The Morning After: A Quick Look at Michigan’s Election Results
(Will be updated when the remaining seats are officially called)
Governor: Here’s to “Fixing the Damn Roads!”
Former Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer will be the 49th governor of Michigan after defeating current Attorney General Bill Schuette. As election day neared polling indicated a sizable lead for Ms. Whitmer, and voters validated those predictions on Tuesday.
Throughout her campaign, Whitmer recounted her success in the legislature working across the aisle with republicans. She will have every opportunity to leverage that experience working with Republicans in both the State House and Senate.
In the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, John James made a strong showing; however, he came up short in his attempt to unseat long-time incumbent U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing). Senator Stabenow is now set to begin her fourth term in Washington, D.C.
United States House of Representatives
Michigan’s 11th Congressional District –While the seat has been in Republican control for quite some time, the shifting demographics of Oakland County and the national political momentum put this race on the front page of races to watch. Congressman David Trott (R-Birmingham) of Michigan’s 11th Congressional District did not seek re-election, leaving the seat a toss-up. Democratic candidate Haley Stevens, a former Hillary Clinton campaign official, defeated Republican candidate and businesswoman Lena Epstein by a larger-than-expected margin.
In the race for Michigan’s Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson (D) came out on top to continue the momentum at the top of the ticket for the Democrats.
Then, to cap off the evening, Dana Nessel (D) secured the state’s top law enforcement position as Michigan’s next Attorney General.
Adding these two wins with the gubernatorial race, Whitmer, Benson, and Nessel swept the top of ticket for the Democrats.
In looking to the State Senate, where Republican have been in control for more than 30 years and held a huge majority (27-11) through 2018. However, Tuesday’s election results have narrowed the gap. Democrats, hoping to capitalize on the momentum generated across the country in recent months, have been laser-focused on recapturing a number of Senate seats. After Tuesday they find themselves with a few more seats at the table having flipped several seats in their favor while two races remain too close to call. In all the Democrats will decrease the Republican majority by 5 seats. Details regarding a few of the noteworthy races follow:
In the 7th district, Republican Representative Laura Cox lost her bid for a Senate seat in a somewhat surprising loss to Dayna Polehanki (D). Also, in the 12th district, Rep. Mike McCready (R) came up just short in his Senate bid against Democrat Rosemary Bayer.
The 13th and 20th districts both delivered upset defeats to two Republican incumbents, Senator Marty Knollenberg and Senator Margaret O’Brien, respectively. Mallory McMorrow (D) will serve as the new senator in the 13th district, while fellow Democrat Sean McCann will arrive in Lansing on behalf of the 20th district.
One undecided race remains. As of this update, all eyes continue to watch the 34th district where current Republican Representative Jon Bumstead is in a close contest with Poppy Sias-Hernandez; however, he is expected to come out on top. His presumed victory will result in a final Republican majority, 22-16.
· Below is a graphic representation of some of the most anticipated Senate races on Tuesday:
State House of Representatives
Throughout the campaign season, Republicans held what would in most years be a comfortable 63-46 majority (one vacancy in a strong Democratic seat). Heading into Tuesday’s elections, Democratic campaign leadership was optimistic that the strong victories in other state legislatures and U.S. Congressional races in recent months would translate in Michigan to flipping House control.
Once the dust settled, the Republicans emerged having maintained the majority, albeit by a smaller margin than they currently enjoy. Democrats successfully flipped five seats, narrowing the Republican majority to 58-52.
In the 61st district, incumbent Rep. Brandt Iden (R) was declared victorious early this morning as he was in a tight battle with challenger, Alberta Griffin (D). And in the 62nd district it was Jim Haadsma (D) sqeezing out a win over Dave Morgan (R), a race also not decided until well into the morning hours.
Rep. Jeff Noble (R) was the only incumbent to lose in his effort to retain his House seat. However, Rep. Kathy Crawford (R) narrowly emerged from a tough race with challenger Kelly Breen (D).
Below is a graphic representation of some of the most anticipated Senate races on Tuesday: