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Oceola Sees First Dem Candidates For Trustee in 14 years!

An engineer and a marketing manager will appear on the ballot in Oceola Township as a pair of Democrats have filed to run for two of the four trustee seats on the township board.

Chris Ariss and Sara Steptoe-Campbell are the first Democrats to run in Oceola Township since 2004.

“Much more attention needs to be paid for making the township’s roads safe for pedestrians and bicycle-riders, both children and adults,” Ariss said. “We need to make sure the township has enough housing – both single- and multi-family – for moderate-income families and older residents to be able to afford to move here and stay here.”

Ariss said his work as an engineer has given him broad managerial experience that could help the township handle road, building, and other projects. His experience includes evaluating competing bids, developing and sticking to budgets, doing efficient purchasing, and managing projects that meet high quality standards and are done on time.

Now a mechanical and thermal engineer at TI Fluid Systems, Ariss began working as a newspaper carrier when he was 9. He worked through high school and then worked his way through college, earning degrees from Central Michigan University and the University of Detroit Mercy.

Ariss is adamant that young people be able to walk and ride bikes to schools and to local libraries. “Education made all the difference in my life, and I want to make that possible for all of our kids,” he said.

He has lived in Oceola Township since 1997. He and his wife, Taress, have two grown sons who graduated from Hartland High School.

Steptoe-Campbell said she is running in order to help make the increasingly diverse community a better place. “Our ballots and our leaders need to reflect the constituencies that represent, and I intend to win my election for trustee of Oceola Township in order to give others the voice they deserve,” she said.

Steptoe-Campbell oversees a $100,000 marketing budget for a national trade association for the concrete industry in Farmington Hills. She also was a marketing manager for a national stone distributor and worked as a public relations coordinator for the world’s largest aquarium, Georgia Aquarium, in Atlanta. Prior to that, she was a campaign coordinator and finance director a statewide campaign in Georgia in 2006.

She is past president of Jonathan’s Landing Condo Association in Howell, is a pending member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and its Philip Livingston local chapter, and is qualified to officiate at weddings.

She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public relations from Michigan State University. She graduated from Dexter High School and has lived in the county for six years. She is married to Michael Campbell.

Those wishing more information may contact Steptoe-Campbell at and Ariss at

(Paid for by Livingston County Democratic Executive Committee, 8028 Grand River, Woodland Plaza Suite 7, Brighton, MI 48114. Labor donated.)

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