Sunday, April 24, 2022

2022 Michigan State Senate Races

Last updated October 15, 2022.

All 38 seats in the Michigan Senate are up for election in 2022.  Republicans currently have a 22-16 majority, and have controlled the senate since 1983.  The Michigan state senate is up only in midterms, which usually favor Republicans more than presidential years.  However, Republicans lost five seats in the bad year of 2018.

Michigan has a new state senate map, thanks to the Michigan's Independent Redistricting Commission.  The commission drew lines that split many counties and split Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and the Lansing area to benefit Ds.  The city of Detroit was split to reduce the number of black-majority districts from five to zero.  The commission created several competitive districts.

Michigan Redistricting: State Senate Map Approved

Interactive versions of the map are available at Dave's Redistricting and MICRC.

Michigan State Senate Map-Dave's Redistricting
Michigan State Senate Map-MICRC

2022 Candidate List (Michigan Secretary of State)

Three R and one D incumbents had to move.  Seven senators are term-limited.  Two senators are running for congress, two are running for state house, and one just retired.  One was disqualified from the ballot.  There was one incumbent-v-incumbent primary.  There will also be several interesting general election races. 

All but seven current state senators are former state representatives.  Two senators (LaSata, Theis) faced primary challengers endorsed by President Trump.  Consider the districts in detail.

The election data for each district is the R candidates for President 2016 (P16), Attorney General 2018 (AG18), Governor 2018 (G18), and President 2020 (P20).  (There was 1-5% of the vote for third party candidates in these races.)

1. [SC Detroit, Taylor] Safe D
P16: 27 G18: 24 AG18: 25 P20: 30
This seat is 37% black and 17% Hispanic.  It loses much of downriver and adds a chunk of Detroit.  Erika Geiss lives here and will run for reelection. She defeated former state rep (14-20) Frank Liberati and four other Ds.  Erik Soderquist will be the R nominee.

2. 26R, 74D [Dearborn, Dearborn Heights] Safe D
P16: 26 G18: 23 AG18: 24 P20: 26
This seat is 26% black, and now has a significant Middle Eastern population.  Sylvia Santana represents most of this seat and will run here.  She easily defeated Maurice Sanders for the D nomination.  Harry Sawicki will be the R nominee.

3. 26R, 74D [central Detroit, Warren, Madison Heights] Safe D
P16: 20 G18: 17 AG18: 18 P20: 21
This seat is 44% black.  Stephanie Chang will run for reelection here.  Adam Hollier also lives here, but ran for Congress instead.  She defeated Toinu Reeves for the D nomination.

4. 48R, 52D [S Wayne] Lean D
P16: 46.5 G18: 39.9 AG18: 41.8 P20: 47.1
This area has moved toward Trump, but votes more D downballot.  Erika Geiss represents much of this seat, but lives in Taylor, and will run in district 1.  Ds have a strong candidate in state rep Darrin Camilleri (16-22) who flipped a seat that voted for Trump in 2016.  Houston James won the R nomination over James Chapman, Michael Frazier, and Beth Socia.

5. 41R, 59D [Canton, Westland] Safe D
P16: 40 G18: 36 AG18: 38 P20: 39
Compared to old 7, this seat lost Plymouth/Northville and added Westland and Inkster.  This area has moved left, and Dayna Polehanki flipped it D in 2018.  She defeated Velma Jean Overman in the primary.  Emily Bauman won the R nomination over Jody Rice-White and Leonard Scott Jr.

6. 31R, 69D [Livonia, Redford, Farmington Hills] Safe D
P16: 31 G18: 28 AG18: 30 P20: 30
This seat is 41% black.  Incumbent Betty Jean Alexander is a political lightweight who beat white incumbent David Knezek in a huge primary upset in 2018.  She was disqualified from the ballot due to campaign finance violations.  The D primary was won by 30-year-old state rep (20-P) Mary Cavanagh, who recently pled to 'superdrunk' driving.  The other D candidates were former state rep (08-14) and Farmington Hills Mayor Vicki Barnett, who lost a close race for state senate in 2014, and Darryl Brown.  The R nominee is Ken Crider.
7. 26R, 74D [Southfield, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills] Safe D
P16: 25 G18: 25 AG18: 26 P20: 25
The most black district (47% black) on the map is mostly in Oakland.  White incumbent Jeremy Moss will run for reelection.  Rosemary Bayer also lived here, but moved to run in district 13.  Ryan Foster also sought the D nomination.  The R nominee is Corinne Khederian.

8. 22R, 78D [N Detroit, Royal Oak] Safe D
P16: 22 G18: 21 AG18: 22 P20: 22
This seat is 42% black.  White incumbent Mallory McMorrow of Royal Oak defeated black incumbent Marshall Bullock of Detroit.  McMorrow raised a huge sum due to a viral video attacking an R senator.  The R candidate is Brandon Simpson.

9. 51R, 49D [Troy, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights] Lean R
P16: 51 G18: 47.3 AG18: 50 P20: 49.2
This 17% Asian seat is an improvement on old district 13.  Mallory McMorrow represents about 2/3 of this seat, but will run in district 8.  State rep. (14-20) Michael Webber (R) of Rochester Hills will face state rep (18-P) Padma Kuppa (D) of Troy.

10. 34R, 66D [E Detroit, Warren, Sterling Heights] Safe D
P16: 33 G18: 30 AG18: 31 P20: 34
This seat is 42% black.  White incumbent Paul Wojno of Warren will run here.  Paul Smith, who lost a 2020 state house seat, won the R nomination over Joe Hunt.

11. 50R, 50D [Macomb Twp, Clinton Twp, Roseville] Tossup
P16: 48.6 G18: 42.2 AG18: 44.2 P20: 48.2
This slice of Macomb has moved R, but votes more D downballot.  Incumbent Michael MacDonald (R) will run here.  If he wins, he will be the first R in many decades to represent part of Detroit.  Conspiracy theorist Melissa Carone, who was disqualified from a state house run for campaign finance violations, was also disqualified for this seat.  Macomb County Commissioner Veronica Klinefelt defeated Monique Owens for the D nomination.

12. 53R, 47D [Lake St. Clair shoreline] Lean R
P16: 52.2 G18: 46.4 AG18: 48.9 P20: 51.5
This district hugging the Lake St. Clair shoreline is actually a good draw for Rs.  Unlike the congressional and state house maps, the Grosse Pointes are not drowned in a Detroit district.  State rep. (16-22) Pam Hornberger (R) of Chesterfield Township, who narrowly lost a state senate special primary in 2021, won the R nomination over Michael Williams.  State rep (16-22) Kevin Hertel (D) of St. Clair Shores is the D nominee.

13. 44R, 56D [West Bloomfield, Novi, Northville, Plymouth] Lean D
P16: 43.8 G18: 41.2 AG18: 43.2 P20: 42.2
Ten years ago, this would have been an R district, but these upscale suburban areas moved left under Trump.  Incumbent Rosemary Bayer (D) represents only tiny Keego Harbor (pop. 2970) and Sylvan Lake (pop. 1720), where she moved to avoid a primary with Jeremy Moss in district 8.  Northville Township Treasurer Jason Rhines won the R nomination over Brian Williams.

14. 45R, 55D [N Washtenaw, Jackson] Lean D
P16: 43.8 G18: 40.4 AG18: 42.4 P20: 43.9
In one of the outrageous pro-D gerrymanders on the map, Ann Arbor is split in half in an attempt to drown most of Jackson County in a D district.  Possible student turnout dropoff and the possibility of an Ann Arbor progressive being nominated are only barely keeping this seat competitive.  Washtenaw County Commissioner Sue Shink defeated former Jackson City Council Member Kelsey Wood and activist Val Cochran Toops for the D nomination.  Grass Lake Township Trustee Tim Golding will be the R nominee.
15. 27R, 73D [S Washtenaw] Safe D
P16: 27 G18: 26 AG18: 27 P20: 26
The rest of Washtenaw is safe for any D.  Incumbent Jeff Irwin is running here.  Scott Price won the R nomination over Wyckham Seelig.

16. 63R, 37D [Monroe, Lenawee, Hillsdale] Safe R
P16: 60 G18: 55 AG18: 57 P20: 62
This seat is open, with old 17 incumbent Dale Zorn termed out.  State rep (16-22) Joe Bellino won the R nomination 52-47 over state rep (20-22) TC Clements.  Katybeth Davis is the D nominee.

17. 65R, 35D [S Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Branch, E Calhoun] Safe R
P16: 62 G18: 58 AG18: 60 P20: 63
This succeeds old 21, losing north Berrien.  The result is an absurd district takes a swath of rural territory from Berrien to Jackson counties.  Kim LaSata represents about 2/3 of this seat, but had to move into it.  Army veteran Jonathan Lindsey was endorsed by Trump when he planned to seek the seat vacated by term-limited senate majority leader Mike Shirkey, but ended up in this district.  He  outraised LaSata with help from many out-of-state donors and won the R primary 61-39.  The D nominee is Scott Starr.

18. 62R, 38D [W Calhoun, Barry, SE Kent, E Allegan] Safe R
P16: 59 G18: 55 AG18: 58 P20: 60
This succeeds old 19, and goes from three whole counties to one whole county and parts of five others.  Incumbent John Bizon will retire after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery.  State rep (16-22) Thomas Albert of Lowell won the R nomination over biomedical electronics technician Ryan Mancinelli.  The D nominee is Kai Degraaf.

19. 42R, 58D [Kalamazoo, Antwerp Twp] Safe D
P16: 41 G18: 39 AG18: 42 P20: 40
This is mostly the same as old 20, plus or minus a couple townships.  Incumbent Sean McCann was the first D to win this seat in 2018, after many years of Rs winning by decreasing margins.  The R candidate is Tamara Mitchell.

20. 59R, 41D [N Berrien, Van Buren, W Allegan, SW Kent] Safe R
P16: 57 G18: 55 AG18: 57 P20: 57
This is a messier successor to old 26, stretching from Benton Harbor to the Grand Rapids suburbs.  Aric Nesbitt, who is the presumptive next R senate leader, lived in 19, but moved here, where the large majority of his constituents live.  Kim LaSata lived here, but moved to 17 to avoid a primary.  Nesbitt defeated Kaleb Hudson and Austin Kreutz for the R nomination.  Kim Gane is the D nominee.

21. 43R, 57D [W Ingham, Eaton] Safe D
P16: 41 G18: 37 AG18: 40 P20: 41
In another outrageous pro-D gerrymander, Lansing is split, and East Lansing is put a into separate district.  This district takes away the Eaton County base of Tom Barrett (R), who is running for Congress instead.  Curtis Hertel Jr. is term limited.  State rep Sarah Anthony is the D nominee.  Nkenge Robertson is the R nominee.
22. 63R, 37D [Livingston, S. Genessee] Safe R
P16: 62 G18: 56 AG18: 59 P20: 61
Livingston County will no longer share a district with Washtenaw, to the delight of folks on both sides of the county line.  Incumbent conservative Lana Theis is seeking reelection.  She defeated Mike Detmer 58-42.  He had Trump's endorsement, due to her refusal to endorse election fraud conspiracy theories.  Jordan Genso is the D candidate.

23. 59R, 41D [W Oakland] Safe R
P16: 58 G18: 53 AG18: 55 P20: 56
Jim Runestad gets a significantly safer district due to the removal of Novi and West Bloomfield.  Una Hepburn won the D nomination over Michael Wiese.

24. 66R, 34D [N Oakland, NW Macomb] Safe R
P16: 64 G18: 59 AG18: 62 P20: 63
This packs much of the most R territory in Oakland and Macomb.  Incumbent Ruth Johnson only represents a small part of this district, but is well known from being SOS (10-18) and Oakland County Clerk.  Doug Wozniak, who won a 2021 special election for a Macomb-based seat, lives here.  Wozniak deferred to Johnson after redistricting put them in the same district, and ran for state house against the man who was elected to succeed him.  Theresa Fougnie is the D nominee.

25. 68R, 32D [St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron] Safe R
P16: 65 G18: 57 AG18: 60 P20: 66
Dan Lauwers keeps almost all his existing district, and shouldn't have any trouble.  The D nominee is Bert Van Dyke.

26. 62R, 38D [Lapeer, NE Genessee, S Saginaw, W Tuscola] Safe R
P16: 59 G18: 52 AG18: 56 P20: 61
Incumbent Kevin Daley won renomination over Sherry Marden.  Charles Stadler will be the D nominee.

27. 38R, 62D [central Genessee] Safe D
P16: 36 G18: 32 AG18: 35 P20: 37
This 29% black seat is open, since D leader Jim Ananich is termed out.  State rep (18-P) John D. Cherry, the son of the state senator and LG of the same name, easily won the D nomination over David Davenport, Monica Galloway, and Bill Swanson.  Aaron Gardner won the R nomination over Christina Hickson.

28. 45R, 55D [East Lansing, Clinton, Schiawassee] Lean D
P16: 43.2 G18: 38.2 AG18: 43.9 P20: 43.6
This is the other half of the gerrymander that split East Lansing from Lansing.  There is a small chance that this could be competitive due to turnout dropoff amongst MSU students.  Former state rep (12-18) Sam Singh won the D nomination over Sais Muhammad Salman.  Daylen Howard won the R nomination over Madhu Anderson.

29. 38R, 62D [S Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Kentwood] Safe D
P16: 37 G18: 37 AG18: 39 P20: 35
This district was held by an R until 2018, but Grand Rapids has zoomed left under Trump.  Incumbent Winnie Brinks will run here.  State rep (16-22) Tommy Brann, who lost a 2021 special election for a suburban state senate seat, is the R nominee.  Brann is a decent candidate in case of a total bloodbath for Ds in November.
30. 51R, 49D [N Grand Rapids, central Kent, NE Ottawa] Lean R
P16: 50.1 G18: 47.4 AG18: 50.6 P20: 47.1
Another gerrymander is splitting Grand Rapids between 29 and 30 to create a competitive district here.  Fortunately, the rural areas of Kent and Ottawa are still solidly R downballot, through the presidential numbers got much worse under Trump.  Mark Huizenga was elected to succeed Peter MacGregor in a 2021 special election, and is seeking reelection here.  He won the R nomination over Keith Hinkle.  State rep (16-22) David LaGrand is running here, after losing a previous state senate race in 2010.

31. 62R, 38D [Ottawa, Holland area] Safe R
P16: 61 G18: 60 AG18: 63 P20: 59
Incumbent Roger Victory won another easy victory over Brian VanDussen for the R nomination.  Kim Nagy is the D nominee.

32. 53R, 47D [Muskegon, Lake Michigan coast] Lean R
P16: 49.6 G18: 46.4 AG18: 49.2 P20: 51.7
This seat loses heavily R Newaygo County and adds more competitive areas along the lakeshore in a mild pro-D gerrymander.  Jon Bumstead represents about 2/3 of this seat, but had to move in from Newaygo County.  Senator Curt VanderWall lives in Mason County, but decided to run for state house rather than challenge Bumstead or move to a different district.  He defeated Charles Ritchard for the R nomination.  State rep (16-22) Terry Sabo is the D nominee.

33. 68R, 32D [N Kent, Ionia, Montcalm, Newaygo, Lake] Safe R
P16: 64 G18: 59 AG18: 62 P20: 66
Incumbent Rick Outman is running for reelection here, though the majority of his current constituents are in district 34.  Jon Bumstead also lived here, but moved to 33.  Mark Bignell is the D nominee.

34. 64R, 36D [central Lower Peninsula] Safe R
P16: 60 G18: 55 AG18: 58 P20: 63
This district is open, though the majority of it is currently represented by Rick Outman.  State rep (16-22) Roger Hauck easily won the R nomination over Lisa Sowers.  Christine Gerace is the D nominee.

35. 49R, 51D [Saginaw, Bay, Midland] Tossup
P16: 47.1 G18: 44.2 AG18: 46.4 P20: 47.6
This is another pro-D gerrymander, combining three mid-Michigan seats to make about the best district possible for Ds.  While all cities, Saginaw (blacks), Bay City (white working class), and Midland (upscale Rs) have little in common demographically.  A decade ago, this would have been safe D, but Bay County has moved right. Turnout in Saginaw and candidate quality have long been a problem for Ds.  Incredibly, despite D dominance of Saginaw County, Rs have won its state senate district for the last eight elections.  
With Jim Stamas and Ken Horn term-limited, there is no incumbent here.  Conservative state rep (18-P) Annette Glenn of Midland won the R nomination with 41%.  She succeeded her husband, state rep Gary Glenn (14-18), who lost a primary for a senate district in 2018.  She defeated former state rep (12-18) Tim Kelly, Doctor Martin Blank, and businessman Christian Velasquez, who each raised over $100000.  Bay City Commissioner Kristen McDonald Rivet is the D nominee.  She is the wife of state rep (98-04) and Bay County Drain Commissioner (04-20) Joe Rivet.

36. 68R, 32D [NE Lower Peninsula] Safe R
P16: 65 G18: 59 AG18: 63 P20: 67
This seat has no incumbent.  Curt VanderWall could have moved here, but chose to run for state house instead.  Conservative state rep. (16-22) Michele Hoitenga won the R nomination uncontested.  Former state rep (04-10) Joel Sheltrown is the D nominee.  He was a strong overperformer and would have been a tough candidate a decade ago, but this area has moved right and he is now 75.

37. 58R, 42D [NW Lower Peninsula] Safe R
P16: 56 G18: 52 AG18: 55 P20: 55
This seat only slightly shifts from its current version.  With Wayne Schmidt term-limited, the seat is open. State rep John Damoose (20-P) of Emmet County won the R nomination with 41%.  He defeated former state rep Triston Cole (14-20) of Antrim County, businessman William Hindle, and Mackinaw City trustee George Ranville.  Barbara Conley easily won the D nomination over "Trucker" Randy Bishop and Jim Schmidt.

38. 59R, 41D [Upper Peninsula] Safe R
P16: 56 G18: 51 AG18: 53 P20: 57
This seat adds more area, and now has almost all of the Upper Peninsula.  It was held by Ds for decades until 2010.  R state rep Ed McBroom (10-16) of Dickinson County won it in 2018.  McBroom angered Trump due to his refusal to endorse election fraud conspiracy theories.  He easily won the R nomination with 77% over Matthew Furyk and Kayla Wikstrom.  The D nominee will be John Bramsee.

Summary of Ratings:
Safe D: 13 (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 19, 21, 27, 29)
Lean D: 4 (4, 13, 14, 28)
Tossup: 2 (11, 35)
Lean R: 4 (9, 12, 30, 32)
Safe R: 15 (16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38)

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Jon Hoadley Rejected

Back in February, Governor Gretchen Whitmer nominated former state rep Jon Hoadley to the WMU Board of Trustees.  Last week, the state senate rejected his appointment by a 20-18 vote.

Why was Hoadley rejected?  He doesn't have the qualifications that trustees usually have.  He has no advanced degree, only a bachelor's.  He has no business experience, aside from political consulting.  He is only 38, and his entire career has been devoted to advancing leftist causes.

In addition, he is currently a student at Western, which at least raises ethical questions about how he can run an institution while pursing a degree there.

Given all these reasons to oppose Hoadley's nomination, democrats and leftists naturally screeched that he was rejected because he's gay.  Because that's how they roll.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

2022 Michigan Congressional Races

This post was last updated on November 6, 2022.

Michigan has a new congressional district map, thanks to the Michigan's Independent Redistricting Commission.  Michigan lost one seat in redistricting, and is left with 13.  The commission drew some poor lines, and skewed several districts (3 and 8) to the left in the name of partisan fairness, but also created several districts (7 and 10) that are winnable for each side.

Michigan Redistricting: Congressional Map Approved

The map above is from the page at RRH Elections linked below, which also has individual district maps.

Interactive versions of the map are available at Dave's Redistricting and 538.

Michigan Congressional Map-Dave's Redistricting
Michigan Congressional Map-538

Several incumbents had to move.  There have been two retirements, and there was one incumbent-v-incumbent primary and two open seats.  There will also be several interesting general election races.  Consider the districts in detail.

The election data for each district is the R candidates for President 2016 (P16), Attorney General 2018 (AG18), Governor 2018 (G18), and President 2020 (P20).  (There was 1-5% of the vote for third party candidates in these races.)

District 1  (Upper Peninsula, northern Lower Peninsula) Safe R
P16: 59 G18: 54 AG18: 57 P20: 59
This district doesn't change much, it just adds a few counties for population.  It becomes about 1% more R.  Retired general Jack Bergman was first elected in 2016. He pledged to serve only three terms, but now plans to break that pledge.  When he does retire, a troll (below the bridge) candidate may finally win the seat.  Bob Lorinser is the D nominee.

District 2.  (West Michigan coast, central MI) Safe R
P16: 61 G18: 56 AG18: 59 P20: 63
This combines northern parts of old 2 represented by Bill Huizenga and a lot of rural territory from old 4 represented by John Moolenaar.  It is even safer, moving about 2% more R.  Republican state senator John Moolenaar, first elected in 2014, will run here, though he lives in Midland (in new 8).  He won the R primary 65-35 over Trump fan and frequent candidate Tom Norton, who originally intended to run against Peter Meijer.  Jerry Hilliard is the D nominee.

District 3 (Grand Rapids, north Ottawa, Muskegon) Lean D
P16: 46.6 G18: 44.9 AG18: 47.8 P20: 44.8
Old MI-2 was split into three pieces.  23% went to new 2, 51% went to new 3, and 26% went to new 4.  The core of old 3 in Kent County was merged with half of old 2.  New 3 drops heavily R rural Kent, Barry, Ionia, and Calhoun.  It adds Kentwood (D), Wyoming (lean R), N Ottawa (R), and the city of Muskegon (D), moving about 6% left.  This is a pro-D gerrymander in the name of "partisan fairness".
Retail heir and veteran Peter Meijer won the 2020 R primary with 50%, succeeding R-turned-Libertarian Justin Amash.  Meijer voted for impeachment, leading Trump to endorse former HUS official John Gibbs against him.  Gibbs won the primary 52-48, but may be a weak general election candidate due to some controversial comments and limited ties to the district.
The D nominee is attorney Hillary Scholten, who lost by 6% in 2020.

District 4 (Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Holland) Safe R
P16: 51.6 G18: 49.4 AG18: 52.3 P20: 51
Old MI-6 was split into two pieces.  69% went to new 4, and 31% went to new 5.  The southern tier of St. Joseph, Cass, and southern Berrien moves to new 5.  New 4 has 63% from old 6, 25% from old 2 (south Ottawa), and 10% from old 3 (the Battle Creek area).  Old 6 is represented by longtime moderate R Fred Upton.  The south Ottawa base of Bill Huizenga was added, and he quickly announced that he would run here.
President Trump had previously endorsed state rep. Steve Carra to run against Upton due to his vote for impeachment.  Redistricting took Carra out of the new district.  Upton didn't immediately announce his plans, but made some moves toward running again, including running $200,000 in ads.  President Trump then offered a "complete and total" endorsement of Huizenga.  While not explicitly un-endorsing Carra, this served to push him out of the race, and he chose to run for reelection.  Upton apparently realized that he wouldn't win a one-on-one race and declined to seek reelection, leaving Huizenga unopposed.  The D nominee will be veteran Joseph Alfonso.

District 5 (South-central Michigan, lower tier) Safe R
P16: 60 G18: 55 AG18: 58 P20: 61
This is mostly old 7, dropping Eaton and Washtenaw, and adds heavily R areas of rural Calhoun, St. Joseph, Cass, and S Berrien.  It moves about 4.5% right.  Republican Tim Walberg has become increasingly entrenched since his comeback in 2010, and he will be safe here.  He won the primary 67-33 over Sherry O'Donnell.  Bart Goldberg will be the D nominee.

District 6 (Washtenaw, plus south and west Wayne) Safe D
P16: 37 G18: 35 AG18: 36 P20: 36
This succeeds old 12, adding W Washtenaw and dropping Dearborn and part of Downriver.  It moves 2% more R.  Fortunately, the commission did not extend this district into R territory south or west of it.  In 2014, democrat Debbie Dingell easily replaced her husband John Dingell in Congress after his 58 years (!) in office.  The city of Dearborn has been represented by a member of the Dingell family since 1964, but Debbie Dingell will move here, since she represents the bulk of this territory.  Whittney Williams won the R primary 54-46 over Hima Kolanagireddy.

District 7 (Ingham, Livingston, Eaton, Clinton, Schiawassee) Tossup
P16: 48.9 G18: 44.2 AG18: 48 P20: 48.7
This is a highly competitive district containing Lansing and surrounding counties.  It contains the core of old 8 (Ingham and Livingston), which was drawn to lean R.  It adds lean R areas from old 4 and 7, while losing R (but D-trending) areas in Oakland.  Former DOD official Elissa Slotkin (D) defeated Mike Bishop in 2018. She lived in Oakland but moved here.  The R candidate is conservative state senator (18-22) Tom Barrett, whose district was carved up.

District 8 (Genesee, Saginaw, Bay, Midland) Tossup
P16: 46.9 G18: 42.5 AG18: 45.8 P20: 48.2
This succeeds old 5, adding the rest of Saginaw County and the city of Midland.  While the district moves about 1% right, this is basically the best configuration Ds short of adding Lansing to the district.  This is another example of gerrymandering by the commission.  Former Genesee Treasurer Dan Kildee (D) succeeded his uncle Dale Kildee in 2012.  Television anchor and Trump USCIS official Paul Junge, who lost old 8 to Elissa Slotkin by 4% in 2020, won the R primary with 54% over Matthew Seely and Candice Miller (not the former congresswoman).

District 9 (The Thumb, N Oakland, N Macomb) Safe R
P16: 64 G18: 57 AG18: 60 P20: 64
This succeeds old 10, losing a bit of central Macomb and adding some of north Oakland.  The partisanship hasn't changed.  Self-funding businesswoman Lisa McClain won the 2020 R primary with 42%, succeeding Paul Mitchell.  Brian Jaye will be the D nominee.

District 10 (S Macomb, Rochester Hills) Lean R
P16: 50.4 G18: 44.4 AG18: 46.6 P20: 49.8
This moves 7% right compared to old 9.  It adds lean R areas of central Macomb and Rochester Hills, while losing D areas of Oakland.  Andy Levin (D) represents much of this district but ran in new 11.  John James, the R US Senate nominee in 2018 and 2020 attracted widespread support, including a Trump endorsement, and easily won the R nomination.
The D nominee is former prosecutor and judge Carl Marlinga, who won the nomination with 48% over former state rep Henry Yanez (12-18), Huwaida Arraf, Rhonda Powell, and Angela Rogensues.

District 11 (Central Oakland) Safe D
P16: 41 G18: 38 AG18: 39 P20: 39
This has much of old 11, along with parts of old 9 and 14.  It moved 8.5% left of old 11.  Andy Levin succeeded his father Sander Levin in old 9 in 2018.  Businesswoman Haley Stevens (D) succeeded David Trott (R) in old 11, which swung heavily against Trump.  Levin and Stevens represent roughly equal portions of the D base.  Stevens won the D primary with 59% against the marginally more leftist Levin.  Mark Ambrose won the R nomination over Matthew DenOtter.

District 12 (W Detroit, Southfield, Livonia, Dearborn, Westland) Safe D
P16: 25 G18: 22 AG18: 24 P20: 25
The commission decided to reduce MI from two black-majority districts to none, with both new 12 and 13 now about 46% black.  New 12 combines parts of old 13 and 14.  Brenda Lawrence, who has represented old 12 since 2014, will retire.  After Lawrence announced her retirement, Rep. Rashida Tlaib announced that she would run here.  
Tlaib won old 13 when it was open seat in 2018 due to a split in the black vote.  Tlaib is a Muslim member of "the squad" who has made national news due to her anti-Semitic remarks and attacks on President Trump.  While Tlaib lives in the other Detroit-based district, this district has a larger middle eastern population.  Tlaib won the D primary with 64% to 20% for Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey, and less for former state rep Shanelle Jackson (06-12) and Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett.  Steven Elliott will be the R nominee.

District 13 (E Detroit, Downriver, Romulus) Safe D
P16: 23 G18: 21 AG18: 22 P20: 25
New 13 combines parts of old 13 and 14.  It was vacated by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who will run in new 12.  Her announcement followed a primary challenge by state rep (20-22) Shri Thanedar, a wealthy businessman who represents a district in north Detroit.  After Tlaib left, a total of eleven candidates ran.  Thanedar won with 28% to 24% for state senator Adam Hollier.  The other candidates were John Conyers III (son of the late congressman), Detroit school board member and former state rep (14-20) Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, former Detroit city councilmember Sharon McPhail, nonprofit CEO Portia Roberson, political consultant Sam Riddle, Michael Griffie, Angela McIntosh, Lorrie Rutledge, and Adrian Tonan.  Martell Blivings is the R nominee.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

2022 Kalamazoo County Commission Races

This post was last updated October 2, 2022.

Democrats won a 7-4 majority on the Kalamazoo County Commission in 2020, which was a bad year for Republicans.  For 2022, there is a new map drawn by the Kalamazoo redistricting commission, which is dominated by D countywide elected officials.  They eliminated two seats.  The new map is a soft D gerrymander, which is likely to produce 6 D and 3 R seats in most years.  There are three districts that contain two incumbents, and one district with no incumbent.  Six of 11 commissioners are retiring this year.

The following post has detailed descriptions of the districts and their political leanings. The numbers given are the percentages for Trump (2016), O'Brien (2018), Trump (2020), and Balkema (2020).  Incumbents are marked below with asterisks.

List of Kalamazoo County Candidates

District 1 [N Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
T16 20.3, O18 21.3, T20 21.5, B20 28.6
Democrat: Tami Rey*
Republican: none
This is the majority minority district, which adds parts of old district 4 (most of eastern Kalamazoo Township) for population.  Property manager Tami Rey won this seat after Stephanie Moore vacated it for an unsuccessful race for state house.  Michael Seals was a county commissioner (10-20) representing most of Kalamazoo Township until he lost to Jen Strebs in 2020. Rey easily won the 2022 primary.

District 2 [Westwood, WMU] Safe Democrat
T16 30.3, O18 30.2, T20 26.7, B20 34.5
Democrat: Jen Strebs*
Republican: none
This has parts of old districts 3, 4, and 5, covering most of western Kalamazoo Township, and the WMU area of Kalamazoo.  Kalamazoo Township Board member Jen Strebs defeated longtime commissioner Michael Seals (10-20) in the 2020 D primary.  Brian Johnson was a longtime county commissioner until he lost a race for county clerk in 2012.  Commissioner (20-22) Veronica McKissack also lives here, but did not seek reelection. Strebs easily won the 2022 D primary

District 3 [SW, SE Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
T16 24.7, O18 25.2, T20 22, B20 31.4
Democrat: Monteze Morales*
Republican: none
This seat adds the majority of old district 2 in SE Kalamazoo and loses the WMU area to new district 2.  Tracy Hall was elected here in 2016, replacing John Taylor.  She aborted a state house race in 2020, and is retiring this year.  Monteze Morales was appointed in June 2021 to replace Zac Bauer, who resigned after being appointed in 2019.  She previously lost the 2020 D primary to Bauer.  

District 4 [W Portage] Lean Democrat
T16 44.7, O18 47, T20 39.9, B20 49.5
Democrat: Abigail Wheeler
Republican: Charley Coss
This district succeeds the old district 10 in western Portage, adding two precincts from old 11 for population.  Portage used to be R territory, but it moved left under President Trump.  Commissioner Michael Quinn (08-10, 16-22) is retiring.  Abigail Wheeler was a Mattawan trustee who lost a race for state house in 2020, and then moved to Portage.  Coss, a businessman, lost bids for county commission in Kalamazoo in 2016 and Portage in 2020.

District 5 [E Portage] Lean Democrat
T16 43.3, O18 45.1, T20 39.9, B20 48.3
Democrat: John Patrick Taylor
Republican: Peter Strazdas
This seat added precincts from old districts 2, 3, and 11, moving it a few points left.  Portage used to be R territory, but it moved left under President Trump.  Meredith Place (D), the wife of longtime commissioner John Patrick Taylor (02-16), was elected to the commission in 2018 and was elected Kalamazoo County Clerk in 2020.  Fran Melgar was elected in 2020 and is retiring this year.  Taylor is running here, after previously representing the city of Kalamazoo.  Strazdas was mayor of Portage (05-17).

District 6 [Comstock, Pavilion, Brady, Climax, Wakeshma] Safe Republican
T16 56.2, O18 57.2, T20 53.4, B20 61.1
Democrat: Anthony Bates
Republican: John Gisler*
This succeeds old district 7, losing Charleston Township and Galesburg, while gaining Pavilion and Brady Townships.  This district contains the homes of two commissioners.  One is Roger Tuinier, who is retiring after serving since 2012.  The other is commissioner John Gisler (10-12, 14-P), who is running for reelection.  Bates is a teacher who lost by about 12% to Tuinier in 2020.  Gisler won the R primary by about 10% over Christopher Daniels.

District 7 [Cooper, Richland, Ross, Charleston, Galesburg, and Parchment] Safe Republican
T16 58.3, O18 58.4, T20 55.8, B20 62.2
Democrat: Luke Howell
Republican: Jeff Heppler*
This succeeds old district 6, adding Charleston Township, Galesburg, and Parchment.  Heppler (02-16) was previously a commissioner who lost a race for sheriff.  He defeated appointed incumbent Jen Aniano (D) to return in 2020.

District 8 [Texas, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde] Safe Republican
T16 56.3, O18 58.3, T20 51.2, B20 61.1
Democrat: Stephanie Willoughby
Republican: Wendy Mazer, 
This merges parts of old districts 8 and 9 together.  Neither incumbent John Gisler or Dale Shugars live here, however.  Texas Township Trustee Wendy Mazer, a solid conservative, is running.   Brian Kovacik lost bids for this seat to Shugars in 2014, 2016, and 2020.  Mazer won the R primary fairly easily.

District 9 [Oshtemo, Alamo] Lean Democrat
T16 43.7, O18 45.9, T20 41.5, B20 50.0
Democrat: Dale Deleeuw
Republican: Tom Graham
This succeeds old district 5.  It loses part of Kalamazoo Township to new 2 and adds the rest of Oshtemo from old 9.  Commissioner (14-18, 20-22) Dale Shugars, a conservative former state senator (94-02) and state rep (90-94), will not seek reelection.  Veronica McKissack (D) was elected to represent old 5 in 2020, but does not live here and is not seeking reelection.  Dale Deleeuw is a police officer.  IT specialist Tom Graham lost an R primary for state house in 2020.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Matt DePerno's Questionable Record

There are three Republicans seeking the endorsement of the Michigan GOP to run for Attorney General this year.  Former Speaker Tom Leonard is a solid conservative, and state rep Ryan Berman is a conventional Republican.  However, the third candidate, Matt DePerno, has attracted the most attention.

DePerno is a trial lawyer from Portage who emerged from obscurity in the wake of the 2020 election.  He filed lawsuits alleging fraud in Antrim County that were all eventually dismissed.  DePerno raised $389,000 for an "Election Fraud Defense Fund" but has so far refused to say what happened to the money.

He previously represented disgraced former state rep. Todd Courser in a lawsuit against the Detroit News that resulted in both of them having to pay sanctions to the News.  Over the years, DePerno was involved in a series of ethical controversies.

As a tax attorney who worked primarily in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties, his legal career has been marked by discord. DePerno was fired from one law firm, fought over client records after leaving a second firm and was accused of assaulting a client amid a fee dispute, according to court documents and transcripts reviewed by Bridge.

Given his history, it is fair to ask if DePerno's record matches his rhetoric.  I looked up his campaign contributions.  DePerno has made only ten state-level political contributions.  Five of them were made to various GOP committees in late 2021, and are obviously related to his run for AG.  There is also one contribution to the Kalamazoo GOP from back in 2003.

That leaves four individual contributions.  Someone who is an antiestablishment conservative could be expected to donate to similar candidates, such as Pat Colbeck, Gary Glenn, Matt Maddock, or even his former client Todd Courser.  But instead, his contributions are two each to state rep Brandt Iden and state senator Tonya Schuitmaker.  Whatever their other merits, Iden and Tonya are establishment Republicans who resisted efforts to move the GOP in the direction that DePerno now says it needs to go.

DePerno's contributions are not consistent with his rhetoric.  They indicate someone who wasn't very political, but was friendly with a couple local Republicans.  Republican delegates should pay attention to candidates' records, not just their rhetoric.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Bellwether Counties Revisited

John Gibbs, a candidate for MI-3, recently claimed on the MIRS podcast that bellwether counties are evidence for election fraud.  Gibbs has been endorsed by former President Trump against incumbent Peter Meijer, who voted for impeachment.

I previously addressed the issue of bellwether counties briefly in my roundup of election fraud claims:
How could Trump lose when he won most bellwether counties?
A bellwether county is a county which always, or almost almost always voted for the winner in recent elections.  They are not crystal balls, they are statistical anomalies--counties that happen to swing the same way as the nation when party coalitions change.  These counties are mostly rural, and Trump did well in them in both 2016 and 2020.  Biden won by improving in large suburban counties, not rural areas.
Some further examination may reinforce this point.  Here are 18 bellwether counties that Trump won in both elections, along with Trump's 2016 and 2020 margins.

Warren, Illinois 16% -> 20%
Vigo, Indiana 15% -> 15%
Bremer, Iowa 14% -> 16%
Washington, Maine 18% -> 20%
Shiawassee, Michigan 18% -> 20%
Van Buren, Michigan 14% -> 12%
Hidalgo, New Mexico 7% -> 15%
Valencia, New Mexico 9% -> 10%
Cortland, New York 5% ->2%
Otsego, New York 11% -> 5%
Ottawa, Ohio 20% -> 23%
Wood, Ohio 8% -> 8%
Essex, Vermont 17% -> 11%
Westmoreland, Virginia 7% -> 10%
Juneau, Wisconsin 26% -> 29%
Marquette, Wisconsin 24% -> 27%
Richland, Wisconsin 5% -> 10%
Sawyer, Wisconsin 18% -> 13%

Trump won all of these counties in 2016 by at least 5%, and 12 of them by over 10%.  Trump lost the popular vote by 2% in 2016 and lost it by 4% in 2020.  A 2% swing against Trump in any of these counties would still have resulted in Trump winning them.  In fact, Trump actually increased his margin in 11 of these counties, indicating that they are no longer in sync with nationwide election results.

The only bellwether county that Trump lost in 2020 is the one he won by the least in 2016.

Clallam County, Washington 3% -> -3%

These counties are almost all small rural counties.  The largest is Wood County, Ohio, with a population of 132,000.  With Republicans winning larger and larger margins in rural areas, there is no reason to expect these counties to align with recent or future election results.  Bellwether counties provide no evidence of election fraud.

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Fred Upton Finally Retires

Congressman Fred Upton announced today that he would retire from Congress.  He has been in Congress since 1986.  That's 18 terms, or 36 years.  He is the 6th most senior member of the house of representatives.

[David] Stockman was succeeded in Congress by staunch conservative Mark Siljander. In 1986, Upton ran in the primary against Siljander. Upton received campaign assistance from ultra-liberal democrat Congressman Howard Wolpe of the neighboring 3rd district. President Reagan endorsed Siljander, but Upton nonetheless won the primary 55-45 by distorting a mailing from Siljander to Christians in the district. 

In 1992, redistricting carved up Wolpe's district, leaving Upton to represent the now-6th district, which has largely held its present form of Kalamazoo, St. Jospeh, Cass, Berrien, Van Buren, and part of Allegan Counties since then. Following the 1994 election, Upton co-founded the Republican Main Street Partnership, a group of Republicans in Congress dedicated to moving the party to the left.
Upton racked up many liberal votes over his time in Congress.  He was not consistently pro-life, and did not receive the Right to Life endorsement, except for a few terms when the led the Energy and Commerce Committee.  He was anti-gun before 2002, voted pro-gun for a while, but has recently supported some gun control.  He has consistently voted for big spending and deficits, and supported Medicare Part D and the Wall Street bailout.  He often supported government regulations like the infamous light bulb ban.  Upton often endorsed or flirted with supporting amnesty.  Contrary to some claims, Upton did not get more conservative over the years.

About a third of the Republicans district never liked for Upton.  He faced several conservative primary challengers over the years.
1990: defeated state senator Ed Fredericks 63-37
2002: defeated state senator Dale Shugars 66-32
2010: defeated state rep Jack Hoogendyk 57-43
2012: defeated Jack Hoogendyk 67-33
2014: defeated Jim Bussler 71-29
2020: defeated Elena Oelke 62-38

I wrote an in-depth analysis of the 2012 primary campaign, including history, advertisements, debates, and outside endorsements.

Ultimately, two unforeseen factors led to Upton's retirement--Donald Trump and the Michigan redistricting commission.  Upton obviously never cared for Trump, but he managed to avoid open conflict with him until the end of Trump's term.  Trump's false claims of election fraud led the January 6 riot, which led to his second impeachment.  Upton was one of ten house Rs to vote for that impeachment.

This led many establishment Rs to distance themselves from Upton.  The GOP 6th District Committee criticized Upton's vote.  Based on this vote, I predicted that Upton would retire in 2022.

President Trump wanted retribution against those Rs who voted for impeachment or otherwise irked him.  Several candidates announced challenges against Upton.  Trump eventually endorsed State rep. Steve Carra, a solid conservative who was elected to represent St. Joseph and Cass Counties in 2022.

The second unforeseen factor was the Michigan Independent Redistricting Commission, which was approved by the voters in a referendum.  In the previous two cycles, redistricting was controlled by Rs in the legislature, who could be counted on to protect R incumbents in congress, including Upton.  Now it would be unknown what the map would look like until fairly late.

Upton seemed to be in a fairly good position, as he lived in a corner of the state.  A logical map would have just added Barry County or part of Calhoun County to the district to get the necessary population.  But few decisions the commission made were logical.  Eventually, the commission removed St. Joseph, Cass, and southern Berrien counties, and added southern Ottawa county and the Battle Creek area of Calhoun county, creating the new MI-4.

This upended the R primary in two ways.  Carra no longer lived in the new MI-4, and none of district was contained in it.  This made an uphill primary challenge that much harder.  The old MI-2 was essentially dismantled, and its incumbent, Bill Huizenga, now lives in and represents about 25% of the new MI-4.  Huizenga quickly announced that he would run for new MI-4.

Upton didn't announce his plans, but made some moves toward running again, including running $200,000 in ads.  A three-way race was difficult to predict, and could have been won by any of Upton, Huizenga, or Carra.  President Trump apparently decided that he wanted to defeat Upton more than he wanted to elect the most conservative candidate.  He offered a "complete and total" endorsement of Huizenga.  While not explicitly un-endorsing Carra, this served to push him out of the race, and he chose to run for reelection.  That left Upton in a race against a mainstream incumbent who could raise money and compete for endorsements on equal terms.  Upton apparently realized that he wouldn't win (perhaps after some private polling) and declined to seek reelection.

Huizenga is now the clear favorite to be the next congressman from southwest Michigan, but there is still time for other candidates to run.

Friday, April 01, 2022

April 2022 Judiciary News

 Happy Joe Biden day.

Nominations, Hearings, Confirmations:

Jackson:  During her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Ketanji Brown Jackson endorsed originalism, saying "I’m looking at original documents. I am focusing on the original public meaning because I am constrained to interpret the text."  While she may not hold to that in office, this illustrates how the left has lost the argument over constitutional interpretation.

Jackson:  Responding to a question from Marsha Blackburn, Jackson stated that she could not define a the word 'woman', saying "I’m not a biologist".

Jackson repeatedly avoided or rejected progressive positions during her hearing, including on international law, police, and other issues.  She denied having anything to do with critical race theory, but Senator Ted Cruz showed that it is being taught in Georgetown Day School, where Jackson was trustee.  Jackson claimed that she was unaware of the case that struck down VMI's male-only admissions policy.  She also referred to Guam as a country.

Jackson:  Senator Josh Hawley accused Jackson of being soft of people who possess and distribute child porn, noting that she has often given sentences below the sentencing guidelines.  Andrew McCarthy argues that the attack is misguided, while Thomas Jipping gives it more credence.

Jackson:  In 2020, Jackson praised the 1619 Project, which uses the past existence of slavery to attack America.  It promoted many false historical claims, including that the American revolution was fought to protect slavery.

Jackson:  Ed Whelan argues that if confirmed, Jackson must recuse from the Harvard affirmative action case due to her being a member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers.  She later agreed to do so.

Jackson:  A group of fake conservatives appointees of previous Republican presidents has endorsed Jackson's nomination.  This could serve as a convenient list of people a future R president should never appoint to anything.

Jackson:  Senator Lindsay Graham will oppose Jackson' nomination.  Susan Collins will support Jackson, and Lisa Murkowski has yet to announce a position.  They are the only three R senators to support Jackson for the DC Circuit.

SD-NY:  Over 20 progressive groups are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Biden  nominee Jennifer Rearden due to her work representing corporations against leftists.  She was previously nominated by Trump in 2020 on the recommendation of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D).

ED-WI:  Senator Dick Durbin will honor Senator Ron Johnson's (R) refusal to return a blue slip for judge William Pocan, who was nominated to ED-WI.  Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) refused to return a blue slip for Trump nominee Gordon Giampietro in 2018, so this may be a case of "turnabout is fair play".


The Federal Judiciary:

Thomas:  Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Thomas, sent texts to the White House discussing ways to challenge the outcome of the 2020 election.  The messages were leaked by the January 6 commission.  Many leftists have demanded that Justice Thomas recuse himself from cases related to January 6.  However, they took the opposite position when the spouses of judges Stephen Reinhardt and Cornelia Pillard engaged in ideological advocacy.

2nd Circuit:  The seat of Jose Cabranes will be filled by a nominee from Connecticut, due to an agreement by Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Blumenthal (D-CT).  Cabranes had ties to both News York and Connecticut and was appointed to D-CT by Carter.  On the recommendation of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), Clinton appointed him to a 2nd Circuit seat previously held by New Yorkers.

Vacancy Declarations:  There are now 111 current and future judicial vacancies.  New vacancies over the past month are listed below.
1st Circuit: Sandra Lynch (Clinton) TBD (senior)
WD-NC: Max Cogburn (Obama) TBD (senior)
9th Circuit: Sidney Thomas (Clinton) TBD (senior)

State Supreme Courts:

Kansas:  The Kansas legislature is considering changing the current "merit" selection of judges dominated by one special interest group, the Kansas Bar Association.  One proposal would institute direct election of judges, while the other would require senate confirmation of judges.  Either proposal would require a 2/3 majority in the legislature before going to the voters.

Maine:  Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Ellen Gorman announced her intent to retire in January 2021.  Governor Janet Mills nominated District Court Judge Rick Lawrence to the court.  He is 66, and would be the first black justice on the court.

Montana:  Following clashes between the left-leaning judiciary and R-controlled legislature, incumbent Montana Supreme Court Justices James Rice and Ingrid Gustafson will face serious challenges for reelection.  Judge Mike McMahon and former MT GOP counsel and PSC President James Brown are challenging Gustafson.  Brown has been endorsed by the top Republicans in the state.

Utah:  Governor Spencer Cox nominated Utah Court of Appeals judge Diana Hagen to the Utah Supreme Court.  She clerked for Judge Tena Campbell (D-UT), served as a federal prosecutor, and was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2017.  She will fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Constandinos Himonas.

West Virginia:  The West Virginia Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will interview nine applicants for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Evan Jenkins.  After interviewing candidates, they will submit three names to Governor Jim Justice for his choice.

Numbers and Trivia:

Chief Judges:  On March 31, David Barron became the Chief Judge of the 1st Circuit, taking over from Jeffrey Howard.  Barron was appointed by Obama in 2014.  The Presidents who appointed chief judges of the 13 appeals courts are Clinton (4), W (2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, Fed), and Obama (1, 9, DC).