Welcome to our post-Independence Day edition of It’s Just Politics and, today, we’re talking Independents.
This week, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel let it be known he wants the “D,” for Democrat, stripped from the column alongside his name in the Macomb County directory. Hackel told The Macomb Daily that he doesn’t think being a Democrat, or a Republican for that matter, really makes a difference in his job as county executive. And, that he doesn’t really consider himself a party person.
This certainly isn’t the only incarnation of Hackel’s independent streak. He has refused to endorse the presumptive Democratic candidate for governor, Mark Schauer. Nor, will he utter an unkind word about Governor Rick Snyder; and he’s been silent on the controversial right-to-work law.
But this latest episode did prompt a statement from Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson, who embraced Hackel and praised his service to the Democratic Party.
We should be clear: Hackel is not making noises about leaving the Democratic Party. But there is a history in fickle Macomb County – Michigan’s hotbed of political disharmony – of Democrats bailing.