Pontiac Mayor August 3 Primary Candidate Guide

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Image credit: Meta Stange/WDET

Get to know the candidates running for Mayor of Pontiac in the August 3 primary election.

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The August 3 primary is fast approaching. Get to know the candidates running for local office in your community with 101.9 FM WDET’s Candidate Guides. Surveys were distributed to candidates to complete and you can see the responses for candidates for Mayor of Pontiac below.

See a full list of races covered here.


Related Race: Pontiac City Council


Jump to a candidate:
Jeremy Bowie
Wanda Denise Coates
Tim Greimel
Alexandria T. Riley


Josh McRae
Josh McRae

Jeremy Bowie

Age: 32

Current job: Attorney and Realtor

Education: Michigan State University (c/o 2011), B.A. in Political Science-Prelaw; Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School (c/o 2015), Juris Doctor

About Jeremy Bowie: I was born and raised in Pontiac, MI. I was raised in a single-parent home with my older brother. I graduated from Pontiac Northern High School in 2006, Michigan State University in May of 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Art in Political Science-Prelaw, and the Western Michigan University  Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI in May 2015 with a Juris Doctor. I lived in the District of Columbia for a year working in the United States Senate for Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and The White House for President Barack Obama. I am an attorney and realtor. I am a former assistant prosecuting attorney at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Currently, I am employed with the Perkins Law Group in Detroit, MI and I am a REALTORS® with Keller Williams Metro in Royal Oak, MI.

One of my passions is mentoring the youth. I am a mentor on the FIRST Robotics Team at the International Technology Academy in Pontiac, MI. When I am not working or mentoring, I like to attend sporting events, read, travel and relax with friends and family. My two most favorite things to do are laughing and helping people.

Why are you running for Pontiac Mayor? I am running for the Mayor of the City of Pontiac because I simply love the city. Growing up I was told to do well in school, be a good citizen, and go outside of Pontiac and experience the world and do well. I was also taught to give back. This lesson was taught to me by all of those who helped along my journey to finding my place in this world. This lesson was reinforced by my amazing mother. I could be anywhere in the world. I could go to any other community in the world and have an impact. Why create change elsewhere when my hometown is reeling and looking for the youth to lead it into the future? When I am driving throughout the city, I see the rich history and the prosperous future. The fun memories of my upbringing in this city bring a smile to my face. On the other hand, I also feel a city that is just simply existing and not thriving. I see citizens who are just living to survive for the day to do it all over again the next day.

My campaign and election to Mayor will rejuvenate the city, bridge communities, and finally give this city a competent, tenacious leader who backs down to no one. President William Jefferson Clinton in his remarks at Coretta Scott King’s funeral stated, “The difficulty of success does not relieve one of the obligation to try.” Leading the city of Pontiac will be difficult but it makes me want to work harder to bring success to the citizens of Pontiac. This city deserves a passionate, competent, and innovative leader who will work in the best interests of the city. This is city is on the verge of total collapse. City leadership masking the failures of the city is smoke in mirrors. This city is majority millennial, however, millennials are not represented in our city leadership. Millennials in this city are overlooked and unheard. Citizens have lost trust in city leadership and this city is severely divisive. As Mayor of Pontiac, I will work to (1)  hold people accountable in our education system (2) connect Pontiac to the world (3) engage, energize, and elevate the youth (4) protect and serve the seniors, veterans, and disabled citizens (5) implement economic diversity and sustainability (6) cultural recognition and celebration and (7) evolve Pontiac into a city where people can safely live, work, and play. Pontiac is not dead; Pontiac is not gone. The best is yet to come for this city and its citizens. Every day I will work to bring positive, impactful change resulting in trust being restored into city leadership and a city moving forward together.

Why create change elsewhere when my hometown is reeling and looking for the youth to lead it into the future?” — Jeremy Bowie

What is the most important issue facing Pontiac? The most important issue facing Pontiac is engaging, energizing, and elevating the youth doing this from recreational activities to education.

How would you address that issue? Within my powers as Mayor, I would address the issue of education by: (1) actively engaging with Pontiac Schools by attending board meetings and  supporting all events; (2) meeting with the Pontiac Schools  Superintendent and Board Trustees, the principals and teachers, and students and parents of Pontiac Schools on a regular basis; (3) implementing innovative strategies to raise state test scores and postsecondary success by encouraging the village approach to education thereby financially incentivizing group parenting; (4) partnering with local nonprofits and Pontiac Schools to equally promote and make accessible  postsecondary careers paths: college and universities, vocational and technical schools, and entrepreneurship; (5) collaborating with Pontiac  Schools to establish a college tour for junior and seniors; (6) establishing  financial literacy programming/seminars aimed at Pontiac teenagers (13 to 19 years old); and collaborating with state and local government and  Pontiac Schools to truly combat and swiftly punish truancy law violators. 

Within my powers as Mayor, I would address the issue of a lack of recreational activities by: (1) establishing a Generation Z and Millennial  Councils and meeting with them monthly; (2) creating a Kid Mayor program. Partner with the Pontiac School District, churches, and nonprofits to establish community youth recreation locations throughout the city; (3) collaborating with banks, businesses, nonprofits, real estate developers, and community leaders to expand to the east side of Pontiac and the Pontiac Youth Recreation and Enrichment Center; (4) establishing a summer ATM (Art, Theatre, and Music) program; and (5) partnering with nonprofits, businesses, and foundations to create impactful programming centered around mentorship, career development, financial literacy,  computer skills, and mental health awareness.

What actions/decisions by the current mayoral administration or city council have you disagreed with? There have been some real estate transactions with city-owned properties that have been abhorrent at best (Silverdome and Phoenix Center). Furthermore, our city has entered into contracts that have tied up the city finances. City leaders have entered into contracts making promises that the city does not have the financial means to fully perform. The relationship between the current Mayor and the City Council is terrible. City council meetings have become an example of how not to be professional and how not to conduct city business. There is much vitriol between the Mayor and City Council. City leadership has not been forthcoming about contracts and spending. Millennials and Generation Z  have been ignored. No consistent youth programming, no pride in the city. City Hall is absent of truth.


Wanda Denise Coates

Current job: Federal grant writer

Education: I have a bachelors degree, masters degree, and will get a PhD.

About Wanda Denise Coates: My parents are military people. I’ve been working with community service, community development, education, housing, and legislation all of my 20-year career. I have a background and childhood development and have served as a committee member for the Pontiac Art Crawl.

Why are you running for Pontiac Mayor?  I started my campaign in 2016, planning, cleaning and organizing. This year, winter 2021, I personally circulated all 300 Signatures and have spoken to over 1,000 residences safe social distance. Additionally, over 10,000 flyer information. I am the first candidate on the list as Mayor for Pontiac in Oakland County. I want to make sure young people are learning future skills, that people learn entrepreneurship skills, and that homeless people are taken care of.

I want to make sure young people are learning future skills, that people learn entrepreneurship skills, and that homeless people are taken care of.” — Wanda Denise Coates

What is the most important issue facing Pontiac? Workforce development. 

How would you address that issue? I’d like to teach apprenticeship skills, resume writing, interview skills, social media responsibility skills, and trade skills.

What actions/decisions by the current mayoral administration or city council have you disagreed with?  The City needed cleaning — trash, crime, financial, housing, community development and involvement.


Tim Greimel

Age: 47

Current job: Director of Legislation and Public Policy for AFSCME Council 25 (the Michigan council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees)

Education: Bachelor’s in Economics and Political Science, Master’s of Public Policy, and a Juris Doctor, all from the University of Michigan

About Tim Greimel: I worked as an attorney in the field of labor, employment, and civil rights, representing employees who were discriminated against in the workplace. I previously represented Pontiac for five years as an Oakland County Commissioner and for another seven years as a state representative. As the House Democratic Leader in Lansing from 2013-2016, I played leading roles in expanding Medicaid coverage to provide health insurance to over 700,000 previously uninsured Michigan residents, including many thousands in Pontiac, and in increasing our state’s minimum wage and indexing it to inflation for the first time ever. In addition, I secured state funding for a major job training program in Pontiac and renewed millions of dollars in funding for school-based health centers around the state, including centers at Pontiac High School, Pontiac Middle School, and Walt Whitman Elementary School.

Why are you running for Pontiac Mayor? I am running for mayor because I love Pontiac and believe in our future. Having represented our city for seven years in the state legislature, I have a proven track record of delivering results in Pontiac and a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with other elected officials to get things done. 

Having represented our city for seven years in the state legislature, I have a proven track record of delivering results in Pontiac and a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with other elected officials to get things done.”

What is the most important issue facing Pontiac? The most important issue facing Pontiac is establishing a robust youth recreation and youth enrichment program. By providing opportunities for our young people to participate in sports, arts, and music, to access after-school tutoring opportunities, and to take computer coding and programming classes, we would improve their odds of living up to their full potential, while reducing crime and improving public safety for everyone.

How would you address that issue? Voters already approved a youth recreation millage in 2018, which generates over $900,000 in annual revenue. Sadly, our community has nothing to show for this revenue stream as discord between the Mayor and City Council has prevented the establishment of one or more permanent youth recreation centers. I will establish several youth recreation centers around the city in partnership with the school district.

What actions/decisions by the current mayoral administration or city council have you disagreed with? In addition to my disappointment with the inability and/or unwillingness of City Hall to establish a youth recreation program, I have disagreed with the mayor’s decision to engage in protracted litigation regarding the Phoenix Center (which has wasted many millions of dollars) and the paralysis of City Hall in failing to issue medical marijuana licenses three years after city voters approved medical marijuana dispensaries in Pontiac.


Alexandria T. Riley

Candidate did not respond to survey request. 

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Alex McLenon, Reporter

Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.

Follow @alexmclenon

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