Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Whitmer vs. Schuette for Governor and Stabenow vs. James for Senate as turnout shattered records

It's time to return to a topic I have been neglecting here since I mentioned Gretchen Whitmer running for Governor in Record numbers of women running for office on International Women's Day — elections for office in Michigan.  Yes, I have been looking at proposals on the state ballot, but no candidates.  That changed today because yesterday was the primary election, which chose nominees for the Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians, who achieved major party status in Michigan and participated in the primary for the first time since I moved here.

WXYZ reported on the outcome, beginning with Bill Schuette wins Republican nomination for Michigan governor, AP reports.

Former Democratic legislative leader Gretchen Whitmer and Republican state Attorney General Bill Schuette won the nominations for Michigan governor on Tuesday, besting five other candidates who were also vying to succeed term-limited GOP Gov. Rick Snyder.
I expected this result, as I could see he was preparing to run for governor this year all the way back in 2012.  I also saw that Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley would struggle because he was associated with Governor Rick Snyder and the Flint water Crisis, hurting his candidacy.  As a result, Schuette won handily, while Calley won only three counties, including a majority in Ionia County, which he calls home.  The situation worked out exactly as I thought it would, which was good for Schuette.

WXYZ also reported Gretchen Whitmer wins Democratic nomination for Michigan governor.

I wrote in March that I was planning on voting for Whitmer in the primary.  I did and she won.  Yay!

Whitmer faced tougher opposition than Schuette, but ended up winning every county.  MLive showed her main opponent Abdul El-Sayed giving an emotional concession speech, urging support for Whitmer.

I'm glad to see El-Sayed being a team player for the Democrats.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of him in Michigan politics and government in the future.

As for the Libertarians, Bill Gelineau beat John Tatar to win the nomination for Governor.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the results.

The other statewide contest was for U.S. Senator.  WXYZ reported on that as well in John James wins Republican nod for US Senate, will face Debbie Stabenow.

Michigan businessman John James, a black Iraq War veteran who was endorsed by President Donald Trump, won the Republican nomination Tuesday and will take on Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow this fall.
This was a result I could see coming last November, when I wrote that I thought James was "Impressive.  The man has a future in politics, even if it won't be in the U.S. Senate."

In local congressional races, Rashida Tlaib, who caught my attention when she organized protests against Trump and who I was rooting for to replace Conyers, will become the first Muslim woman in the U.S. House of Representatives, as WXYZ reported this morning.

History was made overnight as Rashida Tlaib won the Democratic Party's nomination in the 13th congressional district.

In the district where I have lived nearly all this decade, Andy Levin earned the Democratic nomination to succeed his father Sander Levin, who is retiring.  I voted for his main opponent Ellen Lipton in the primary, but will gladly vote for Andy in the general.

On a topic near and dear to my heart, public transportation, the millage (property tax assessment for those outside of Michigan) for the suburban bus system, SMART, passed.  However, it only won by 55 votes in Macomb County.  I'm not surprised, as Macomb County overwhelmingly defeated the Regional Transit Authority millage two years ago.  The county also voted for Trump.

Finally, the Detroit Free Press reported Voter turnout shatters recent records for Michigan primary elections.
Voter turnout in Tuesday's primary election in Michigan shattered records going back at least as far as 1978, a state election official confirmed early Wednesday.

More than 2 million votes were cast, and based on still incomplete and unofficial election returns, it appears voter turnout was close to 28 percent.

Those numbers likely help account for precincts running out of ballots Tuesday at polling places in Oakland County and elsewhere.

Based on data from the Michigan Secretary of State's Office, the most people to vote in any Michigan primary — midterm or presidential — since 1978, was the 1,722,869 people who voted in the 2002 gubernatorial primary. State officials pegged the turnout that year at 23.3 percent, based on 6.8 million registered voters.
I love the high turnout.  Here's to hoping it continues in November and that there are enough ballots for everyone.

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