David Potts Counts on Experience, Strong Support in 40th District State House Race
During the countdown to the Aug. 7 primary, Patch is bringing you profiles of the candidates running for local office.
The Aug. 7 primary election is drawing closer every day, but how much do you really know about the names on the ballot?
Patch is interviewing candidates running in the Aug. 7 primary, including the four candidates vying to be on the Republican ticket for the 40th District's seat in the Michigan House of Representatives.
The seat is currently filled by Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham), who is unable to run for re-election due to term limits (though Moss is looking to run for Sen. John Pappageorge's seat in 2014).
After redistricting, the 40th district will be composed of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, and a portion of West Bloomfield.
Running for the spot are Birmingham Board of Education's Robert Lawrence, West Bloomfield attorney David Wolkinson, and Bloomfield Hills Commissioner Mike McCready. Democrat Dorian Coston will face the winner in November.
See how they measure up against one another at a meet-the-candidates forum from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday at Baldwin Public Library sponsored by the Oakland County League of Women Voters.
Family: Potts is married to Oakland County Circuit Judge Wendy Potts, a former chief judge who was appointed to the bench by former Gov. John Engler in 1997. The couple has two daughters and two grandchildren.
Education: Potts is a graduate of the first Bloomfield Hills High School (currently Andover High School) and earned a bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University. He was the first of his family to graduate from college and went on to earn a law degree at Wayne State University.
Occupation: By trade, Potts is an attorney that has worked in private practice in Metro Detroit for more than 40 years. His office is currently located in Birmingham. Politically, Potts was elected to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners three times, and currently serves as chairman of the board's Planning and Building Committee.
Residence: Potts is a Bloomfield Township resident.
Other activities or endorsements: Among his many endorsers are the Michigan Townships Association; Downtown Publications; Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson; former Congressman Joe Knollenberg; State Representative Chuck Moss; State Representative Marty Knollenberg; State Representative Gail Haines; State Senator Jim Marleau; County Commissioner Shelley Taub; County Commissioner Bob Gosselin; Birmingham Mayor Mark Nickita; Birmingham City Commissioners Tom McDaniel, Scott Moore, Gordon Rinschler and Stuart Sherman; Bloomfield Hills City Commissioner Patricia Hardy; Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie; Bloomfield Township Treasurer Dan Devine; Bloomfield Township Trustees Neal Barnett and David Buckley; Bloomfield Library Trustee Pam Williams; former Birmingham Mayor Coco Siewert; former Birmingham City Commissioner Julie Plotnik; former State Representative John Jamian; former County Commissioner Greg Jamian; former Circuit Court Judges Steven Andrews, Norman Lippitt, Fred Mester and Richard Kuhn; plus a lot of community and political activists. I served on Birmingham's Planning Commission before being elected to the County Commission in 2006. Former Senior Warden at Christ Church Cranbrook. Board of Directors, National Kidney Foundation. Executive Committee Member for the Oakland County Republican Party. Former Chair of the Oakland County Economic Development Corporation. Former Board Member, Birmingham Community House. Former Chair, American Heart Association of Metro Detroit. Co-Host, TV Show "Eye on Oakland".
Why are you running for state representative?
Potts' primary motivation is help get Michigan's economy grow employment opportunities for generations.
"My oldest daughter recently had to relocate her family to Illinois due to Michigan's paucity of economic opportunities," he said. "We need to change our tax structure and regulatory climate so that businesses want to be located in Michigan and our citizens can have meaningful employment."
What are new ideas you would bring to the position/district?
"I want to introduce legislation that would require all of our public universities to use a common purchasing system," he said. "The Mackinac Center has issued studies that show there would be a significant cost savings if this were to be done."
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Michigan?
Without a doubt, Potts said the state's top dilemma is the economy.
"The cost of government combined with a devastating decline in property values has created situations that are currently unsustainable," he said. "It may be another twenty years before we see property values, and the tax revenue associated with them, return to the previous levels of ten years ago."
"We need to rethink Michigan's tax system. I am proposing that the State Income Tax be reduced by twice the amount that Governor Snyder has proposed," Potts explained. "Michigan needs to be seen as a more desirable place to reside in and do business in."
Check out the stories we've written about Potts and his campaign for the State House:
- Potts Run For State House Follows Political Tradition
- State House Candidate's TV Show Raises 'Equal-Time' Campaign Issue
This story has been updated to reflect Potts' age.