primary 2012

Citizenship question easiest one to answer when I vote

Aug 10, 2012

When I voted on Tuesday, there were several things I needed to know. 

The toughest thing was figuring out who to vote for among all of the candidates for several obscure township boards and lower-level county offices.  These people do important things, but their work is almost entirely below the radar-level of most media.  Their names, and even the offices they hold, are relatively unknown.  It is sometimes hard to even know, without help from the ballot, whether I’m voting for just one candidate, or “two of five” names, or even all four of just four names on the ballot.

CedarBendDrive/flickr

Every Thursday, Michigan Radio's Jennifer White talks Michigan politics with Susan Demas, Political Analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.

This week, Michigan's primary election results were not very surprising, but Sikkema says, it's an unusual election year, nonetheless. Plus, they explore what happens next, now that Public Act 4, Michigan's Emergency Manger Law is suspended.

Unless something very unusual happens, the winner of Tuesday night’s 14th district Democratic primary will easily win the November election.

And it appears that winner will be current Oakland County Congressman Gary Peters.

Peters topped a field of four Democrats, including another incumbent Congressman, to win the primary in the newly-redrawn 14th district.

That district zig-zags 75 miles across southeast Michigan, taking in much of Detroit and parts of Oakland County.

Friends of Roy Schmidt / royschmidt.org/

State Representative Roy Schmidt has won in the 76th District State House GOP primary over write-in candidate Bing Goei.

Goei entered the race a few weeks before the primary, and looked like he might outpace Schmidt throughout the night.

In the end, Schmidt defeated Goei with the absentee ballots that were cast before his involvement in a political scandal with House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) became public knowledge.

Rogers for Congress / rogersforcongress.com/

Reports show that Representative Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) has won decisively in the GOP primary, closing out with a whopping 86 percent of votes counted.

Republican candidates Brian Hetrick of Brighton and Holly resident Vernon Molnar finished far behind Rogers, winning 9 and 5 percent, respectively.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Institute of Arts millage easily passed in Oakland and Wayne Counties, and squeaked by in Macomb County, with a .5 percent difference once all the votes were counted.

The Detroit Free Press reports supporters of the DIA ran a $2.5 million campaign to pass the millage.

More from the Freep:

Gary Peters
Gary Peters / peters.house.gov

As most polls predicted, incumbent Gary Peters beat out another incumbent, Hansen Clarke, in the Democratic race for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state's 14th district.

With almost all of the votes in, Peters had 12 points on Clarke.

Both candidates are technically incumbents, due to redistricting.  Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek explains,

user Tqycolumbia / Wikimedia Commons

In the 12th District U.S. House of Representatives democratic primary, incumbent John Dingell is ahead of opponent Daniel Marcin by 58 points with most of the votes counted.

Dingell is the longest-serving member of the United States House of Representatives in history. If he is reelected this November, it will be his 30th term.

On the Republican side, the race is much closer.  Cynthia Kallgren and Karen Jacobsen are neck-and-neck, with 65 percent of the votes tallied.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

John Conyers Jr. for Congress / www.johnconyers.com/

With more than half of the precincts reporting, incumbent congressman John Conyers (D-Detroit) has defeated four candidates to win the Democratic primary.

Reports show Conyers winning by a sizeable margin, with almost 60 percent of the votes counted in his favor. State senator Glenn Anderson finished a distant second, with 13 percent.

Kerry Bentivolio for Congress / BentivolioForCongress.com

Kerry Bentivolio raced ahead of former Senator Nancy Cassis in the 11th U.S. House District Republican primary race.

Cassis, a Novi-native, trailed Bentivolio by 30 points, with 70 percent of the votes counted. Bentivolio is a teacher and reindeer farmer from Milford, and the only Republican candidate who actually appeared on the ballot. Cassis ran her campaign as a write-in, after declaring her candidacy following the resignation of incumbent Thaddeus McCotter.

On the Democratic side of the primary, physician Syed Taj led LaRouche Democrat William Roberts, 61-39.

user Connormah / Wikimedia Commons

Tim Walberg, the current U.S. Representative for Michigan's 7th congressional district, won the Republican nomination for reelection.

With a little more than half of the votes counted, Walberg led candidate Dan Davis by 52 points.

Walberg also served as Congressman for the district from 2007 to 2009.

Update 11:45 p.m.

With 81 percent of precincts reporting, Newport resident Kurt Haskell has defeated Jackson County Democratic Party Chairman Ruben Marquez to win the Democratic nomination, finishing 66-34.

He will face Rep. Walberg for the Michigan 7th District congressional seat up for grabs in November.

Check back in with Michigan Radio for more election updates.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Upton for Us All / FredUpton.com

Incumbent congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) has won the GOP primary for the 6th U.S. House district against Republican candidate Jack Hoogendyk.

Representative Upton will face Democratic challenger Mike O'Brien (D-Douglas) for his current seat in the general election.

The latest numbers showed Upton leading Hoogendyk 66 percent to 34 percent, with more than half of the precincts reporting.

Rick Pluta / Michigan Radio

Peter Hoekstra won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, defeating three other candidates.

With 18 percent of the precincts reporting, Holland-native Hoekstra was ahead of his opponents by more than 20 points.

The Free Press reports most polls favored Hoekstra over the other contenders.

nopsa.hiit.fi

UPDATE:

Reports of voters being turned away because they declined to check a box asking them to verify U.S. citizenship have been coming in from several areas of the state.

Michigan Radio first became aware of the situation when talking to Michigan Campaign Finance Network's Rich Robinson who said he was refused a ballot because he would not check the box. He refused because it is not legally required.  Other media sources picked up on the story. (see Free Press)

Other political groups received calls from voters complaining they had been refused the right to vote after declining to check the citizenship box.

Chad Livengood with the Detroit News reported:

Laura Weber / MPRN

Mitt Romney pulled out a close victory over Rick Santorum in Michigan tonight. The win gives Romney momentum heading into his next challenge - "Super Tuesday" - when 10 states will hold primaries next Tuesday.

Update 11:49 p.m.

An analyst for the New York Times says Romney's "anti-bailout position" did not hurt him in this race:

Even Mr. Santorum's campaign made a last-minute push to get disgruntled union workers to vote against Mr. Romney for this reason. While primary voters were almost evenly divided on the issue, those who supported the bailout were no more likely to back Mr. Santorum over Mr. Romney.

11:25 p.m.

The Michigan Republican Party is tallying the results for Michigan's congressional districts. There are 30 delegates up for grabs in the state.

Even though Romney won the popular vote, Santorum can still pick up delegates by winning in a district. The delegate distribution will be determined after the Party crunches the numbers.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Tuesday’s election did not change the balance of power in the state house. 

Two vacant state house seats were up for grabs.

Voters in Genesee County filled a vacant state house seat on Tuesday.   The seat was made vacant last fall by a union-backed campaign that succeeded in recalling Republican Paul Scott.

Last night, Republican Joe Graves defeated Democrat Steve Losey to serve out the final year of Scott’s unfinished term.     

Graves says his message of jobs lead to the victory.