OAKLAND CO., Mich. (FOX 2) - His funeral hadn't even concluded, and talk of the next election reached a fever pitch.
In the days since the death of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who held the position for decades, talk had bubbled of his potential successor being Dave Woodward, a current Democratic chairman on the county's board of commissioners.
That's what sources told Fox 2.
"He will step down and then I guess the deal has been struck and then he'll be appointed executive," said Eileen Kowal, another Oakland County commissioner.
The 'he' that Kowal is referring to is Woodward, who would have to step down from his position in order to be voted in as executive of the county. However, not everyone is happy with that option on the table - namely the county treasurer, who has also declared he is running for the same position as Woodward.
"The notion of a commission appointing one of their own, despite a state law that makes it a criminal misdemeanor for a sitting commissioner to be appointed," said Andy Meisner, "I don't think that's the Oakland County way."
However, that statute enters a grey area if the commissioner in question steps down from their position, and then is voted to the executive position. Meisner didn't think that scenario mattered to county residents.
"I'm not sure about that, I think most of the people of Oakland County will see through that as the farce that it is," he said.
An interesting power struggle would appear if Woodward were to step down. With 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans on the board, if Woodward would step down it would leave him without a Democratic majority to vote him in.
That means he would need Republican support during the board's vote. While Woodward would not confirm nor deny if he had Republican support, he did say discussing the subject on the day of the former executive's funeral was tacky.
However, Meisner had pointed criticism toward the whole scene.
"This is crime or slime, it's one of the two, this is not the way that we should operate Oakland County Government," Meisner said. "We deserve better than this."
Any political maneuvering or jockeying will have to happen before the vote later this week.
"We'll have to wait and see what happens when we get to the board of commissioners on Thursday night," said Kowal.