Jeremy Moss had good reason to be confident Tuesday night as he sat in the Southfield pavilion, awaiting election results.
He didn’t have to wait long before a cheer went up from his supporters as the 25-year-old first-time candidates led a field of eight hopefuls seeking four seats on the council. In doing so, he bested one former councilwoman – Sylvia Jordan, who placed second – and three incumbents on the ballot. Two of the incumbents – Sid Lantz and Myron Frasier – won re-election.
The third candidate, Linnie Taylor who had been appointed to the council, placed fifth.
As the precinct totals came in, Moss acknowledged his relative youth. “I thought it would be a handicap,” he said. “But the people want young blood.”
Moss, who has worked in Lansing for area elected officials, said his first goal is “to tell Southfield’s story… (and) welcome young people to be a part of it.” A lifelong Southfield resident, Moss said he had had a “privileged childhood,” and that he wanted others to have the same.
“We’ve lost population over the last decade, and it scares me. A city dies when population goes down,” he said.
The challenge, he said, is how to deal with economic issues, which are tough to deal with, he said.
With 28 years on the council, Lantz acknowledges that he also is known by voters for his age. At 91, Lantz is the oldest councilman in the state.
“I am making history,” a confident Lantz said before the vote totals were posted on a screen in the pavilion. “At my age, to be re-elected like this… by the people I work for…” he paused as he touched his head, indicating he is as sharp as ever.
Lantz said that he plans to continue to “help people and work for them.”
Serving currently as council president, Frasier acknowledged that he had had an “uphill battle."
“It was quiet for awhile, then the (firefighters’) association decided I was not good enough and campaigned against me,” he said. Over time, Frasier said he “felt a lot (of voters) knew better.”
Frasier, with 17 years on the council, said his goal will be the same as it has been: to do the “very best I can for the citizens of Southfield. I always felt this is not my seat. It belongs to the people.”
Having placed fourth in the race, Frasier earns a two-year seat, while the top three – Moss, Jordan and Lantz – receive four-year terms.
The other three on the ballot and their rankings are as follows: Ken Peterson, sixth, Chris Terry, seventh, and Daniel Brightwell, eighth.
Peterson was another challenger present to see the results come in. “I learned a lot,” he said, adding that he had “tightened his message” after the primary.
Moss seemed to have the biggest number of supporters rallying at the pavilion Tuesday night. One, state Rep. Rudy Hobbs, said that the hard work of Moss – he wore out two pairs of shoes walking in every neighborhood and hitting 7,000 homes – was what paid off for the newcomer.
But Moss’ grandmother, Gladys Allen, who was seated just ahead of Moss, seemed to indicate his win was more one of destiny.
“Since he was a young boy, 5 years old, he was interested in presidents,” she said. Moss received books on presidents for his birthday that year, Allen said. “From then on, he was into politics.