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Two Candidates Join Race For Wayne County Executive

Though Robert Ficano hasn't yet announced his intentions on whether he'll run again for the Wayne County Executive job he has held since 2002, two well-known Democrats aren't waiting as they throw their hats into the ring to try and take the position from him.

Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara -- son of the late Ed McNamara who had the job before Ficano -- and Westland Mayor William Wild, have both scheduled press conferences to make their bids official.

Wild, who is serving his third term as Westland's mayor, will hold a press conference 11 a.m. Wednesday at North Brothers Ford in Westland. He set up an exploratory committee for the job last spring.

And Bryan Peckinpaugh, spokesman for McNamara, said the commissioner will formally announce his bid to run Michigan's largest county at a news conference scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at the WCCCD's campus in Taylor.

McNamara has been considering the move for over a year, Peckinpaugh added.

Ficano has repeatedly said he is focusing on county business when asked about re-election.

"I think it's important to keep the focus on what we're doing to move the county forward and get the finances back on better footing. Politics can come later," Ficano said

Both McNamara and Wild referenced problems and ongoing investigations into business dealings by several former Ficano appointees. Ficano has not been directly implicated in any proceedings.

McNamara,"is frustrated by the direction of county government, like many citizens. He has been out front on many issues, including the direction of leadership, the jail project, funding in the prosecutor's office and securing funding for youth and senior programs," Peckinpaugh said. "Kevin has a vision to transform county government into a more efficient unit that helps enable communities to thrive with growing base of residents and businesses."

There will be more to say about the county election and other regional issues when Ficano, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan appear together in their first public confab before the Detroit Econimic Club luncheon this Thursday at Cobo Center. I will moderate the conversation and pose questions.

The event, co-sponsored by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and CBS 62, will air on "Michigan Matters" on Sunday, Jan. 19, 11:30 a.m. on CBS 62.

Carol Cain is the Emmy winning Senior Producer/Host of "Michigan Matters" which airs 11:30 am. Sundays on CBS 62. She also writes about business and politics in Sunday's Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at

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