November 4, 2008
Knollenberg loses seat to Peters in Oakland County
By KATHLEEN GRAY
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
A congressional district that cuts across the heart of Oakland County will be represented by a Democrat for the first time in 75 years come January, as incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg was caught Tuesday in the Democratic wave led by President-elect Barack Obama as it swept across Oakland County and Michigan.
Knollenberg lost to former state senator and lottery commissioner Gary Peters in the 9th congressional district.
With nearly 73% of the 9th Congressional District’s precincts reporting, Peters led by 8 points over Knollenberg.
The Bloomfield Township Republican who first was elected in 1992, did all but concede the race in a speech late Tuesday night, calling his defeat a "perfect storm” of events, combining outside money, the dominance of Obama, the tenuous economy and Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s decision to move his campaign out of Michigan.
“It’s become very obvious that’s it’s going to be very difficult to win this race,” he said shortly after 11 p.m.. "We had a problem, obviously. It’s not the greatest time in the world to be running.”
Knollenberg hadn’t called Peters yet late Tuesday, saying he just wanted to make sure a mistake wasn’t made in the counting of ballots across the district which spans from Farmington Hills up through Oakland Township.