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Hackel Takes Heat For Befriending Republicans, Refuses To Endorse In Governor’s Race

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Mark Hackel. 
(credit: CBS 62) File.

Mark Hackel.
(credit: CBS 62) File.

Is Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel a “real” Democrat?

Hackel, who’s very friendly with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson — and who has taken heat for falling occasionally on the Republican side of the aisle — said he’s tired of answering that question.

“There are so many different Republicans I get along with, when people ask me that question I have a hard time understanding, if my brother or another relative was a Republican I’m not supposed to get along with them?” Hackel said, adding:

“I think it’s childish, that’s stuff that we did in high school if you think back, way back when. If it’s a friend of mine, and I don’t like this person, then my friend’s not supposed to like them either because he’s not a friend of mine. That is the silliest, stupidest thing. We need to change that.”

Hackel formed an exploratory committee in 2008 to consider running for governor himself, but later disbanded it. He became Macomb’s first county executive by defeating Republican Randell Shaffer, and attended a fundraiser supporting Snyder’s last bid for governor.

So, will he choose a Republican for Michigan’s top office? Hackel is not endorsing anyone yet for governor — Snyder or Democratic challenger Mark Schauer, saying it’s “way too early.”

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