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Oakland County Commissioner Helaine Zack Beats Fellow Democrat Incumbent

Craig Covey of Ferndale loses his seat to the Huntington Woods resident; Republican candidate Steven Zimberg, also of Huntington Woods, ran unopposed to represent the new 18th District.

Oakland County Commissioner Helaine Zack of Huntington Woods defeated incumbent challenger Craig Covey of Ferndale to represent the new 18th District on Tuesday.

Zack received approximately 54 percent of the vote, with 3,862 ballots cast, while Covey received approximately 46 percent, with 3,300 ballots cast.

"People have been wonderful," Zack said during an election party Tuesday night at her house. "Team Zack! We've knocked on at least 5,000 doors."

The incumbent's kitchen was abuzz with activity as friends, family and supporters crowded around her daughter, Emily Zack, 25, who kept track of results as they came in on her computer.

"I was calmer before," Helaine Zack said. "I'm getting nervous as the results are coming in."

Covey, who campaigned with several volunteers outside Precincts 2 and 4 at in Huntington Woods earlier Tuesday, said he would endorse Zack if she won.

"We both told each other at the very beginning that neither of us would engage in any negativity," he said. "She used the word 'icky.' I used the word 'unfortunate.' "

Covey and Zack currently serve on the commission but, due to redistricting, are competing to represent the new 18th district, which includes Huntington Woods, Hazel Park, Oak Park, Royal Oak Township and Ferndale.

"We should not have to run against each other," Covey said. "My opponent is not the bad guy here. ... At the eleventh hour – more like 11:45 – the Republicans in Oakland County under (Executive L. Brooks Patterson) and (Clerk Bill Bullard) got with their henchmen up in Lansing and redrew the lines to get rid of two Democrats."

Covey noted that the county has been Republican-controlled for decades, but said Democrats "try to have relevance and impact."

Republican Steven Zimberg of Huntington Woods ran unopposed for the commission.

These results are unofficial until confirmed by the Oakland County clerk.

Gordy Oliva August 08, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Congrats Helaine, Mazel Tov and all the best to you. Job well done, you deserve it and not at all surprised,
Carol Paster August 08, 2012 at 04:17 PM
FWIW Zack spent a lot more on mailers than Covey did. I'm sure that helped.
Melinda Lee Hicks August 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Not true. Look at the numbers. Ferndale still supports Craig Covey in large numbers. He's done a tremendous amount for our community and we are fortunate to have him. Meanwhile, what have YOU done for our community other than hide behind a false name and criticize those that actually get out and volunteer to better their city?
Linda Baker August 08, 2012 at 08:16 PM
now the real work begins! we must all participate and help when called upon, congratulations and thank you Helaine.
Timothy Discenna August 08, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Helaine Zak actually came knocking at my door.. It's what got her my vote..

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