2008-09-24 / Front Page

GOP selects Wynalek to run for council seat

BY TOYNETT HALL Staff Writer

HOWELL — Republican Party officials have named a candidate to round out their 2008 slate. Their pick is a neophyte to local politics and a married mother of three children.

Susan Wynalek, 52, will seek a four-year term as a councilwoman on the Howell Township Council in the Nov. 4 general election. She will be running on the Republican ticket with Russell Bohlin, who is seeking the four-year term as Howell's mayor.

Under Howell's form of government the mayor is elected directly by voters but serves as a member of the five-person council and votes on all municipal issues.

Wynalek will replace Paul Schneider on the Republican ticket. Schneider was initially named to run with Bohlin, but he dropped out of the race for personal reasons.

Wynalek and Bohlin will be running against independent candidates Robert Walsh, a current councilman who is seeking the mayor's position, and his running mate Susan Schroeder Clark, who is seeking the council seat.

No Democrats are running in the Howell election,

Republican Mayor Joseph DiBella and Republican Councilwoman Cynthia Schomaker are not seeking re-election.

Wynalek said now that her children are older — they are 11, 19 and 21 years old — she would like the opportunity to give something back to her community.

Wynalek, a Michigan native, has been a resident of Howell since May 2005. Before moving to Howell she lived in Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Ohio.

Wynalek holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Western Michigan University. Over the years she has gained a variety of work experience.

"I worked as a cost/price analyst for the U.S. Army negotiating and awarding defense contracts from $1 million to $25 million prior to the birth of my first child," she said. "Since 1987 I have been a stay-athome mom and have worked intermittently as a freelance artist and interior designer."

Wynalek said she has served on a number of PTA boards during her children's years in school.

Asked why she is running for council, she said, "I am not a career politician. I am not looking for higher office. I am looking to get a job done. The biggest thing I think I would like to contribute is a friendly face and a willing ear. I want to meet folks with a smile, not with a pre-judged attitude.

"I would like to make town hall a friendly place for people to show up" and voice their concerns, she said. "I don't want people to be intimidated, I want to make Howell a friendly place for business and homeowners."

John Costigan, who is Howell's Republican Party municipal chairman, said Wynalek was selected to run for office "because she is very sharp, she has lived in different parts of the country, she's a good lady and she has got the time. She has stepped up to the need we have in our community. She will make a wonderful councilwoman."

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