Saturday, October 12, 2019

Shane Hernandez for Congress

Back in July, Michigan 10th district congressman Paul Mitchell announced that he would not seek reelection after just two terms.  More than two months later, the first serious Republican candidate has announced.  State representative Shane Hernandez of Port Huron is running.

Shane was a Tea Party leader in St. Clair county who helped conservatives win control of the county GOP there.  He also served on the 10th district committee.  In 2016, Shane ran for state house in the 83rd district, including all of Sanilac and part of St. Clair Counties.  He comfortably won a three-way primary.  He won the general election with 63% in 2016 and 64% in 2018, in a district that elected a democrat as recently as 2008.

Shane quickly established himself as one of the most conservative members of the Michigan legislature. The American Conservative Union rated his votes 93% conservative, tying for most conservative in 2018.  MIRS rated him 93% conservative, tying for most conservative in 2017.  RightMichigan rates him 88% conservative, tied for most conservative in 2017-2018.

Unlike some legislators who vote the right way, but are otherwise unproductive in office, Shane has worked well with his legislative colleagues.  He helped to elect conservative leadership in the state house.  In 2018, he was appointed chairman of the house appropriations committee, widely considered the most prestigious committee chairmanship.  Unlike some legislators who use this position to deliver pork to pet projects, he produced a fiscally responsible budget that resisted Governor Whitmer's plan for massive tax and spending increases.

Shane is pro-life, pro-gun, and an all-around conservative leader.  All conservatives should support his campaign for Congress.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

2020 Michigan Election Preview

This post was last updated September 10, 2019.

Michigan's presidential electors, congressional seats, and the entire state house will be up for election November 2020.

President: Tossup
Michigan's presidential primary is on March 10.  President Trump faces several challengers who are unlikely to make a big impact.  Democrats have a crowded primary field led by Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.  After President Trump's narrow victory in Michigan in 2016, the state is sure to be a battleground in 2020.

US Senate: Lean democrat
Democrat Senator Gary Peters is seeking reelection.  He won 55-41 in 2014 against Terri Lynn Land, who ran a weak campaign.  He has mediocre approval ratings, and is the least-known US senator.

Businessman John James, a black veteran, is running for the R nomination.  He was the R nominee against Debbie Stabenow in 2018, losing a relatively narrow 46.3-51.7 margin in a bad years for Republicans.

Michigan Supreme Court Safe democrat / Tossup
Republicans currently hold a 4-3 majority on the court, but moderate Republicans Elizabeth Clement and David Viviano holding the balance of power.  There are two full-term seats up for election on the Michigan Supreme Court. They are those of D Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack and conservative Stephen Markman, who is age-limited.  McCormack is likely safe, while the open seat will be hotly contested.

Other Statewide Offices
Two seats on the state Board of Education and boards of trustees of U of M, MSU, and WSU will be up for election. All eight seats up are held by democrats. Democrats have swept these elections in 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2018, while Republicans swept in 2010.  The candidates are
State Board of Education:
Republicans:
Democrats:
UM Board of Regents:
Republicans:
Democrats:
MSU Board of Trustees:
Republicans:
Democrats:
WSU Board of Governors:
Republicans:
Democrats:

Ballot Propositions
There may be several initiatives on the ballot.

Michigan Congressional Seats
Republicans won an 8-7 majority in Michigan's congressional delegation in 2018, after losing up the 8th and 11th districts.  Republicans may try to reclaim both districts, while Ds try to win the 3rd district of Republican turned independent Justin Amash.  The 10th district of R Paul Mitchell is open.  The post below examines these races in detail.

2020 Michigan Congressional Races

Michigan House
All 110 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives are up for election. Republicans won a 58-52 majority in 2018.  There will be 22 open seats due to term limits and two more due to candidates running for other offices.  Both parties have potential targets to pickup.

60th District (Kalamazoo City) Safe democrat
Democrat state rep Jon Hoadley was first elected in 2014.  He is term-limited and running for Congress.  D county commissioners Stephanie Moore, Tracy Hall, and Julie Rogers are running for the seat.
61st District (Portage, Oshtemo) Tossup
Republican state rep Brandt Iden, first elected in 2014, is term-limited.  Bronwyn Haltom, a Trump campaign aide, is the choice of the R establishment.  D county commissioner Meredith Place of Portage, who was elected in 2018, is running.
63rd District (E Kalamazoo, S Calhoun) Safe Republican
R state rep Matt Hall defeated moderate David Maturen in the 2018 R primary.
66th District (Van Buren, Cooper) Safe Republican
R state rep Beth Griffin, a former county commissioner, was first elected in 2016.

Kalamazoo County Commission
All 11 seats on the Kalamazoo County Commission will be up for election. Ds won an 8-3 majority, and picked up one more seat due to a resignation. Republicans may target districts 6, 9, 10, and 11 for pickups.

2020 Kalamazoo County Commission Races

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

2020 Michigan Congressional Races

This post was last updated on October 27, 2019.

Michigan will see several interesting congressional races in 2020, with one open seat so far.  Michigan has 14 congressional seats.



There are several articles that analyze the general political leanings of the districts.
Michigan Redistricting: Congressional Map Passed
Republican Michigander Congressional District Profiles (Sidebar at right)

District 1 (Upper Peninsula, Northern Lower Peninsula) Safe Republican.
CD12: 48.1-47.6 CD14: 52-45 CD16: 55-40 CD 18: 56-44 McCain: 48.5 Romney: 53.5 Trump 57.9
Following the retirement of Dan Benishek, conservative retired general Jack Bergman defeated moderate state senator Tom Casperson and former senator Jason Allen 39-32-28 in the 2016 R primary. He defeated Lon Johnson in 2016 and Matt Morgan in 2018.  Bergman has pledged to seek only one more term.

District 2 (Ottowa, Muskegon) Safe Republican.
CD12: 61-34 CD14: 64-33 CD16: 63-33 CD 18: 55-43 McCain: 50.4 Romney: 56 Trump 55.8
Republican former state rep. Bill Huizinga won a close primary in 2010 to replace Pete Hoekstra, and was easily reelected since then. He has generally voted a fairly conservative line. This was the most Republican district in Michigan, but has been supplanted by more Trump-friendly areas.

District 3 (Kent, Calhoun) Lean Republican.
CD12: 52.6-44.1 CD14: 58-39 CD16: 59-37 CD 18: 54-43 McCain: 48.6 Romney: 53.1 Trump 51.6
Republican state rep. Justin Amash was elected in 2010. After years of voting as contrarian libertarian, he bolted the party, becoming an independent in 2019.  He had already attracted several primary challengers.  The announced R candidates are state rep. Jim Lower (16-P) of Greenville, state rep. Lynn Afendoulis (18-P) of Grand Rapids Township, retail heir Peter Meijer, Trump-friendly businessman Joel Langlois, and anti-establishment activist Tom Norton.  Aside from Norton, Lower may be the most conservative, but he represents little of the district.  Meijer and Langlois will be able to self-fund.  Amash is expected to run as an independent, possibly splitting the conservative vote and allowing democrats a chance to win.  D candidates include attorney Nick Colvin, and attorney Hillary Scholten, who is the establishment favorite.

District 4 (central Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD12: 63-34 CD14: 56-39 CD16: 62-32 CD 18: 63-37 McCain: 48.6 Romney: 53.4 Trump 59.5
Republican state senator John Moolenaar of Midland succeeded Dave Camp in 2014.  He has won easily since then in a district has a swung heavily to Trump.

District 5 (Genesee, Saginaw, Bay) Safe democrat.
CD12: 31-65 CD14: 31-67 CD16: 35-61 CD 18: 36-60 McCain: 35.4 Romney: 38.4 Trump 45.5
Former Genesee Treasurer Dan Kildee succeeded his uncle Dale Kildee in 2012.

District 6 (SW Michigan) Lean Republican.
CD12: 55-43 CD14: 56-40 CD16: 59-36 CD 18: 50-46 McCain: 45 Romney: 50 Trump 51.3
Moderate Republican Fred Upton has won by wide margins since defeating conservative Mark Siljander in 1986.  But in 2018, doctor Matt Longjohn held Upton to a 4-point margin.  Progressive D state rep Jon Hoadley (14-20) of Kalamazoo is running.

District 7 (south-central Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD12: 53-43 CD14: 53-41 CD16: 55-40 CD 18: 54-46 McCain: 47.4 Romney: 50.9 Trump 55.7
Republican Tim Walberg defeated liberal democrat Mark Schauer in a hard-fought race in 2010. This followed Schauer's defeat of Walberg in 2008, Walberg's defeat of RINO Joe Schwarz in 2006, and Schwarz's winning a divided Republican primary to replace Nick Smith in 2004. Walberg defeated D state rep (12-16) Gretchen Driskell in 2016 and 2018.

District 8 (Ingham, Livingston, N Oakland) Lean democrat.
CD12: 59-37 CD14: 55-42 CD16: 56-39 CD 18: 47-51 McCain: 46.4 Romney: 51.1 Trump 50.6
R congressman Mike Bishop, who succeeded Mike Rogers in 2014, lost to former DOD official Elissa Slotkin in the 2018 wave.  State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder and businessman Mike Detmer are running for the R nomination.

District 9 (S Macomb, Royal Oak, Bloomfield) Safe democrat.
CD12: 34-62 CD14: 36-60 CD16: 37-58 CD 18: 37-60 McCain: 40.4 Romney: 41.8 Trump 43.7
Democrat Sander Levin, who has represented this district since 1982, retired in 2018.  His son Andy Levin defeated progressive state rep Ellen Lipton (08-14) and Martin Brook for the D nomination.

District 10 (N Macomb, the Thumb) Safe Republican.
CD12: 69-30 CD14: 69-29 CD16: 63-32 CD 18: 60-35 McCain: 50 Romney: 55.2 Trump 63.8
Following Candice Miller's retirement, self-funding businessman Paul Mitchell won the R primary 36-28-16.  Mitchell previously lost the Republican primary in district 4 in 2014 and led the fight to defeat proposal 1, a large tax increase.  He is retiring in 2018, citing frustration with Congress.  State Rep Shane Hernandez, one of the most conservative members of the legislature, is running.  Retired Air Force Gen. Doug Slocum is also running.

District 11 (NW Wayne, SW Oakland, Troy) Lean democrat.
CD12: 50.8-44.4 CD14: 56-41 CD16: 53-40 CD 18: 45-52 McCain: 48.4 Romney: 52.2 Trump 49.7
Establishment Republican businessman David Trott retired retirement after two terms.  Pro-Trump businesswoman Lena Epstein defeated several other candidates in the primary.  Businesswoman Haley Stevens defeated State rep Tim Greimel (12-18) of Auburn Hills, Suneel Gupta, Fayrouz Saad, and Nancy Skinner for the D nomination.  Stevens won this district, which swung heavily against Trump.  GOP official Whitney Williams is running.  As this district is likely to be chopped up in redistricting, the best candidates may avoid this race.

District 12 (Downriver, Ann Arbor) Safe democrat.
CD12: 29-68 CD14: 31-65 CD16: 29-64 CD 18: 29-68 McCain: 31.2 Romney: 32.7 Trump 34.5
In 2014, democrat Debbie Dingell easily replaced her husband John Dingell in Congress after his 58 years (!) in office.

District 13 (W Detroit, Westland) Safe democrat.
CD12: 14-82 CD14: 16-80 CD16: 16-77 CD 18: 0-84 McCain: 14 Romney: 14 Trump 18
In November 2017, congressman John Conyers, who represented this district since 1964, announced his resignation in a sexual harassment scandal.  Rep Rashida Tlaib (08-14), a Muslim who lost a state senate race in 2014, defeated Detroit council president Brenda Jones, Westland Mayor William Wild, the only suburban candidate, state sen Coleman Young (10-18), state senator Ian Conyers (16-18), and rep Shanelle Jackson (06-12) for the D nomination.  Without Jackson and Young on the ballot, however, Jones won the primary for a special election held on the same day.  Tlaib has made national news due to her anti-Semitic remarks and attacks on President Trump.  She may be vulnerable to a primary challenge from a black Detroit democrat.

District 14 (E Detroit, Southfield, Farmington, Pontiac) Safe democrat.
CD12: 16-82 CD14: 20-78 CD16: 19-79 CD 18: 17-81 McCain: 18 Romney: 18 Trump 18
In 2014, Southfield mayor Brenda Lawrence succeeded Gary Peters, who was elected to the US Senate.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

2020 Kalamazoo County Commission Races

This post was last updated September 10, 2019.

Democrats won a 8-3 majority on the Kalamazoo County Commission in 2018, which was a bad year for Republicans.  There are already three open seats this year.

The following post has detailed descriptions of the districts and their political leanings. The numbers given are the percentage the Republican county commission candidate got in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018, and Mitt Romney (2012), Donald Trump (2016) and Bill Schuette (2018) percentages.  Incumbents are marked below with asterisks.

Kalamazoo County Commission Districts.


List of Kalamazoo County Candidates

District 1 [N Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
R12: 13.9 R14: 0 R16: 19 R18: 17.8 Romney: 13.5 Trump: 14.9 Schuette: 14.1
Democrat:
Republican:
Stephanie Moore replaced Carolyn Alford in 2014 in this majority minority district.  Moore was a Kalamazoo city commissioner and has been convicted of several crimes over the years.  She allied with Republicans to make Dale Shugars the board chairman for one year and became chair for 2018 herself.  She is running for the 60th state house district in 2020.

District 2 [SE Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
R12: 0 R14: 29.5 R16: 27.5 R18: 3.8 Romney: 28.1 Trump: 25.1 Schuette: 22.6
Democrat:
Republican:
Paul Haag replaced Kevin Wordelman, who retired in 2018.  He resigned in 2019, apparently because he never lived in the district.

District 3 [SW Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
R12: 31.1 R14: 32.3 R16: 29.7 R18: 26.4 Romney: 30.1 Trump: 28 Schuette: 25.4
Democrat:
Republican:
Tracy Hall was elected in 2016, replacing John Taylor.  She is running for the 60th state house district in 2020.

District 4 [Kalamazoo Twp, Parchment] Safe Democrat
R12: 32.2 R14: 0 R16: 0 R18: 4.3 Romney: 31.7 Trump: 30 Schuette: 26.6
Democrat: Michael Seals*
Republican:
Seals defeated fellow democrat commissioner (02-10) Franklin Thompson in 2010.  In 2018, he barely survived a primary challenge from Shequita Lewis, who was backed by Stephanie Moore.

District 5 [Alamo, N Oshtemo, NW Kalamazoo Twp] Lean Democrat
R12: 44.3 R14: 44.7 R16: 43.7 R18: 39.8 Romney: 47.2 Trump: 45.8 Schuette: 42.7
Democrat:
Republican:
Julie Rogers won this competitive seat in 2012, after losing two close races for the 61st state house district in 2006 and 2008.  She is running for the 60th state house district in 2020.

District 6 [Cooper, Richland, Ross] Likely Republican
R12: 54 R14: 100 R16: 77 R18: 95 Romney: 54.7 Trump: 56.4 Schuette: 52.2
Democrat: Jennifer Aniano*
Republican:
Ron Kendall, a staffer for state rep. Tom Barrett (14-P) of Eaton County, was elected in 2016.  He resigned in 2019.  The D majority board appointed Aniano, who will run in 2020.

District 7 [Comstock, Galesburg, Charleston, Climax, Wakeshma] Likely Republican
R12: 50.9 R14: 54.9 R16: 56.8 R18: 94 Romney: 50.6 Trump: 56.7 Schuette: 50.6
Democrat:
Republican: Roger Tuinier*
Tuinier, who is a greenhouse owner, barely defeated Leroy Crabtree in 2012.  He has won increasingly large margins in subsequent elections.

District 8 [Pavillion, Brady, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde] Safe Republican
R12: 100 R14: 61 R16: 100 R18: 59 Romney: 55.1 Trump: 60 Schuette: 54.6
Democrat:
Republican: John Gisler*
Commissioner John Gisler was elected in 2010 but deferred to fellow commissioner (02-12) David Maturen in the 2012 Republican primary due to redistricting.  Gisler returned in 2014 when Maturen was elected to the state house.  Gisler defeated Kraig Lee, a union democrat in disguise, in the primary in 2018.

District 9 [Texas, SE Oshtemo] Tossup
R12: 53.9 R14: 61.3 R16: 54.6 R18: 48.3 Romney: 51.7 Trump: 47.6 Schuette: 45.2
Democrat: Christine Morse*
Republican:
Morse surprisingly defeated Dale Shugars, a conservative former state senator (94-02) and state rep (90-94), who was elected to the commission in 2014.  Shugars was board chairman in 2017 thanks to a deal with democrat Stephanie Moore.

District 10 [W Portage] Lean Democrat
R12: 52.8 R14: 49.6 R16: 49.8 R18: 45.2 Romney: 49.4 Trump: 45.2 Schuette: 41.8
Democrat: Michael Quinn*
Republican:
Quinn was a commissioner 2008-2010.  Following R Phil Stinchcomb (10-12) and D Larry Provancher (95-02, 14-16), Quinn returned in 2016.

District 11 [E Portage] Tossup
R12: 52.5 R14: 54.2 R16: 52.5 R18: 45.6 Romney: 47.5 Trump: 46.9 Schuette: 43.4
Democrat:
Republican:
Meredith Place, wife of former commissioner (02-16) and democrat party chairman John Taylor, defeated incumbent Scott McGraw, former Chairman of the Kalamazoo GOP.  She is running for the 61st state house district in 2020.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2019 Kalamazoo Election Preview

This article was last updated September 20, 2019.

This is a preview of the November 5 elections in Kalamazoo County.

Kalamazoo City Commission

The mayor and three seats on the Kalamazoo City Commission are up for election. The seven commissioners are Mayor Bobby Hopewell (on since 2003), Don Cooney (1997), David Anderson (2005), Patrese Griffin (2019), Erin Knott (2015), Jack Urban (2013), and Eric Cunningham (2017).

In 2014, Kalamazoo voters passed a charter amendment changing the charter by electing the mayor separately and implementing staggered four-year terms for the other seats (similar to the system Portage uses).  In 2015, Cooney, Anderson, and Sykes got four-year terms.  The other three seats were up in 2017.

Hopewell, who has been mayor since 2007, will not run again.  Anderson, a center-left democrat, is running for mayor, and is likely the favorite.  He has the support of Hopewell and the local D party.  David Benac, a Bernie Sanders fan who ran for Congress in 2018, has the support of many progressive groups.  Corey Smith and Esteven Juarez, who is endorsed by Cooney, are also running.

Cooney is not running for reelection after 22 years on the commission.  Patrese Griffin is running for election after being appointed to replace Shannon Sykes, who resigned.

Also running are Pete Kushner, Andrew Argo, Jacob Andrews, Jeanne Hess, Emily Demorest, Chris J. Praedel, and Benjamin Hayden Stanley.  The Kalamazoo Ds are supporting Andrews, Griffin, and Praedel.

Portage City Council

The mayor and three seats on the Portage City Council are up for election.  Patricia Randall was elected mayor in 2017 after serving on the council since 2009.  She is unopposed for reelection.

The other councilmembers are Terry Urban (1997), Claudette Reid (2005), Jim Pearson (2011), Richard Ford (2013), Lori Knapp (2017), and Chris Burns (2017).  In recent years, the council has been divided between two factions.  One faction includes Reid and Urban.  The other has been Randall, Pearson, and Ford.

The three seats up for election are held Pearson, Burns, and Ford. They are unopposed for reelection.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Michigan 2018 Election Results

Governor: 43-54 for Whitmer over Schuette.  Michigan's governorship usually flips when open.  Schuette ran a lackluster campaign and was dogged by controversies inherited by Snyder and attacks from Calley in a bitter primary.

Senate: 46.3-51.7 for Stabenow over John James.  Much closer than her wins by 21% in 2012 and 16% in 2006.  John James was a good candidate who has a future in the MI GOP.

AG: 46.8-48.5 for Dana Nessel.  Get ready for four years of crazy Dana.

SOS: 45-52 for Benson.  Lang was largely abandoned in this race.

Proposal 1 (marijuana): 56-44  Get ready for legal pot.
Proposal 2 (redistricting): 61-39 This will be a mess with both sides trying to game the system.  Without the governor, Rs wouldn't have controlled the process, anyhow.
Proposal 3 (voting rules): 67-33 Easy win with no organized opposition.

Supreme Court was 30-25-24 for Clement (moderate R) and Cavanagh (D) with Wilder (conservative R) losing.  Rs have 4-3 majority, but two Rs are unreliable.

Education Boards:  Ds sweep all eight seats.

Congress:
1. 56-44 for Bergman.  If Bergman keeps his term limits pledge, this seat will be open in 2022.
2. 55-43 for Huizinga.  Much closer, but not that close.
3. 55-42 for Amash.  Still secure.
4. 63-37 for Moolenaar.
5. 36-60 Kildee
6. 50.3-45.7 Upton.  Close call.  Upton no longer overperforms.  Does he retire in 2020, or hang on longer?
7. 54-46 Walberg. He will never win big margins, but he has settled in here.
8. 46.8-50.6 for Slotkin (LOSS).  Bishop lost thanks to D turnout in Ingham and Oakland.  Bishop didn't work the district hard enough.  Maybe Joe Hune could run next time?
9. 37-60 for Andy Levin, an heir force candidate.
10. 60-35 for Mitchell
11. 45-52 for Stevens (LOSS).  Big suburban revolt for Ds in Wayne and Oakland.  Lena Epstein, a Trump sycophant, was a bad candidate here.  Maybe Pat Colbeck could run here?
12. 28-69 for Debbie Dingell
13. 89% for Tlaib (general) and 91% for Jones (special).  Expect a hotly contested primary here in 2020.
14. 15-83 for Lawrence

State Senate.  The GOP lost five seats, ending with a 22-16 majority.  The losses were all in urban/suburban areas.  Good enough to stop Ds from passing any legislation.

7. 47-51 Polhanki.  LOSS for Laura Cox in an upscale suburban seat.  Cox could run for her old house seat, which also went D.
10. 51-46 for MacDonald.  Not the best candidate, but good enough in a Trump-friendly area.
12. 48.6-49.4 for Bayer.  LOSS for McCready.  A libertarian may have cost the moderate McCready.
13. 48.1-51.9 for McMorrow.  LOSS for Knollenberg.  Oakland suburbs here and in 12 swung against the GOP.
15. 51.7-48.3 for Runestad.  Big win for a solid conservative.
17. 58-39 for Dale Zorn.
20. 42-53 for McCann.  LOSS for Margaret O’Brien after her 61-vote win in 2014.
22. 56-42 for Lana Theis.  Big win for conservatives.
24. 54-43 for Tom Barrett.  Big win for conservatives.  Rossman spent a fortune here.
29. 41-56 for Brinks.  LOSS in a district that was on borrowed time thanks to Grand Rapids.
31. 60-40 for Daley.  He lost the primary four years ago.
32. 55-45 for Ken Horn.  Republicans have won the last eight state senate elections in Saginaw!
34. 50.7-46.4 for Bumstead.  Win for a fairly conservative candidate.
38. 55-44 for McBroom.  Dianda was a good candidate, but the UP is too Trump-friendly to win.

There are now three solid conservatives (Runestad, Theis, and Barrett), up from two now.  Mike Shirkey will be the new majority leader, an improvement on the current leader.  Four years from now there will be a new map.  Rs will have to defend open seats in Monroe and Saginaw, but should have a good chance to pick up a seat in Oakland.

State house.  Republicans lost six seats and picked up one, for a net loss of five.  The majority is now 58-52.  Conservative Lee Chatfield will be the new speaker.

3-10. Rs got 2-8% in the all-Detroit districts.
17. 56-44 for Bellino
19. 49.8-50.2 for Pohutski.  LOSS for GOP, win for progressive Ds.  Laura Cox could run for a final term here.
20. 47.3-52.7 for Koleszar.  LOSS for Noble, who had a sick wife and couldn't campaign much.
23. 44-56 for Camilleri.  Safe D now, competitive when open.
24. 56-44 for Marino
25. 46-54 for Shannon.  Big missed opportunity here.
30. 57-43 for Farrington
38. 49.4-48.1 for Crawford.  Tough open seat in 2020.
39. 54-42 for Berman against indicted embezzler Suidan.
40. 43-57 for Manoogian.  LOSS in the ultimate upscale suburban district.
41. 48.7-51.3 for Kuppa.  LOSS for Teitz in often vulnerable Troy.
44. 58-42 for Maddock, a solid conservative Trump supporter.
60. 23-77 for Hoadley
61. 51.4-48.6 for Brandt Iden, who finally broke 50%.
62. 48.2-51.8 for Haadsma.  LOSS for Rs, which was closer than expected.
63. 57-39 for Matt Hall
66. 57-43 for Beth Griffin
67. 44-54 This district is close, but not winnable.
71. 49.1-50.9 for Witwer.  Tough LOSS in a swing district.
72. 54-43 for Steven Johnson
79. 56-44 for Wendzel
91. 56-44 for VanWoerkem.  Big win in a swing district.
93. 52.5-44.6 for Filler
94. 55-45 for Wakeman
98. 52-48 for Annette Glenn.  Big win for conservatives against big spending utilities.
99. 53.4-46.6 for Hauck
101. 58-42 for O'Malley.  Great candidate in a usually close district.
104. 50.4-49.6 for Larry Inman.  Weak candidate in a vulnerable upscale district.
110. 50.8-49.2 for Gregory Markkanen.  PICKUP for a candidate who raised almost no money in a Trump-friendly district.

My ratings turned out to be pretty accurate.  Every race I had at likely or safe for a party was won by that party.  The only lean races I missed were Wilder, Bishop, Epstein, senate 7 and 12, and house 110.  My state senate tossups had margins of 5, 4, 11, 11.  My state house tossups had margins of 12, .4, 5, 3, 3, 2, 12, 7, and 16.  The closest margin in a race I had at safe was 4 (Upton).

Saturday, October 27, 2018

2018 Michigan State House Races

Last updated October 27, 2018.

Cross-posted at The Western RightRight Michigan, and RRH Elections.

All 110 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives will be up for election in November. Republicans won a 63-47 majority in 2016, the same margin as in 2014. There are 42 open seats, 25 held by Republicans and 17 held by democrats. There are 23 open due to term-limits, 18 just due to seeking another office, and 1 pure retirement.

Democrats are hoping to take control of the state house. They may benefit from anti-Trump enthusiasm.  Libertarians achieved major party status due to Gary Johnson's showing in 2016, which led to more Libertarian candidates.  The elimination of straight ticket voting may help Republicans in downballot races.

Conservatives did reasonably well in 2018 primaries.  Conservative Lee Chatfield is the presumptive next house GOP leader.

Republican Michigander has a profile of the Michigan state house focusing more on district demographics.





The following lists district number, current incumbent, geographic description, 2012, 2014, and 2016 state house results, 2012 Romney %, 2016 Trump % (if known), and political rating.  The complete candidate list is available here:

https://miboecfr.nictusa.com/election/candlist/2018GEN_CANDLIST.html

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Lessons from the 2018 Primary Elections

What can we learn from the 2018 primary elections? This article explains what the winning candidates had in common. I wrote similar articles in 2014 and 2016.

They don't call it the establishment for nothing Establishment candidates won virtually all state senate races and most state house races. They have the inside track on fundraising, endorsements, and organization.

The moderate wing of the party was hammered, with David Maturen losing renomination, and Kathy Crawford narrowly surviving.  Daniela Garcia, Dave Pagel, Brett Roberts, Mike Callton, and Joe Haveman lost state senate primaries.  Only Chris Afendoulis and Mike McCready won primaries, advancing to competitive generals.

Some solid conservatives won primaries (Jim Runestad, Lana Theis, Tom Barrett), while others lost (Bob Genetski, Gary Glenn, and Ray Franz).  The most common winners were mainstream conservatives like Pete Lucido, Ruth Johnson, John Bizon, Kim LaSata, Aric Nesbitt, Roger Victory, Rick Outman, Jon Bumstead, and Curt VanderWall.  A similar pattern held in for state house nominations.

Experience counts Elected experience is valuable for winning candidates. All of the Republican state senate nominees were previously state representatives. State house winners Doug Tietz, Sarah Lightner, and Christine Barnes have all been elected to county commissions.

Incumbency Matters All but one incumbent Republican won renomination. Beating an incumbent in a primary is very hard. The one exception this year is Matt Hall, who spent more than 200K of his own money to defeat David Maturen.  The only other conservative challengers who beat a Republican incumbent in recent years are Tim Walberg in 2006 and Lee Chatfield in 2014. Certainly many incumbents deserve primary challenges, but conservatives have limited resources. Winning an open seat is much easier than beating an incumbent. Politicians can still be held to account when they run for other offices, as with the moderates listed above.  There are still some benefits to primary challenges, though, as they may encourage the incumbent to vote better for awhile and may help the challenger to win an open seat later.

If at first you don't succeed  David Wolkinson and Gary Eisen both finished second in 2012 state house primaries.  This time, they won their primaries.  Matt Maddock lost a close primary for state senate in 2014, but won a big victory for state house this time.  Candidates who lost this time should look for opportunities to run again in the future.

Build a brand  David Wolkinson, Doug Tietz, Matt Maddock, Matt Hall, and Annette Glenn are known across Michigan for advocating conservative causes.  This can provide a larger fundraising base to tap when you run for office.

Don't split the vote Conservatives did much better this year than in past years. Senate district 12 is one example where a conservative candidate likely lost due to vote splitting. Conservatives may have benefited from splits in the establishment in senate districts 30 and house districts 40 and 81.

Money doesn't buy elections  Self-funding candidates have a bad electoral track record.  Shri Thanedar, Jim Himes, Sandy Pensler all self-funded statewide bids and lost.  Self-funder Lena Epstein did win the nomination in MI-11.

Money is essential Money does not guarantee victory, but it is essential to get your message out. This is particularly true in local elections, which are often decided by name recognition. Look at how much winning conservative candidates raised.
Wolkinson 69K
Tietz 67K
Maddock 98K
Hall 209K
Meerman 30K
Glenn 52K

The candidate who raised the most money won in 13 of 21 contested primaries in open Republican seats (fewer than in past cycles). I have written before that the minimum amount needed to be a credible candidate is $30,000. Only five winners raised less than 30K this cycle, two in races where no candidate did.  All but one winner raised at least 15K.

Exceptions are exceptional The only Republican with bad fundraising to win nomination is Gary Eisen, a firearms instructor who raised only 3K.  He had finished second in 2012, and apparently had built some support from that run.  He joins Steven Johnson (2016) and Aaron Miller (2014) as candidates who beat the odds despite poor fundraising. So it is possible for a candidate who works hard to catch on with voters without the usual advantages. But it definitely isn't the way to bet, and it shouldn't be an excuse to ignore the usual path to victory.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

2018 August Primary Election Results

Governor:
(R) Schuette 51 Calley 25 Colbeck 13 Hines 11
(D) Whitmer 52 El-Sayed 30 Thanedar 18
No surprise. Shri can't buy votes.

Senate
(R) James 55 Pensler 45
Trump's endorsement was key here.

Congress
6 (D) Longjohn 37 Franklin 29 Benac 21 Eichholz 13
9 (D) Levin 52 Lipton 42 Dynasty wins here.
11 (R) Epstein 31 Raczkowski 26 Kowall 18 Kesto 14 Bentivolio 11
11 (D) Stevens 27 Greimel 22 Gupta 21 Saad 19 Skinner 10
13 (Regular) (D) Tlaib 33 Jones 29 Wild 14 Young 12 Conyers 6 Jackson 5
13 (Special) (D) Jones 37 Tlaib 36 Wild 15 Conyers 11
A split black vote allowed Tlaib to win the regular primary, while a smaller candidate field allowed Jones to win the special primary.

State Senate
1 (D) Chang 49 Talabi 27 Progressive wins.
2 (D) Hollier 27 Banks 19 Aiyash 17 The cranks were rejected here.
3 (D) Santana 42 Woronchak 39 Belle 14
4 (D) Bullock 45 Durhal 39
5 (D) Alexander 54 Knezek 46 Huge upset of a white D.
6 (D) Geiss 65 Kosowski 35 More liberal D wins.
8 (R) Lucido 72 Goike 28
9 (D) Wojno 63 Lodovisi 37
10 (R) MacDonald 59 Shallal 27
11 (D) Moss 52 Bailey 21
12 (R) McCready 45 Tedder 44 Whitney 8 Moderate wins due to split conservative vote.
14 (R) Johnson 77 Houston 23
15 (R) Runestad 90 Saari 10 Good.
16 (R) Shirkey 64 Dame 36
18 (D) Irwin 35.6 Deatrick 35.2 Rajendra 26
19 (R) Bizon 59 Callton 41 More conservative R wins.
21 (R) LaSata 55 Pagel 45 Conservative R wins.
22 (R) Theis 75 Marinaro 25 Good.
24 (R) Barrett 70 Roberts 30 Big victory.
26 (R) Nesbitt 52 Genetski 29 Consumers Energy smear campaign wins here.
29 (R) Afendoulis 81 Oesch 19
30 (R) Victory 42 Garcia 26 Haveman 26 DeBoer 6 Good that Garcia lost.
31 (R) Daley 59 Glenn 41 Consumers Energy smear campaign wins here.
...(D) Luczak 53 Jordan 20 Pro-life D wins primary.
32 (D) Phelps 59 Gaudreau 41
33 (R) Outman 72 Alexander 28
34 (R) Bumstead 52 Hughes 48 Hughes' big spending didn't save her.
...(D) Sias-Hernandez 54 LaMonte 46 Big upset of preferred D candidate.
35 (R) VanderWall 49 Rendon 24 Franz 23 Younger candidate beats two former reps.
37 (R) Schmidt 80 Gurr 20
38 (R) McBroom 69 Carey 31

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Primary Recommendations for Michigan State House

Every seat in the Michigan state house is up for election in 2018, and many seats are open due to term limits.  The house has been run by its more conservative wing for the past four years.  Continuing this trend will depend on conservatives winning primaries in August.  Here are my recommendations for who to support in Republican primaries.  Some races are hard evaluate, so additional information from readers is welcome.

Recommended candidates are in bold.

36. Strangely, none of the three major candidates here have an issue page.  However, Dr. Karen Potchynok-Lund, wife of conservative former rep Pete Lund, is solely endorsed by Right to Life.
38. Moderate incumbent Kathy Crawford has voted to increase gas taxes, support hollywood subsidies and FoxConn subsidies, against electric choice, against an income tax cut, against constitutional carry, against cutting auto insurance rates, and against reforming civil asset forfeiture.  Chase Turner is running on a conservative platform and is endorsed by Pat Colbeck.
39. Assistant prosecutor Marsha Kosmatka is running on a conservative platform and is solely endorsed by Right to Life and Citizens for Traditional Values.  Ryan Berman and Kevin Tatulyan also have decent platforms.
40. Lawyer/businessman David Wolkinson has a fairly conservative platform.  CPA Paul Taros is a Tea Party activist who may not be the best fit for a moderate district. Mike Banerian and Malissa Bossardet have fairly generic platforms.  Joe Zane has made many democrat donations.
41. Oakland County Commissioner Doug Tietz is a good conservative who was campaign manager for the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative in 2006.
43. Independence Township Trustee Jose Aliaga is a solid conservative who has an Aq rating from the NRA, while his opponents both got C from the NRA.
44. Businessman Matt Maddock is a conservative leader in Oakland County.  He is solely endorsed by Right to Life.
51. Mike Mueller is the establishment favorite, but his positions are unimpressive.  County commissioner Drew Shaprio has a history of run-ins with the police and no issues page on his website.  Trump delegate Ian Shetron has a conservative platform.
63. Moderate incumbent David Maturen is pro-abortion, has a D rating from the NRA, and voted for gas tax increases and against income tax cuts.  He is being challenged by conservative activist Matt Hall (a third candidate dropped out).
65. Jackson County Commissioner Sarah Lightner is solely endorsed by Right to Life and has an Aq rating from NRA.
71. County Commissioner Christine Barnes seems to be more conservative than businessman Chuck Cascarilla, but the difference isn't huge.
72. State rep. Steven Johnson has been one of the best conservatives in the house since his election in 2016.  He is endorsed by Right to Life, NRA, Pat Colbeck, and Bob Genetski.  He is being challenged by moderate Jennifer Antel.
73. Most establishment support has gone to Lynn Afendoulis, cousin of the moderate incumbent.  A better choice is Robert Regan, who is endorsed by the NRA, state senator Pat Colbeck, and state reps Dave Agema and Steve Johnson.
77. State rep Tommy Brann has been an average conservative in office.  He is being challenged by Daniel Oesch.
78. Niles city councilman David Mann is running on a conservative platform and is solely endorsed by Right to Life and conservative state rep Steve Johnson.
79. The candidate websites don't show a clear distinction.  Pauline Wendzel is endorsed by local conservative activist David Yardley.
81. Kenneth Nicholl and Eric Stocker have raised the most, but have generic platforms.  Joel Williams and Gary Eisen have more conservative platforms.
84. There doesn't seem to be a clear distinction between county commissioner Matthew Bierlein, Phil Green, son of conservative state senator Mike Green, and businessman Dean Smith.
88. Luke Meerman is solely endorsed by Right to Life, as well as by conservative former state rep. Tom Hooker.
90. Ottawa County Treasurer Bradley Slagh has most establishment support and is solely endorsed by Right to Life.  Orlando Estrada is a conservative alternative.
91. Greg VanWoerkem, a staffer for Bill Huizenga, has most establishment support and is solely endorsed by Right to Life.  However, former county commissioner Alan Jager has a higher NRA rating.
93. County Commissioner Anne Hill is running on a solidly conservative platform.
94. Saginaw Township Treasurer Steven Gerhardt is solely endorsed by Right to Life and is the most conservative candidate.
98. Annette Glenn is the wife of staunch conservative state rep. Gary Glenn.  She is solely endorsed by Right to Life and seems to be the only candidate running a serious campaign.
101. Radio host Jack O'Malley seems to be running the most serious campaign.  Carolyn Cater is runnning as a more conservative alternative.
102. State rep. Michelle Hoitenga has been one of the best conservatives in the house since her election in 2016.  She is being challenged from the left by William Barnett.
107. State rep. Lee Chatfield is a solid conservative who is in line to be the next Republican leader in the house.  He faces an unserious primary opponent.
110. Doctor and school board member Kirk Schott is solely endorsed by Right to Life and seems to be running the most serious campaign.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

July 2018 Michigan State House Fundraising

July 27 was the deadline for campaign finance reports for Michigan legislature.  Here are summaries of the total amount raised in competitive Michigan state house districts.  Totals include in-kind contributions, and for Republicans, late contributions.  Candidates who filed reporting waivers are generally omitted.

2. (D) Tate 40K, Tinsley-Smith 16K, Bell 4K
4. (D) Razo 58K, Oberholtzer 48K, Friedrichs 38K, Nolish 26K, Almasmari 18K, Rob 7K, Jones 5K, Little 2K
5. (D) Johnson 23K, Payne 9K
6. (D) Edevbie 89K, Defoe 53K, Choske 36K, White 35K, Wilson 25K, Carter 24K, Magdeleno 7K, Humphries 3K
9. (D) Whitsett 21K, Stuckey 6K
11. (D) Walker 31K, Jones 29K
12. (D) Garza 42K, Taylor 6K
16. (D) B. Johnson 75K, McDermott 35K, Coleman 14K
17. (R) Bellino 120K, (D) LaVoy 34K
19. (R) Meakin 33K (D) Centers 69K, Pohutski 13K
20. (R) Noble 71K (D) Koleszar 46K
23. (R) Frazier 2K (D) Camilleri 178K
25. (R) Early 3K (D) Shannon 19K
28. (D) Green 49K, Stone 3K
29. (D) Carter 23K, Jackson 13K, Payton 11K
30. (R) Farrington 90K (D) Naoum 66K
35. (D) Reiter 68K, Bolden 37K, Gregory 22K, Meyers 7K
36. (R) Czasak 24K, Lund 57K, Wozniak 19K
38. (R) Crawford 53K, Turner 14K
(D) Bagchi 41K, Breen 16K, Petrillo 5K
39. (R) Berman 38K, Hoyt 4K, Kosmatka 68K, Tatulyan 18K (D) Suidan 30K
40. (R) Banerian 42K, Bossardet 48K, Secrest 6K, Taros 59K, Wolkinson 69K, Zane 37K
(D) Manoogian 92K, Bedi 67K
41. (R) Baker 66K, Tietz 67K (D) Kuppa 88K
42. (R) Bollin 49K (D) Shand 29K
43. (R) Aliaga 35K, Bartolotta 17K, Schroeder 37K (D) Breadon 5K
44. (R) Maddock 98K, Marko 21K, O'Brien 15K (D) Dodd 17K
48. (D) Kennedy 38K, Tiffany 4K, Gunnels 3K
49. (D) Cherry 56K, Walling 35K, Darisaw 6K
51. (R) Anderton 6K, Mueller 42K, Shapiro 23K, Shetron 11K (D) Lossing 30K
55. (D) Warren 103K, McNally 1K
56. (R) Sheppard 68K (D) Whiteside 4K
57. (R) Kahle 96K (D) Pedersen 4K
61. (R) Iden 135K (D) Whitener 14K, Griffin 14K
62. (R) Morgan 32K (D) Haadsma 39K
63. (R) Maturen 76K, Hall 209K
64. (R) Alexander 78K (D) Troxel 19K
65. (R) Brittain 31K, Lightner 30K, Rice 8K (D) McKinnon 11K
66. (R) Griffin 102K (D) Seibert 16K
67. (R) Clark 16K (D) Hope 49K, Findlay 4K, Domann 1K
68. (D) DeWeese 78K, Anthony 67K, Collison 17K, Bradley 6K, Anderson 2K, Guins 1K
69. (D) Brixie 101K, Tsernoglou 81K, Banas 37K
71. (R) Barnes 31K, Cascarilla 59K, Stewart 18K
(D) Witwer 68K, Bowen 14K
72. (R) Johnson 62K, Antel 15K (D) Draayer 27K
73. (R) Afendoulis 90K, Fortier 53K, Regan 14K, Spencer 9K (D) Saxton 13K
76. (R) Brand 34K (D) Hood 70K
77. (R) Brann 91K (D) VanKirk 14K
78. (R) Hinkle 2K, Mann 34K, Paquette 17K, Priede 10K (D) Hill 6K
79. (R) Gorenflo 7K, Moen 20K, Rolling 13K, Wendzel 52K (D) Andrews 12K
81. (R) Eisen 3K, Nicholl 24K, Pratt 5K, Stocker 12K, Williams 4K
84. (R) Bierlein 13K, Green 15K, Smith 28K
85. (R) Frederick 94K (D) Sabin 8K
88. (R) Bosch 4K, Meerman 30K, Minier 9K
90. (R) Estrada 4K, Slagh 30K
91. (R) Jager 7K, VanWoerkem 91K (D) Cabala 46K
93. (R) Anderson 48K, Filler 62K, Hill 25K (D) Levey 8K
94. (R) Gerhardt 52K, Wakeman 34K (D) Adams 12K
98. (R) Glenn 52K (D) Schulz 60K
99. (R) Hauck 140K (D) Quast-Lents 33K, Brown 23K, Doyle 1K
101. (R) O'Malley 28K (D) Wiejaczka 52K, Hoogterp 4K
102. (R) Hoitenga 75K, Barnett 34K
104. (R) Inman 74K (D) Oneil 107K
106. (R) Allor 213K (D) Greene 20K
107. (R) Chatfield 261K (D) Galloway 17K
110. (R) LaCosse $232, Markkanen 3K, Schott 9K (D) Summers 69K

Friday, July 27, 2018

July 2018 Michigan State Senate Fundraising

July 27 was the deadline for campaign finance reports for Michigan legislature.  Here are summaries of the total amount raised in Michigan state senate districts.  Totals include in-kind and late contributions.

1. (D) Chang 147K Scott XX Talabi 10K
2. (D) Banks 157K Hollier 121K Aiyash 106K Miah 10K Gannon 9K Cushingberry 8K Lemmons waiver Olumba waiver
3. (D) Santana 113K Woronchak 117K
4. (D) Bullock 56K Durhal 100K
5. (D) Knezek 253K
6. (D) Kosowski 107K Geiss 74K
7. (R) Cox 162K (D) Qadir 117K Polehanki 69K
8. (R) Lucido 147K Goike 41K
9. (D) Wojno 169K
10. (R) Shallal 47K MacDonald 21K (D) Yanez 126K
11. (D) J. Moss 90K
12. (R) Tedder 165K McCready 138K (D) Bayer 68K
13. (R) Knollenberg 252K (D) McMorrow 161K
14. (R) Johnson 56K
15. (R) Runestad 212K (D) Pulver 53K
16. (R) Shirkey 180K Dame 24K
17. (R) Zorn 254K (D) LaVoy 17K
18. (D) Irwin 158K Deatrick 224K Rajendra 153K
19. (R) Callton 265K Bizon 264K
20. (R) O'Brien 371K (D) McCann 137K
21. (R) LaSata 114K Pagel 116K
22. (R) Theis 122K
23. (D) Hertel 281K
24. (R) Barrett 227K Roberts 139K (D) Rossman-McKinney 313K
25. (R) Lauwers 76K
26. (R) Genetski 201K Nesbitt 213K Wickstra 140K (D) Lewis 29K
27. (D) Ananich 253K
28. (R) MacGregor 255K
29. (R) Afendoulis 427K (D) Brinks 289K
30. (R) Garcia 259K Haveman 97K Victory 237K DeBoer 10K
31. (R) Glenn 243K Daley 118K (D) Luczak 30K Jordan 24K
32. (R) Horn 270K (D) Phelps 36K Gaudreau 12K
33. (R) Outman 65K
34. (R) Bumstead 184K Hughes 1.1M (D) Lamonte 29K Sias-Hernandez 53K
35. (R) Franz 52K Rendon 102K VanderWall 126K
36. (R) Stamas 324K
37. (R) Schmidt 386K Gurr 7K
38. (R) McBroom 128K Carey 129K (D) Dianda 179K

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

David Maturen's Liberal Record

David Maturen is a Republican state representative representing district 63 (eastern Kalamazoo and southern Calhoun counties).  He has held the seat since 2014, after spending 12 years on the Kalamazoo County Commission.  Maturen is one of the most liberal Republicans in the state house.

He voted to increase the state gas taxmotor fuel tax, and registration fees.

He voted to increase regulations on auto repairs.

He voted against electric choice.

He was one of only 12 house Republicans to vote against an income tax cut.

He was one of only 7 house Republicans to vote against constitutional carry.

He voted for corporate welfare for FoxConn.

He voted against a bill to cut auto insurance rates.

He voted against making English the official language of Michigan.

He voted against requiring a conviction before civil asset forfeiture.

Maturen is not pro-gun and has a D rating from the NRA.

Maturen is pro-abortion and has never been endorsed by Right to Life.

There is a better choice.  Matt Hall is right on the issues where Maturen is wrong.  (The third candidate in the race recently dropped out and endorsed Hall.)  Matt Hall is the clear choice for conservatives.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

NRA Endorsements

The National Rifle Association has just issued its endorsements for the 2018 primary.  They give grades to candidates who have voting records or fill out their survey.  They endorse most acceptable incumbents and endorse in some open seats.  Endorsed candidates are in bold.  (Aq means a candidate got an A from the questionnaire only, and doesn't have a voting record.)

Governor:  No endorsement.  Schuette got A+, Calley and Colbeck got A, Hines got Aq.
US Senate:  No endorsement.  John James and Sandy Pensler both got Aq.

Congress:
8. Bishop A endorsed.
11. All five Republican candidates got A or Aq.

State Senate:
6. (D) Kosowski B, Geiss F
8. Lucido A+, Goike A
10. All three got Aq.
12. Tedder A, McCready D
14. Apparently nobody filled out the questionnaire.
15. Jim Runestad A+
16. Mike Shirkey A+
19. Bizon B+, Callton A.
21. LaSata A, Pagel C.
22. Lana Theis A+
24. Barrett and Roberts both got A.
26. Nesbitt and Genetski both got A.
29. Chris Afendoulis got C+.
30. Victory, Garcia got A, DeBoer Aq, Haveman B+.
31. Gary Glenn A+, Daley A-.
32. (D) Phelps A, Gaudreau F
33. Rick Outman A
34. Bumstead, Hughes both got A.
35. Franz, Vanderwall, and Rendon all got A.
37. Schmidt A+, Gurr Aq.
38. McBroom A, Carey Aq.