Honigman Capitol Report


Whitmer Re-Elected Governor

With 85% reporting, unofficial reports show that Governor Gretchen Whitmer wins the race by a 53-45 margin over Republican challenger Tudor Dixon. Whitmer fought a tough challenge from the GOP candidate, but Whitmer’s early advantage of a massive campaign war chest and a two month head start on advertising helped the incumbent to ultimately prevail.

Attorney General and Secretary of State both Re-Elected

Although closer than expected just a month ago, sitting Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel managed to prevail against upstart Kalamazoo Republican Matt DePerno by 4%. The narrow margin was a mild surprise, but given DePerno’s campaign and Nessel’s activism during the past four years, not unexpected. In a more anticipated outcome, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson easily defeated her opponent, little known Kristina Karamo, by a wide margin of 54% to 43%.

Congressional Races

The race between Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and State Senator Tom Barrett was the premier race in the state this year, and perhaps the nation. Polling had the race as a toss-up and it lived up to its billing. As of this morning the outcome appears to be Slotkin in a neck and neck battle decided by a 50-47 margin.

The 3rd District race between Hillary Scholten and John Gibbs in West Michigan is a race that would have never happened were it not for the outsized influence of Trump, when Gibbs beat incumbent Pete Meijer in a Republican primary. Scholten prevailed by 20,000 votes in the General as was expected.

Long time Flint fixture Dan Kildee withstood a strong challenge from Paul Junge, but prevailed by 6% in the end. Additionally, third time candidate John James finally crossed the finish line in front beating Carl Marlinga by 8 points in a newly drawn district encompassing large swaths of Macomb County and part of Oakland.


Democrats take control of both the Michigan House & Senate

For the first time in 40 years, Democrats are expected to control the House, Senate and governor’s office with the party winning enough races to have a majority in both chambers. House Democrats outperformed Republicans in several battleground districts, including important wins in Macomb County’s 58th and 61st Districts, ultimately leading to the Democrats leading the House 56-54.

Unofficial results as of early this morning show Senate Democrats poised to take control with 20 seats. Earlier in the morning it appeared the Senate was going to be split at 19-19 with Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist casting the tie-breaking vote. However, unofficial results show Democrat Veronica Klinefelt appears to have defeated Senator Michael MacDonald (Republican) in Senate District 11.


All Three Ballot Proposals Approved

Voters overwhelmingly passed Proposal 22-1 to amend term limits and create financial disclosures. The constitutional amendment will change Michigan’s 30-year-old term limits law for the Legislature and require state elected officials to disclose financial information. Proposal 22-2 to amend the state constitution to add provisions regarding elections also passed. Included in the amendment are provisions for nine days of early in-person voting, a longer counting window for military and overseas ballots, a one-time application process for absentee ballots and allowing voters to use a sworn affidavit for identity verification. Finally, Proposal 22-3 to amend the state constitution to establish rights to reproductive freedom also passed following a highly robust campaign on both sides.

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