WARREN — Republicans Sherri Murphy and Erin Stahl have filed to challenge Macomb County Treasurer Larry Rocca in the August primary election. Warren City Treasurer Lorie Barnwell has also filed as the lone Democrat and will contend for the county job in November.
Rocca, of Clinton Township, was elected in 2016. He defeated Democratic incumbent Derek Miller, who was appointed to the seat the preceding January upon the death of longtime Macomb County Treasurer Ted Wahby.
Murphy, of Harrison Township, said she worked in the Macomb County Treasurer’s Office for 24 years as the deputy treasurer under Wahby and Candice Miller. Prior to that, she also worked as the deputy supervisor in Harrison Township for six years and served two, two-year terms on the township’s Board of Trustees.
“I want to help fix Macomb County,” Murphy said. “I believe we need a clean slate and we need an independent auditor to come in and take a look at the books.
“I have the most experience at the county treasurer’s office, and working under two elected officials with the terms that they served in the county, I know the operations of the office. We are there to serve the people.”
From her time with the county, Murphy said she already has a great rapport with community leaders and various groups representing the interest of seniors, veterans and nonprofits.
Now a county retiree, she pledged that she would not collect a pension and a paycheck simultaneously if elected.
For Stahl, of St. Clair Shores, this is her fourth time running for the seat. She served on the St. Clair Shores City Council from 2003-2007 and most recently worked as the chief deputy register of deeds under former Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger.
“I care,” Stahl said. “When I was on the City Council, I was getting my masters in finance over at Walsh College. I applied everything I learned to the budgets. I was quite taken aback by what I learned.
“When I was chief deputy register of deeds in Macomb County, I got a good taste of how Macomb County uses our tax dollars. I think I’d be the best fit for helping out our residents.”
Stahl added, “Without saying anything negative, there were a lot of things that I discovered in Macomb County with the finances and being the register of deeds. I worked closely with the treasurer. I really do think I have a lot of great ideas to help residents.”
Rocca could not be reached for comment on this story by press time.
Barnwell, of Warren, will go unchallenged as a Democrat in August and will contend on the ballot in November against whoever emerges from the Republican primary. She was elected Warren’s city treasurer in 2015 and was re-elected last year, garnering 80.5% of the vote over Republican challenger Arnold Simkus.
“It has been my honor to serve the residents of Warren these past 4 1/2 years. When I arrived at the Warren Treasurer’s Office, we were behind in technology, charging residents unnecessary fees, our investments were lacking adequate return and customer service needed improvement. Now, residents of Warren have top technology, waived fees, millions of dollars additional in investment return for our general fund and shorter wait time at City Hall,” Barnwell said.
“I not only lead the largest Treasurer’s Office in Macomb County, but I have also been a bank manager and loan underwriter. That combination of public and private sector experience is imperative to serving the county as the top financial officer,” Barnwell added.