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Posted on Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 12:52 p.m.

Elder law attorney files to run for Washtenaw County's open 1st District seat

By Ryan J. Stanton

A second candidate has entered the picture in the 1st District race for the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners.

Reid McCarthy, an attorney who practices elder law in Ann Arbor, has filed to run as a Democrat. He faces off against Adam Zemke in the Aug. 3 primary for a chance to fill the seat being vacated by Republican Mark Ouimet.


Reid McCarthy

Courtesy Photo

McCarthy, who started Ann Arbor Elder Law in 2004, has lived in the Ann Arbor area most of his life.

"I grew up in Scio Township in the district, and I am a believer that government can have a positive impact on people's lives, and that is nowhere else more true than on the county level," he said of his reasons for seeking office.

McCarthy is a graduate of Ann Arbor Community High. After college in New York and law school at Penn State, he returned to Washtenaw County with his wife, Lindsay, who is the coordinator of member benefits for the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce. They have a 4-month-old son, Graham.

"I convinced her that Michigan is a great place to be," McCarthy said of getting his wife to move here.

Through his day job, McCarthy, 32, helps senior citizens and their families with estate planning, elder law and Medicaid issues.

McCarthy said he believes public safety, courts, and job training are some of the fundamental aspects of a community's everyday life and something he wants to be involved in at a policy level.

"An important aspect, especially these days, of a commissioner's job is to focus on the budget and that seems to be what this year's been about, what last year's been about," he added. "It's also, more than that, providing leadership to advocate for the county as a whole."

McCarthy, who lives in Dexter Township, said he would work with Ann Arbor SPARK to bring more jobs to Washtenaw County, specifically the northwestern area he represents. He said he's already done a fair amount of listening to constituents and found out jobs and the economy are the top priorities on their minds.

"I have just started my campaign, and I'm finding out what is important to them," he said. "I certainly look forward to talking with the people in the 1st District as the campaign progresses and finding out what's on their minds."

The 1st District includes Lyndon, Dexter, Sylvan and Lima townships, as well as parts of Webster and Scio townships. It also includes the city of Chelsea and the village of Dexter. Click here to view a map of the district.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.