Thursday, August 9, 2012

Legislative Update: Primary Wrap-Up

With the elections season for state offices finally kicking off this past Tuesday with the Michigan primary colleagues were pinned against each other and a first happened for Republicans in Michigan. Let’s review the election:



With Senator Stabenow not having a challenger, her primary was warm up for November. On the Republican side of the ticket, it was a different story with four names on the ballot with three only running since Gary Glenn had dropped out putting his support behind Clark Durant. After weeks of super pac ads between Pete Hoekstra and Durant, many voters were happy to see primary day come at last. Durant was only able to obtain 246,560 while Hoekstra got 398,470 votes. Randy Hekman who really was not heard from much in the campaign received 48,742 votes and Glenn who had dropped out snagged 71,614 votes. November sets up for what should be a show down between Hoekstra and Stabenow, where it is seen by most of Michigan's election wonks an uphill battle for Hoekstra.


Let's go through the House races quick:

1st: The first district has one of the few physicians running in elections across Michigan Dr. Dan Benishek who did not face an opponent in the primary will face the same person he did last election, Gary McDowell, former Michigan legislator who did not have a primary contest as well. This sets up for a repeat of 2010.

2nd: The second featured Bill Huizenga who ran unopposed in his primary and is looking to run unopposed in his general election, but Democrats are trying to get the word out to write-in their hopeful for the second.

3rd: The incumbent Justin Amash did not face a primary but will be facing a general election from Stave Pestka. Many Democrats in Michigan and beyond are excited about Pestka and feel that they can switch this district from red to blue in November.

4th: Current Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp will be facing Debra Wirth in the general election in November. Both candidates did not have a primary contest and it is very likely that Camp will continue his work in Washington for the people of the fourth.

5th: The fifth will see another Kildee (Daniel Kildee) on the November ballot and is expected to win handedly in that district. Jim Slezak, former democratic Michigan House member switched parties and will have the opportunity to face Kildee on the November ballot.

6th: The sixth sees a return to 2010 with Jack Hoogendyk facing Fred Upton and the results did not change from 2010. Upton was successful holding off the surge from Hoogendyk by winning the majority of precincts in the district, including Hoogendyk's. Upton will now face a challenge from Mike O'Brien which most are saying will not be too difficult.

7th: Tim Walberg, current member of congress, fought off his opposition Dan Davis by just over a three to one margin. Walberg will not face Kurt Haskell who doubled his vote totals from his opponents.

8th: Mike Rogers faced a challenge from two other candidates but was easily elected to face Lance Enderle in the November general election.

9th: Gregory Dildilian and Don Volaric both were fighting for the right to face Sander Levin in the November general contest. Volaric rose to the top and now faces an even bigger challenge to beat Levin.

10th: Candice Miller found herself without a primary opponent on Tuesday which allowed her to focus on November where she'll face Chuck Stadler who beat Jerome Quinn on Tuesday.

11th: With the voter fraud scandal still ongoing for Thad McCotter, many Republicans were working hard to support write-in candidate Nancy Cassis against Kerry Bentivoli. Those efforts failed with Bentivolio leaving Cassis in the dust at the end of the day. Bentivolio will be facing Dr. Syed Taj, an internist and also endorsed in the primary by MDPAC. This race is set to be another district that the Democrats would like to see turn blue.

12th: The lion of the House John Dingell will be moving on to November and the general election facing Cynthia Kallgren who surpassed Karen Jacobson by just over 350 votes. Dingell is expected to continue his work in Washington after the general election.

13th: The thirteenth had a host of Democrats running trying to unseat John Conyers but none were able to do so. Conyers won handedly and is expected to return to DC for another term after the November election. He will face Harry Sawicki.

14th: Two sitting members of Congress were pinned against each other in this primary along with others but at the end of the day it was Gary Peters who outlasted them all beating current incumbent Hansen Clarke. Peters will now face John Hauler in the general election.


The only contests at the state level for the primaries were for the House. Some races had incumbents facing each other leaving competitive primary all around Michigan. Republicans for the first time lost an incumbent with Kurt Damrow falling to the Tuscola county Register of Deeds Dan Grimshaw. With Damrow involved in controversy it was not a surprise to many election watchers that Damrow fall. Grimshaw now has a fight on his hands since he'll be facing former Representative, Terry Brown in November.

The legislature will be one physician short come January 1, 2013 with Dr. Jimmy Womack losing his bid for reelection from a current House colleague John Olumba. The legislature will also be down one nurse with Lesia Liss losing in her bid for a third term to her colleague John Switalski. Other incumbents that lost in elections against their colleagues were Maureen Stapleton and Tim Bledsoe.

As for local races around Lansing, current staffer to Rep. Mark Meadows, Susan Schmidt, was taking on MDPAC endorsed and former East Lansing Mayor Sam Singh. Singh was just too much for Schmidt leaving now Susan McGillicuddy in his way to the State House. In the 93rd House seat with is just north of Lansing, MDPAC endorsed Tom Leonard was able to hold off the valiant effort from Kevin Kirk to make his way to the November general election. Leonard will now face Paul Silva in November.

In the Upper Peninsula Ed McBroom in the 108th district has the possibility of facing a rerun from 2010 when he ran against former House member Judy Nerat. Nerat was not able to overtake her opponent though, Sharon Gray who won by 93 votes. Gray will now face McBroom in the general election.

With all of the controversy some were speculating that Roy Schmidt after changing parties would not be able to make it out of the primary. Many Republicans in the area were working hard to get Bing Goei, candidate against Schmidt in 2010 to run a write-in campaign against Schmidt. Goei did fall short. Schmidt will now face Winnie Brinks, a write-in candidate who did receive enough votes to be considered for the November general election.

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