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September 20, 2002 - Image 31

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-20

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Brickner takes on incumbent Shulman

State Rep. Marc Shulman

for 39th District state House seat

another round in their families' political match-ups.

Special to the Jewish News

hile the Brickners easily
defeated the Shulmans in
the opener of a family
political doubleheader in
August, the Shulmans have the advan-
tage in the second contest in November.
But Democrat Stuart Brickner is waging
an aggressive battle in his challenge to
Republican incumbent Marc Shulman
for the 39th District state House of
Representatives seat.
In another round of a familial political
square-off, Brickner's wife, Maxine, the
only Democrat running, obtained 5,000
votes to win her party's nomination for
county commissioner in the 16th
District. She outdistanced all four
Republican candidates, including
Shulman's wife, Lois, in the Aug. 6 pri-
mary. The Republican hopefuls received
a combined 3,500 primary votes, includ-
ing 1,000 for Lois Shulman. Maxine
Brickner will face Republican Greg
Jamian in the Nov. 5 election.
Based on better demographics for a
Democratic candidate, the Brickners
moved from a home in the 17th District
to an apartment in the 16th District in
Maxine Brickner's quest for the post,
which earns $28,000 annually.
Meanwhile, her husband remains opti-
mistic in his own race for the state repre-
sentative's job, which pays $79,650 year-

Stuart Brickner has hurled a barrage of
charges against Marc Shulman, who
deflected the criticism, and revealed he's
close to securing about $1 million of
state funds in a first-ever grant to the
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
Detroit for distribution to local Jewish
agencies. Although Gov. John Engler
vetoed the Federation grant under line-
item veto powers, Shulman said he's still
negotiating to restore it and predicts he
will succeed.
Shulman, 50, is seeking re-election to
a third, two-year term — his last under
the term-limit restriction. Brickner, 59, is
now serving his second, four-year term as
a West Bloomfield trustee. Shulman gave
up a West Bloomfield trustee position to
first get elected to the state House in
1998, defeating Maxine Brickner — in
the first political match-up between the
two families. He beat Ruth Fuller of
West Bloomfield for a second term in
In the November election, political
analysts in Oakland County list the 39th
congressional district as "likely GOP"
based on the power of incumbency and
Shulman's substantial campaign fund
advantage — $90,000 vs. $4,000 as of
the end of August. Brickner disagrees
with the rating and cites several reasons
for his optimism. He garnered 70 per-
cent of the vote to beat two other candi-
dates in the primary, getting 6,200 votes.
Shulman, unopposed, collected 5,200.
Brickner said Shulman has a substan-

tial following in the Chaldean communi-
ty because he's trying to arrange to get a
$2 million state grant for Shenandoah
Country Club to help build a Chaldean
Cultural Center. "I've seen the plans for
the center and it would be a small place
costing about $200,000 ... so the $2 mil-
lion would really be a gift," Brickner
"The Chaldean community has donat-
ed tens of thousands of dollars to his
[Shulman's] campaign, and so have the
many political action committees (PACs)
around the state ... they know he'll help
them get money for their communities
in return," Brickner said.
Martin Manna of West Bloomfield,
spokesman for the cultural center, said
the 100,000-square-foot facility, to be
built just west of the current Shenandoah
clubhouse on Walnut Lake Road in West
Bloomfield, would cost $20 million.
Ground for the cultural center will be
broken Oct. 10. Most of the money is
being raised in the Chaldean communi-
ty, mainly through private corporations,
with the $2 million coming from the
state cultural arts budget — "if it's
approved," he said.
"The cultural center will have a the-
ater, library, artifacts exhibits, beautiful
trees and shrubs, plenty of parking, and
we already have support from the Jewish
community, such as the Federation and
Temple Israel (across the street)," Manna
said. "I don't see why any candidate
would be against it."

Stuart Brickner

Shulman, who is chairman of the
highly influential House Appropriations
Committee, doesn't characterize the
Shenandoah grant as going to a private
club because the cultural center would be
open to the general public and the pub-
lic golf course there will continue.
"Everyone in the community would
be able to use the facilities, and the cen-
ter would be especially beneficial to
school children and senior residents,"
Shulman added.

New Battle Lines

Brickner said he hopes to gain about
2,000-3,000 more Democratic votes
from new precincts in the 39th District
by the way it was re-districted in advance
of this year's election.
"In the re-districting, five heavily
Republican precincts were switched
into Waterford," he said. "The new
district now has about a 46 percent
base Democratic vote, and I hope to





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