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.