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Just one Republican candidate in race for Macomb County executive

A Shelby Township business owner is the sole Republican option for Macomb County executive, according to candidate filings Tuesday for the Aug. 3 primary election.

Simon Haddad, owner and president of Audio Trends Inc., a distributor and retailer of mobile devices and handheld electronics, is the only Republican candidate for executive as of noon Tuesday, the deadline for candidates to file at the Macomb County Election Department.

He’ll face the winner of the Democratic primary race between county Sheriff Mark Hackel and county Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco, in the November general election for Macomb’s first county executive.

Haddad, 43, also owns commercial real estate rental company Haddad Properties Corp. and is deputy director of the taxpayer rights advocacy group Michigan Taxpayers Alliance.

He said Tuesday he is campaigning to curb exorbitant employee legacy costs, adopt proactive budget measures like Oakland County has used, and to roll back the property tax increase of 4.2 mills to 4.56 mills approved by the county board last year.

“Other counties like Oakland are making changes to adapt to the realities we’re facing, while our county raises taxes and seems to be stalling for time,” he said.

In addition, 45 Republicans and Democrats are seeking seats on the 13-member board to be convened next year, under a charter form of government approved by Macomb County voters last fall that reduces the size of the board and creates a new executive position.

The candidate field includes 22 of the current 26 incumbents, and seven of the 13 new board elections feature at least two incumbents facing each other.

Commission Chairman Paul Gieleghem is not among them, and will face former county Prosecutor Carl Marlinga in the Democratic primary election Aug. 3, for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Michael Switalski.

Commissioner and Macomb County Democratic Party Chairman Ed Bruley is a candidate for the Wayne State University Board of Governors this year, and Commissioner Carey Torrice has filed for the 33rd District in the state House as well as the new 13th District on the county board. She has until later this week to withdraw from one of those races.

The filing deadline for the Aug. 3 primary ballot is 4 p.m. today.
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