Brenda Lawrence

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Brenda L. Lawrence
Mayor of Southfield, Michigan
Incumbent
Assumed office
2001
Preceded by Donald Fracassi
Member of the Southfield, Michigan City Council
In office
1997–2001
Personal details
Born (1954-10-18) October 18, 1954 (age 59)
Detroit, Michigan
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) McArthur Lawrence

Brenda L. Lawrence (born October 18, 1954, Detroit, Michigan) is the current mayor of Southfield, Michigan and was the Democratic nominee for Michigan lieutenant governor in 2010.

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Lawrence grew up in Detroit's northeast side and was raised by her grandparents; her mother died when she was three years old.[1] She graduated from Detroit's Pershing High School, and earned her bachelor's degree in public administration from Central Michigan University.

In the early 1990s, as an active member of the Parent Teacher's Association at her children's school, she sought and earned a seat on the Southfield Public Schools Board of Education, serving as president, vice president, and secretary.

Southfield politics[edit]

In 1997, she was elected to serve on Southfield's City Council and in 1999 she was elected council president.

In 2001, she defeated longtime Southfield Mayor Donald Fracassi, becoming the city's first African-American and first female Mayor. She was re-elected in 2005 without opposition.[2] As Mayor, she was invited by the U.S. House Oversight Committee in 2008 to represent United States mayors in testimony about the mortgage crisis and its effect on American communities.[3] She returned to Washington later that year to lobby Congress for a bridge loan for the American auto industry.[4]

Lawrence was a Michigan delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. As a superdelegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, she endorsed U.S. Senator Barack Obama for president in June 2008.[5]

She successfully sought a third term as mayor in 2009, defeating former Councilwoman Sylvia Jordan with nearly 80 percent of the vote.[6] She was re-elected to a fourth term unopposed in 2013.[7]

Campaigns for higher office[edit]

2008 Oakland County Executive election[edit]

In May 2008, Lawrence announced her candidacy for Oakland County Executive. She was unopposed for the Democratic nomination to unseat the Republican incumbent, L. Brooks Patterson. Patterson won re-election 58%-42%.[8][9]

2010 gubernatorial election[edit]

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero named Lawrence as his running mate in his bid for Michigan governor. She was formally nominated as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor at the Michigan Democratic Party convention in August 2010.[10] She lost to Republican nominee Brian Calley, a State Representative, 58%-40%.[11]

2012 congressional election[edit]

In late 2011, she announced she would be running in the newly redrawn 14th congressional district. She faced U.S. Representatives Hansen Clarke and Gary Peters, both of whom lived outside the district,[12] and former State Representative Mary D. Waters. Peters won with 47%, Clarke took 35%, Lawrence 13% and Waters 3%. Peters went on to win the general election.

2014 congressional election[edit]

In May 2013, Peters announced that he would not be running for re-election in 2014. He is instead running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Carl Levin. On January 23, 2014, Lawrence announced that she would be running for the 14th district for the second time.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Lawrence has been married to McArthur Lawrence for over 30 years. The couple has two children and a grandchild Asya.[14]

Electoral history[edit]

  • 2013 Election for Mayor of Southfield
Name Percent
Brenda L. Lawrence    100%
  • 2009 Election for Mayor of Southfield[6]
Name Percent
Brenda L. Lawrence   77.6%
Sylvia Jordan   22.3%
  • 2008 Election for Oakland County Executive[8]
Name Percent
L. Brooks Patterson   58.1%
Brenda L. Lawrence   41.6%
  • 2005 Election for Mayor of Southfield[6]
Name Percent
Brenda L. Lawrence    100%
  • 2001 Election for Mayor of Southfield[6]
Name Percent
Brenda L. Lawrence   52.6%
Donald Fracassi   47.4%

References[edit]

External links[edit]