Craig Covey Thanks Supporters, Says He'll Stay Involved in Politics
Oakland County Commissioner Helaine Zack of Huntington Woods beat the Ferndale resident, who was a fellow Democrat incumbent, in Tuesday's primary race in the new 18th District.
Oakland County Commission candidate Craig Covey expressed gratitude to his supporters Wednesday and said he plans to stay involved in local and national politics.
The current commissioner for the 25th District and former Ferndale mayor was defeated Tuesday by fellow Democrat and Oakland County Commissioner Helaine Zack of Huntington Woods to represent the new 18th District.
Zack received approximately 54 percent of the vote, with 3,862 ballots cast, while Covey received approximately 46 percent, with 3,300 ballots cast. Republican Steven Zimberg of Huntington Woods ran unopposed.
Covey and Zack currently serve on the commission but, due to redistricting, were competing to represent the new 18th district, which includes Huntington Woods, Hazel Park, Oak Park, Royal Oak Township and Ferndale.
Covey, who has endorsed Zack for the commission seat, said it was unfortunate that he and Zack had to run against each other.
"The bad guys here were not my opponents in this primary. The bad guys were the Republicans who engineered this power grab," Covey said of the redistricting. "Helaine and I have always been allies and friends and we'll always be allies and friends."
Covey said he is proud of his support in Ferndale, where he got more than 71 percent of the vote.
"That was very gratifying to me," he said. "I have zero regrets. I worked harder than ever on this one than any other (campaign) and I think we did everything right."
As for his future plans, Covey – a Ferndale resident – said he isn't going anywhere.
"For me to not be involved in some sort of advocacy or political work is, for me, unthinkable. It's a part of me as much as breathing or sleeping or eating," Covey said. "I'm not going to go anywhere and they won't be able to ever take me out of the political realm until they plant me in the ground. I intend to stay around for a while."
He said he will work on the Obama campaign this fall and support local candidates including Democrat Lisa Brown of West Bloomfield, who will challenge Bill Bullard, the Republican incumbent, for Oakland County Clerk.
In January 2011, Covey resigned as mayor of Ferndale to take the Oakland County Board of Commissioners post. His work on council included advocacy of gay rights and diversity, founding the local blues festival and his support of green initiatives.
Covey offered a "big thank you" to the city of Ferndale for its support.
"I just have the best volunteers and friends in the world and I'm just amazed at how much hard work they put in," he said. "I'm really appreciative of the whole city of Ferndale. I'm just so proud and my affection for the city just grows."