Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson diagnosed with stage 4 cancer but won't step down


  • L. Brooks Patterson/Facebook

L. Brooks Patterson, the longtime Oakland County executive, announced Tuesday that he has stage-four pancreatic cancer and won't run for an eighth term.

The 80-year-old Republican cracked jokes after telling county officials, friends, and journalists that he was diagnosed with cancer on March 15 and has an 11 percent chance of surviving.

“I intend to be a part of that 11 percent,” Patterson said during a surprise announcement in his office in Waterford Township.

Patterson, a stubborn, quick-witted, heavy-drinking politician, said he plans to remain in office until his term expires in 2020.

“This is not a goodbye,” Patterson said. “This is just an announcement of a shitty deck of cards dealt me, which I intend to play out.”

Patterson has struggled with health issues since he was in a car crash in 2012.

Patterson, who also served as Oakland County prosecutor for 16 years, will be leaving office at a time when the county is turning more Democratic.

Popular Oakland County Clerk Andy Meisner, a Democrat, announced earlier this month that he’s running for county executive.

At least two popular Republicans are expected to join the race: Oakland County SheriffMike Bouchard and Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett.

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