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 May 29, 2020.

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

President: Tossup
Michigan's presidential primary was on March 10.  President Trump easily defeated several primary challengers.  Joe Biden defeated Bernie Sanders in the Michigan D primary.  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.  Perennial candidate Bob Carr was disqualified due to lack of signatures.

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.  Court of Appeals judge Brock Swartzle is running for the R nomination.

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
Several initiatives have attempted to collect signatures, but have been hampered by the coronavirus and lockdown order.  A gay rights initiative is suing for access due to lack of signatures.

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 and Julie Rogers are running for the seat.  The R candidate is Gary Mitchell.
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.  She faces IT manager Tom Graham in the R primary.  D county commissioner Christine Morse, 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.  Ron Hawkins and Luke Howell will compete for the D nomination.
66th District (Van Buren, Cooper) Safe Republican
R state rep Beth Griffin, a former county commissioner, was first elected in 2016.  Mattawan village council member Abigail Wheeler will be the D nominee.

Kalamazoo Countywide Offices
All six countywide offices are up for election. Republicans hold three of six offices.

Sheriff: Likely democrat
Democrat Richard Fuller was first elected in 2008.  In 2016, he defeated sheriff's deputy Thomas Swafford 76-24 in the democrat primary.  This year, Swafford is running in the Republican primary.  He will face retired police captain Shannon Bagley.
Prosecutor: Safe democrat
Democrat former assistant prosecutor Jeffrey Getting, who was first elected in 2012, is unopposed.
Clerk: Likely democrat
Longtime moderate Republican Tim Snow will not seek reelection in 2020. Democrat county commissioner (18-20) Meredith Place is running.  Her husband, former commissioner John Taylor (02-16), lost to Snow in 2016.  The other D candidates are Doreen Gardner and deputy clerk Sarah Joshi.  The R candidate is Bronson employee Mona Lisa Watson.
Treasurer: Lean Republican
Republican Mary Balkema, who was appointed in 2007, will seek reelection.  She has won competitive elections each time since then.  She faces D real estate agent Thomas Whitener.
Drain Commissioner: Likely democrat
Democrat Patricia Crowley, who was first elected in 2008, will retire this year.  R supplier quality Engineer Joanna Croes will face D Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control agent Jason Wiersma.
Surveyor: Safe Republican
Incumbent Republican Bill Hahn has been unopposed since 2008. The position is unpaid, and its holder must be a licensed surveyor.

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. Districts 1, 5, 9, and 11 are open.  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 May 29, 2020.

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. Dana Ferguson and Linda O'Dell are seeking the D nomination.

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.  Bryan Berghoef will be the D nominee.

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 became a Libertarian party member in 2020, and considered running for president, but declined.  Amash had previously attracted several primary challengers.  The R candidates are state rep. Lynn Afendoulis (18-P) of Grand Rapids Township, retail heir Peter Meijer, village trustee Joe Farrington, lawyer Emily Rafi, and anti-establishment former village trustee Tom Norton.  State rep. Jim Lower (16-P) and businessman Joel Langlois announced campaigns, but later dropped out.  Meijer and Afendoulis have fundraised the best so far.  The D nominee will be attorney Hillary Scholten.

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.  The D candidates are Anthony Feig and Jerry Hilliard.

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.  The R canddiates are former state rep. Tim Kelly and former GM worker Earl Lackie.

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.  Upton is being challenged by realtor Elana Oelke.  Progressive D state rep Jon Hoadley (14-20) of Kalamazoo is the D favorite over Jen Richardson.

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. She is running again in 2020.

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.  Candidates for the R nomination include businessman Mike Detmer, veteran Alan Hoover, television anchor and Trump USCIS official Paul Junge, and attorney Kristina Lyke.  State Board of Education member Nikki Snyder was disqualified due to lack of signatures.

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.  The R candidates are businessman Gabi Grossbard and veteran Charles Langworthy.

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
Self-funding businessman Paul Mitchell, first elected in 2016, is retiring in 2020, citing frustration with Congress.  State Rep Shane Hernandez, one of the most conservative members of the legislature, is running, and has received endorsements from many legislative colleagues.  The other R candidates are retired Air Force Gen. Doug Slocum, and businesswoman Lisa McClain.  The D candidates are environmental activist Kimberly Bizon and nurse Kelly Noland.

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
In 2018, 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.  The R candidates in 2020 are businessman Frank Acosta, former Congressman Kerry Bentivolio, nurse and lawyer Eric Esshaki, businesswoman Carmelita Greco, and GOP official Whitney Williams.  As this district is likely to be chopped up in redistricting, stronger candidates avoided the 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.  She is being challenged in the D primary by Solomon Rajput.  The R nominee will be businessman Jeff Jones.

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.  Jones is challenging Tlaib in the D primary this year.  The R candidates are GOP official David Dudenhoefer and engineer Al Lemmo.

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.  She is being challenged in the D primary by Terrance Morrison.  The R candidates are attorney Daryle Houston and construction contractor Robert Patrick.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

2020 Kalamazoo County Commission Races

This post was last updated May 11, 2020.

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: Tami Rey, Andrew Sellin
Republican: none
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: Zachary Bauer*, Monteze Morales
Republican: none
Paul Haag replaced Kevin Wordelman, who retired in 2018.  He resigned in 2019, apparently because he never lived in the district.  Zachary Bauer was appointed as his replacement.  Monteze Morales, an education consultant, is challenging him in the D primary.

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: Tracy Hall*
Republican: none
Tracy Hall was elected in 2016, replacing John Taylor.  She announced a campaign for the 60th state house district, but later dropped out of the race.

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*, Jen Strebs
Republican: Andrew Smith
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.  Kalamazoo Township Board member Jen Strebs is challenging him in the D primary.

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: Veronica McKissack, Chris Pomeroy
Republican: Valarie Cunningham
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.  Social worker Veronica McKissack and union organizer Chris Pomeroy will compete for the D nomination to face R social work instructor Valarie Cunningham.

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: Vince Carahaly, Jeff Heppler
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.  Heppler (02-16) was previously a commissioner who lost a race for sheriff.  Carahaly, a businessman, finished second to Kendall in the 2016 primary.

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: Anthony Bates
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: none
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: Keshia Dickason
Republican: Brian Kovacik, Dale Shugars
Christine 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.  Morse is running for the 61st state house district in 2020.  Shugars is running again, and faces sales consultant Brian Kovacik, who lost bids for this seat in 2014 and 2016.  The D nominee will be WMU employee Keshia Dickason.

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: Charley Coss
Quinn was a commissioner 2008-2010.  Following R Phil Stinchcomb (10-14) and D Larry Provancher (95-02, 14-16), Quinn returned in 2016.  Coss, a businessman, lost bids for county commission in district 3 in 2016 and Kalamazoo City Commission in 2017 before moving to Portage.

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: Fran Melgar
Republican: Lisa Brayton
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 leaving after one term to run for Kalamazoo County Clerk.  Lisa Brayton is a businesswoman.

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.