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.