Rolling out her campaign OAKLAND COUNTY
Southfield mayor to run for executive post
Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence officially announced Friday that she plans to run against Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson for the county's top job, saying the county needs new leadership to address issues of regionalism, foreclosures, mass transit and sprawl.
"In Oakland County, the future is now," said Lawrence, who became Southfield's first black and first female mayor when she was elected in 2001.
"Today, I'm going to ask you, Oakland County, to act. It's time to change."
Lawrence said her campaign could cost upward of $1 million.
Critics have said Lawrence will have a hard time beating Patterson, who has been county executive for 16 years, is well-known throughout the county and has been successful with economic development initiatives, including Automation Alley -- a cluster of high-tech businesses created in the 1990s in Oakland that has spread to Wayne, Macomb and other counties.
Dave Woodward, chairman of the Democratic Party in Oakland County and a county commissioner, has said that Lawrence is the strongest Democrat to ever run for county executive.
He said Oakland County needs new leaders with new ideas.