Saturday, August 03, 2013

2014 Michigan Congressional Races

Cross-posted at The Western Right, Right Michigan, and Red Racing Horses. This post was last updated on October 23, 2014.

Michigan will see several interesting congressional races in 2014, with four open seats and several competitive primary challenges.  Michigan now 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) Likely Republican.
CD 2012: 48.1-47.6 Romney: 53.5 McCain: 48.5
In 2010, Dr. Dan Benishek won an open seat vacated by democrat Rep. Bart Stupak against democrat state Rep. Gary McDowell 52-41 and won the rematch 48.1-47.6 in 2012.  Benishek has generally voted with the leadership, displeasing some of his former Tea Party supporters.  He beat Tea Partyer Alan Arcand 70-30 in the primary. Democrats are touting former general Jerry Cannon, who commanded Gitmo and was Kalakaska County Sheriff in the 1980's.  Being from the Lower Peninsula may hamper Cannon.

District 2 (Ottowa, Muskegon) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 61-34 Romney: 56 McCain: 50.4
Republican former state rep. Bill Huizinga won a close primary in 2010 to replace Pete Hoekstra, and was easily reelected in 2012. Since then he has generally voted a fairly conservative line. This remains the most Republican district in Michigan.  Democrat Dean VanderStelt is running.

District 3 (Kent, Calhoun) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 52.6-44.1 Romney: 53.1 McCain: 48.6
Republican state rep. Justin Amash won the primary to replace moderate Republican Vern Ehlers, in 2010. He won 60-37 in 2010 and 53-44 in 2012 over former state rep Steve Pestka. Amash is a libertarian in the mold of Rep. Ron Paul. He has made some enemies in Washington, and ticked off Right to Life and the NRA.  He defeated moderate businessman Brian Ellis, who had significant self-funding, 57-43 in the primary.   Democrat Bob Goodrich is running.

District 4 (central Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 63-34 Romney: 53.4 McCain: 48.6
Republican Dave Camp, who has been winning big margins in this district since 1990, is retiring.  He is termed out of the Ways and Means Committee chairmanship, and had briefly considered running for senate.  Conservative state senator John Moolenaar of Midland defeated self-funding businessman Paul Mitchell and Tea Partyer Peter Konetchy.  Moolenaar won 52-36-11.  Democrat Jeffrey Holmes is running.

District 5 (Genesee, Saginaw, Bay) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 31-65 Romney: 38.4 McCain: 35.4
Former Genesee Treasurer Dan Kildee succeeded his uncle Dale Kildee in 2012.  Republican Allen Hardwick is running.

District 6 (SW Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 55-43 Romney: 50 McCain: 45
Moderate Republican Fred Upton has won by wide margins since defeating conservative Mark Siljander in 1986. Upton became Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2010.  He defeated primary challenges from former state rep. Jack Hoogendyk, who won 43% in 2010 and 33% in 2012. He beat libertarian Jim Bussler 71-29 in the 2014 primary.  Upton defeated democrat Mike O'Brien 55-43 in 2010, the closest margin of his career.  This time, he is being challenged by Western Michigan University professor Paul Clements, who has raised a substantial amount of money.

District 7 (south-central Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 53-43 Romney: 50.9 McCain: 47.4
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 democrat attorney Kurt Haskell in 2012 53-43.  Walberg is being challenged by former state rep. (2004-2010) Pam Byrnes of Washtenaw County. She represented about 68000 people in the 7th district (9% of the district), which portion voted 45% for McCain.  Walberg will likely settle in to win with 55% or so.

District 8 (Ingham, Livingston, N Oakland) Likely Republican.
CD 2012: 59-37 Romney: 51.1 McCain: 46.4
Republican Mike Rogers, who has won big margins since 2000, announced his retirement late in the cycle.  Former state senator Mike Bishop of NE Oakland beat Tea Party favorite state rep. Tom McMillin 60-40.  Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing won with 43% in the democrat primary.

District 9 (S Macomb, Royal Oak, Bloomfield) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 34-62 Romney: 41.8 McCain: 40.4
Democrat Sander Levin has represented this district since 1982.  His younger brother Carl is retiring from the Senate, but Sander hasn't shown any inclination to follow.  Levin is more liberal than the district, but he is popular enough to win here as long as he wants. He may be succeeded by a less liberal Macomb county democrat.  Republican George Brikho is running.

District 10 (N Macomb, the Thumb) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 69-30 Romney: 55.2 McCain: 50
Republican Candice Miller is highly popular in Macomb County and statewide, and that isn't going to change. Democrat Chuck Stadler is running.

District 11 (NW Wayne, SW Oakland, Troy) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 50.8-44.4 Romney: 52.2 McCain: 48.4
Tea Party Republican Kerry Bentivolio became an "accidental congressman" in 2012 after incumbent Thad McCotter was disqualified in a petition fraud scandal. A coalition of establishment Republicans endorsed a write-in campaign by former state senator Nancy Cassis, but Bentivolio won 65-35.  He defeated democrat Canton Township Trustee Taj Syed 50.8-44.4.  Since then, Bentivolio has mostly kept his head down and voted a conservative line.  He was defeated 66-34 in the primary by foreclosure lawyer David Trott, who has the support of the Oakland County establishment, after running a weak campaign.  Bentivolio is running a hopeless write-in campaign in the general.  Democrat Bobby McKenzie got 34% in the democrat primary, narrowly defeating three other candidates.

District 12 (Downriver, Ann Arbor) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 29-68 Romney: 32.7 McCain: 31.2
Democrat John Dingell, in Congress for over 58 years since Eisenhower's first term, is finally retiring.  Dingell's wife Debbie Dingell is running to succeed him.  She defeated attorney Ray Mullins 78-22 in the primary.  Republican Terry Bowman, a leader of the Michigan Right to Work movement, is running.

District 13 (W Detroit, Westland) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 14-82 Romney: 14 McCain: 14
This district has been represented by democrat John Conyers since 1964. Conyers' image has been tarnished since his wife Monica, formerly Detroit city council president, pled guilty to bribery and served time in federal prison. He was challenged in the 2012 democrat primary by state senator Glenn Anderson, whose base in the mostly white suburbs of Westland and Redford was moved from the 11th district into the 13th; Senator Bert Johnson, and State Rep. Shanelle Jackson. Conyers won 55% to 18% for Anderson, 13% for Jackson, and 10% for Johnson.  Conyers was nearly disqualified due to having signature gatherers who were not registered to vote, but a judge ordered him back on the ballot.  He defeated pastor Horace Sheffield 74-26 in the democrat primary.  Republican Jeff Gorman is running.

District 14 (E Detroit, Southfield, Farmington, Pontiac) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 16-82 Romney: 18 McCain: 18
This district had an interesting primary in 2012.  Congressman Gary Peters, first elected in 2008, ran here after his old 9th district was split into four pieces.  Peters did very well in endorsements and fundraising, and he won this majority black district 47-35-13 over fellow Congressman Hansen Clarke and Southfield mayor Brenda Lawrence.  Peters is now running for Senate, so the district is open.  Lawrence, state rep. Rudy Hobbs, Clarke, and Burgess Foster ran.  Lawrence won the 2014 democrat primary 36-32-31.  Republican Christina Conyers is running.

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