Friday, June 09, 2017

2018 Michigan General Election Races

This post was last updated August 27, 2018.

Michigan's top constitutional offices, congressional seats, and the entire state legislature will be up for election November 2018.

US Senate: Likely democrat
Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow is seeking reelection.  She won 50-48 in 2000, 57-41 in 2006, and 59-38 in 2012.  She has mediocre approval ratings.

Businessman John James defeated Sandy Pensler for the R nomination.  James appealed more to movement conservatives, and was endorsed by President Trump and Right to Life.  Pensler self-funded and positioned himself as a Trump-friendly businessman.

Governor: Tossup
Moderate Republican Governor Rick Snyder is term limited.  Snyder won 58-40 in 2010 and 51-47 in 2014.  Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is fairly conservative, won the R nomination.  He beat Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, conservative state senator Patrick Colbeck, and doctor Jim Hines of Saginaw.

Former state senator Gretchen Whitmer of Ingham County won the D nomination.  She beat businessman Shri Thanedar, who spent 10 million dollars portraying himself as a more progressive alternative, and Detroit health official Abdul Al-Sayed, who was supported by many Bernie Sanders supporters.

Libertarians are now on the primary ballot thanks to the relatively strong showing of Gary Johnson in 2016.  Their voters choose Bill Gelineau over John Tatar.

Attorney General: Tossup
Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette is term limited and running for governor. He won 53-44 in 2010 and 52-44 in 2014.  Both nominees were decided at party conventions.  Republican house speaker Tom Leonard beat state senator Tonya Schuitmaker.  Leonard has a more conservative record and had most grassroots support.

Progressive lesbian attorney Dana Nessel defeated former US attorney Pat Miles for the D nomination.  She may be a weaker general election candidate.

Secretary of State: Lean democrat
Conservative Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is term limited and running for state senate. She defeated democrat Joscelyn Benson 51-45 in 2010 and Godfrey Dillard 54-43 in 2014.  Benson is running again in 2018, and is a strong candidate.

Accountant Mary Treder Lang won the nomination at convention, defeating MSU professor Joseph Guzman.  Shelby Township clerk Stan Grot and moderate state senator Mike Kowall previously dropped out of the race.

Michigan Supreme Court Lean Republican
Republicans currently hold a 5-2 majority on the court.  There are two full-term seats up for election on the Michigan Supreme Court. They are those of moderate Elizabeth Clement and conservative Kurtis Wilder.  Clement was appointed in November 2017 to replace Joan Larsen, who was appointed to a seat on the federal appeals court by President Trump.  Wilder was appointed in May 2017 to replace the retiring Robert Young.  Democrats nominated attorney Megan Kathleen Cavanagh and University of Michigan professor Samuel Bagenstos for Supreme Court.

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 Republicans. Democrats have swept these elections in 2006, 2008, and 2012, while Republicans swept in 2010.  The candidates are
State Board of Education:
Republicans: Tami Carlone, Richard Zeille
Democrats: Tiffany Tilley, Judy Pritchett
UM Board of Regents:
Republicans: Andrew Richner, Andrea Newman
Democrats: Jordan Acker, Paul Brown
MSU Board of Trustees:
Republicans: Dave Dutch, Mike Miller
Democrats: Brianna Scott, Kelly Tebay
WSU Board of Governors:
Republicans: Diane Dunaskis, David Nicholson
Democrats: Anil Kumar, Bryan Barnhill

Ballot Propositions
A part time legislature initiative failed to make the ballot.  An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana will be on the ballot.  There are also pending initiatives to
  • shut down the pipeline that runs under the Mackinac Straits
  • change redistricting in ways beneficial to democrats
  • repeal the prevailing wage law
  • change voting rules in ways beneficial to democrats
Michigan Congressional Seats
Republicans hold a 9-5 majority in Michigan's congressional delegation, which is unchanged since 2012. The 11th district is open due to the retirement of Rep. David Trott, and will be competitive.  The post below examines these races in detail.

2018 Michigan Congressional Races

Michigan Senate
All 38 seats in the Michigan state senate are up for election, and 26 have no incumbent due to term limits and retirements. Republicans currently hold a 27-11 supermajority after winning landslides in 2010 and 2014. Democrats will likely target Republican-held seats in NW Wayne (7), Macomb (10), Monroe (17), Kalamazoo County (20), Grand Rapids (29), Bay County (31), Saginaw (32), Muskegon (34), and the UP (38). There were competitive R primaries in many districts to determine the ideological composition of the senate.  The post below examines these races in detail.

2018 Michigan State Senate Elections

20th District (Kalamazoo County) Tossup
Kalamazoo County is a battleground, with Ds usually winning the top of the ticket, and Republicans doing better at the bottom.  In 2014, Margaret O'Brien (10-14) defeated D state rep Sean McCann (10-14) by just 61 votes, with Libertarian former R state rep Lorence Wenke (04-10) taking 9%.  McCann and Wenke are running again, setting up a three-way rematch of 2014.

Michigan House
All 110 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives are up for election. Republicans won a 63-47 majority in 2016.  There will be 42 open seats due to term limits and candidates running for other offices.  Both parties have potential targets to pickup.

2018 Michigan State House Races

60th District (Kalamazoo City) Safe democrat
Democrat state rep Jon Hoadley was first elected in 2014.  William Baker is the R candidate.
61st District (Portage, Oshtemo) Tossup
Republican state rep Brandt Iden was elected 48-43 in 2014 and 49-44 in 2016, defeating D Pastor John Fisher both times.  Ds nominated WMU teached Alberta Griffin over Corey Kendall and Thomas Whitener.
63rd District (E Kalamazoo, S Calhoun) Safe Republican
R state rep David Maturen was first elected in 2014.  He was defeated in the R primary by Republican official Matt Hall.  Jennifer Aniano is the D candidate.
66th District (Van Buren, Cooper) Safe Republican
R state rep Beth Griffin was first elected in 2016.  The D candidate is Dan Seibert.

Kalamazoo County Commission
All 11 seats on the Kalamazoo County Commission will be up for election. Ds hold a 6-5 majority. Republicans will target democrat Michael Quinn (district 10). Democrats will target Republican Scott McGraw (district 11).

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