Three women made history in Tuesday’s elections for county Board of Commissioner seats, adding an unprecedented degree of diversity to the 13-member body.
Democrats Antoinette Wallace of Mount Clemens and Michelle Nard of Warren became the first two African-American females to win a board seat and Mai Xiong of Warren emerged as the first Asian-American commissioner.
In addition, Xiong stands as the first elected official in Michigan from Southeast Asia’s ethnic Hmong community.
All three pioneering candidates easily won election as they were Democratic nominees running in deep blue districts. The heavy lifting came in the August primary.
In the primary, Nard bested a seasoned commissioner, Andrey Duzyj, in south Warren. In the Center Line area, Xiong stunned a 22-year veteran, Commissioner Marvin Sauger, in the August vote. And Wallace won the Democratic nomination in the Mount Clemens area by defeating two well-funded primary election contenders.
The late Bobby Hill of Mount Clemens served as the first and only black commissioner from 1990-2006. The 2019-20 county board is all-white, with two women members.