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Mike Saliba Earns 5% of the Vote in a 3-Way Race

From correspondent Jim Fulner

Libertarian nominee Mike Saliba earns 5% of the vote in a three way race for Clinton Township Trustee special election conducted in combination with Michigan presidential preference primary. This percentage is the largest in years for a Michigan Libertarian nominee in a race that also included a Republican and Democrat.

The special election was a result of Trustee Joie West (D) resigning last July after 19 years citing the cut-throat nature of the board. This happened to correspond with her family’s sale of  their Clinton Township home in 2022 with township Supervisor Bob Cannon (R) requesting her resignation due to no longer being a permanent resident of the township, a claim which West denied indicating her and her husband where now renting a room in a friends’ home.

The special election seemed to echo the cut-through changes to Macomb County politics West cited. Dan Kress (R), a professional builder, achieved the majority vote (51%) whilst battling a lawsuit brought against him by the township after achieving the Republican nomination for building code violations and a scathing article by the region’s largest newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, describing his recent legal troubles and a messy divorce proceeding.

Saliba’s 5% total is seen by Macomb Libertarians as a victory and a sign of changing electoral opinions in Metro Detroit. Saliba fought against perceptions of being a minor-party candidate with no chance of victory, including a claim by the local paper, the Macomb Daily, of Saliba failing to start a campaign, yet any drive through the township would be clear to see that there were nearly as many Saliba signs as Kress, while not a single sign was seen of second place finisher Democrat Iona Means (44%).  This is on top of it being the only race on the ballot other than the presidential preference primary, whose results where all-but- know before hand when presumption nominees Joe Biden (D) & Donald Trump (R) won the delegate contest handedly in their relative competitions. While Michigan has seven parties who qualify for automatic ballot access (Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, U.S. Taxpayers, Natural Law & Working Class) state election law only allows the two old parties to have presidential preference primaries. Early results indicate Chase Oliver (L-GA) as leading the polls for the Libertarian presidential nomination. The final contest is far from a pre-drawn conclusion, however, with approximately 1,000 unpledged delegates making the final decision at the party’s bi-annual convention. The 2024 Libertarian national convention will be held in Washington, DC on Labor Day weekend.

In addition to being the Libertarian nominee for the Township Trustee special election, Mike Saliba has served as chair of the Libertarians of Macomb County since that group re-formed in 2016. In 2022 Saliba earned 1.1% of the vote in the highly contested 10th congressional district election. Some have labeled Saliba as a king-maker in that election as he earned more votes than made up the difference between victor John James (R), 48.8%, and Carl Malinga (D)’s 48.1%. A final decision whether Saliba will again seek the Libertarian nomination to run against James in the 2024 election is expected to be made sometime after the Libertarian National Convention in May. Michigan election law requires new parties to nominate candidates at a privately funded convention on, or before, the first Tuesday of August, the same day as the tax-payer funded primary election for old party politicians.

 

2 Comments

  1. George Whitfield George Whitfield February 28, 2024

    Congratulations to Libertarian Mike Saliba for a strong showing.

  2. Jim F Jim F February 28, 2024

    It may be noted that Mike Saliba is currently being sued by the LNC for trademark infringement, in part for serving as Chair of the LPM as a result of the vote of the majority of LPM members requesting he do so.

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