Last minute applications roll in as 21 candidates eye Oakland County executive position

First name: Ima. Last name: Skaam.

We guess that's a person. It's certainly an applicant for the Oakland County executive position, the one left vacant less than two weeks ago when its former occupant L. Brooks Patterson died from Pancreatic Cancer.

The race for Patterson's seat has meandered well beyond what its board originally planned. Since the deadline closed, 21 people have thrown their hat into the ring of consideration for Oakland County's top office.

"I think I have as good a chance as anybody," said John Latella, one of the candidates.

Latella submitted his name a few hours before the Tuesday deadline closed. Can anybody top that punctual application? Anthony Bartollota certainly can - he applied one minute before the deadline closed.

"I don't know if I'm gonna be a great county executive. Probably not," he said. 

Not exactly household names. But a few notable figures did show up on the list. Barnett Jones was Flint's police chief. Kevin Howley ran for the seat in 2012. Then way at the bottom is Dave Woodward, the former Oakland County Commissioner. 

Reported as having "struck a deal" with other commissioners, Woodward had resigned from the board in hopes of being voted to hold Patterson's seat for the remainder of the term. However, those plans have gone awry.

"I feel as though this appointment process is morally bankrupt," said Andy Meisner, county treasurer. "And because of that, I think they disqualified themselves from doing that in a legitimate way and now we must let the people decide. And that is the only way the people of Oakland County can have confidence in the way their leader is chosen."

"This deal stinks," Oakland County GOP Chair calls for Nessel, FBI probe into county executive vote
Oakland County board chairman David Woodward resigns, eligible for executive seat
"Crime or slime," Oakland County treasurer blasts board over election for next executive
Oakland County Exec L Brooks Patterson remembered as fighter at viewing

Meiser initially made news after expressing concern over the board's decision to move forward with an election so quickly after Patterson died. 

Since then, controversy has swirled around the county's hunt for a replacement. Seen as disingenuous to hold an election on the day of Patterson's funeral (scheduled this Thursday), board moved the election to Friday. 

But that's not before the Oakland County Republican chair blasted the electoral process, saying any backroom deals done were not ethical and requested the FBI and Attorney General Dana Nessel get involved.

They will plan on meeting with candidates on Wednesday to conduct public interviews. Final decisions will be passed down on Friday.