Fri. May 24th, 2024

What’s at stake in today’s Michigan special House elections

By 37ci3 Apr16,2024

On Tuesday, Michigan voters will head to the polls for a pair of state House special elections that will determine partisan control of the House.

In the race for the open seat in the 13th state house district, which covers a large portion of Warren in purple Macomb County, Democrat Mai Xiong of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners is facing Republican Ronald Singer. He failed his candidacy in 2022. The Democratic-leaning seat had been vacant since incumbent Democrat Lori Stone resigned last fall after winning the Warren mayoral race.

Westland City Councilman Peter Herzberg, a Democrat, is facing Republican Josh Powell in the race for the open seat in the 25th state house district, which includes some western Detroit suburbs like Westland and Sheldon. , a US Army veteran. The seat, which also leans Democratic, has been vacant since incumbent Democrat Kevin Coleman resigned last fall after winning the Westland mayoral election.

The winner of each race will only serve the remaining two-year terms of their predecessors until the end of 2024.

Before the two lawmakers resigned, Democrats held a two-seat advantage in the state House. Their departure created a 54-54 tie in the chamber. Democrats also hold the governorship and state Senate in Michigan, meaning a pair of wins would once again secure the party’s trifecta of state government.

Both districts lean heavily Democratic: In 2022, Stone won the seat with 67% support, while Coleman received 63%. But the races could still serve as a referendum on the Democratic trifecta — and the long list of policy moves they’ve made with it. Over the past two years, led by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Democrats have passed legislation protecting abortion rights, strengthening union rights, combating gun violence and expanding LGBTQ protections.

Buoyed by continued success nationally on the abortion issue, Democrats in the state have largely raced around reproductive rights.

Xiong and Herzberg emphasized their support for reproductive rights and the litany of steps taken by the Democratic Legislature protecting them. There is Powell he said he opposes all concerns about “unlimited” abortion and suggests he will seek to repeal state abortion protections, while Singer focuses his campaign on economic issues.

“It’s significant,” said Democratic House Speaker Joe Tate of Michigan, referring to the role abortion rights played in both special elections. “It’s huge — and for good reason.”

“This is the most important thing for voters,” he said.

Democratic candidates have also built on the party’s achievements during the trifecta, betting that voters in these two key presidential battleground states will reward a slate of progressive policies.

“Michigan is a shining example of what Democrats are doing in leadership,” said Abhi Rahman, a spokesman for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee — the arm of the national Democratic Party responsible for funding candidates for state legislative races — which invested about $48,000 in the pair. competitions.

“Fundamental freedoms are at stake in Michigan,” he said. “The Democratic trifecta is in jeopardy.”

Democrats enjoyed it solid record in special state legislative elections in recent months.

Democrats in February won A special election for a state House of Representatives in Pennsylvania, where the party maintains a narrow majority in a closely watched battleground state. Last month, the Democratic candidate in a special election for a state House in Alabama won after doing in vitro fertilization and abortion rights is the center of the campaign.

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By 37ci3

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