” when we have current infrastructure issues that aren’t being dealt with, he says. ”There’s a tremendous amount of distrust about where their tax dollars are going.” He says it’s important to get residents excited about it rather than trying to sell them with a “scare message,” as if “the sky is falling.”

Click on the audio link to hear the entire conversation.

Image credit: Matt Trevethan/WDET

Filed Under: #mpc16
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