Daily Briefs

Cavanagh wins Supreme Court race by very thin margin

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Final election results show a Michigan Supreme Court justice lost by less than 1 percentage point.

The difference between Megan Cavanagh and Justice Kurtis Wilder was 54,000 votes. Together they got 3.08 million.

There were six candidates in the race for two Supreme Court seats Tuesday. Cavanagh, a Detroit-area lawyer, finished second, ahead of Wilder. Justice Elizabeth Clement finished first. Results are posted online by the secretary of state.

Cavanagh had joked that she hoped voters wouldn’t confuse her with Brett Kavanaugh, the controversial U.S. Supreme Court justice. Name recognition likely helped her: Cavanagh’s father was a Michigan
Supreme Court justice for decades until 2015. An uncle was a Detroit mayor.

It’s the third time since 2008 that voters have declined to elect a sitting justice.


Federal prosecutors: Marijuana users not focus; drug still illegal

DETROIT (AP) — Federal prosecutors say no one should expect immunity under federal law simply because Michigan voters approved the legal use of marijuana.

Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and Grand Rapids U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge (BURJ) released a statement Thursday. They say they don’t prosecute marijuana users unless there are other serious circumstances. But they say crimes involving marijuana “can pose serious risks” to a community.

They cited the roles of gangs, the use of weapons and interstate trafficking.

Schneider and Birge say fighting drug crimes is just one of many priorities that must be considered with their limited resources. They say they are increasingly focused on the excessive distribution of life-threatening opioids.


Democrats will control Oakland County Board of Commissioners

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — For the first time in decades, Democrats are in the majority on the Board of Commissioners in Michigan’s second-largest county.

Voters in Oakland County chose four Democrats in districts that usually go Republican. Democrats now will have a one-seat majority.

County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, a Republican, says he wasn’t surprised by the election results Tuesday. He says he’s always “reached across the aisle ... to pass a bipartisan, balanced” budget.
Oakland County for years was known as a safe haven for Republicans in the Detroit area. But voters backed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for president, even rejecting native son Mitt Romney in 2012.
Democrats also hold key countywide offices.

Commissioner David Woodward, a Democrat from Royal Oak, says it’s a “new day” for the county.


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