DETROIT -

It's the race heading into the primary that is generating all the heat and vitriol. The field for Wayne County executive in the Democratic primary is a full one.

Polling suggests Warren Evans is the front-runner, and now a well-crafted, nasty TV ad is hitting the airwaves. A group out of Canton is responsible for the ad and it does nothing but slam Evans, a pretty good indicator his competition views him as the front-runner.

Local 4 broke the story back in May that some campaigns were considering filing a legal challenge to Evans' candidacy, claiming he hasn't lived in Wayne County long enough to appear on the ballot. Evans will appear in court Friday to defend that challenge.

The brightest minds in state election law told Local 4 they believe Evans will be victorious in court. He's hired well-known and well-respected attorney John Pirich, an expert in election law, to represent him in court.

Pirich told Local 4 this attempt to get Evans off the ballot is "frivolous" and a "stunt." With less than two weeks to go until the primary, expect to see that nasty Evans ad in heavy rotation.

Political strategist Dennis Darnoi said all of this is textbook.

"It's interesting to see these last-minute fireworks about residency and all that, like haven't we been down this path before? I think it's an indication some people who are behind are trying to get a little bit closer and they're using dirty tricks to get there," Darnoi said.

The Democratic field includes Evans, William Wild, Phil Cavanagh, Kevin McNamara and current Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano.

Slideshow: Wayne County Executive candidates

Published On: Apr 21 2014 12:14:10 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 21 2014 06:01:20 PM EDT

Embattled Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano will face a crowded field in this summer's Democratic primary. Ficano is running for a fourth term as county exec. State Rep. Phil Cavanagh, former Sheriff Warren Evans, County Commissioner Kevin McNamara, and Westland Mayor Bill Wild have also announced their candidacies. The primary is scheduled for August 5, 2014.

Phil Cavanagh
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Candidate: Phil Cavanagh

Current job: State Representative (10th District)

Campaign website: http://www.cavanagh4ceo.com