So was 2012. Kelly says she won another term as township supervisor--by a slender eighty-one votes out of 3,555 cast--because "I worked at it, I was an incumbent, and it made a big difference to a lot of voters that [Jim Drolett] was running for supervisor and his wife was running for treasurer. Plus the Democrats really came out for the presidential election.
The township's population grew 37 percent between the 1990 and 2010 censuses, to 6,000. "Like everyone else, we stopped growing in the recession," Kelly says. "But that's turned around. Our assessed value was up last year, and this year we're building houses again. We already have a lot of Ann Arbor people here, but the people who're moving into the new subdivisions are from Livonia and that area. A lot of them are young people with families, and that youngness and energy are different from what we've had."
While Dexter Township continues to elect both Republicans and Democrats, neighboring Scio Township is now led entirely by Democrats--though they're Democrats with a GOP pedigree. "Scio made the switch in 2004 from predominantly Republican to predominantly Democratic," says Kelly. "Look at it: [almost] the entire same board that was in office in 2000 as Republicans are all there now as Democrats. Spaulding [Clark] ran as a Republican in 2000 and was elected. He ran again as a Republican in 2004 and lost. Then he ran as a Democrat in 2008 and won. And when he ran again in 2012, nobody even bothered to run against him. It's fine with me. Spaulding does a good job, and I don't give a damn what party he is."