Primary Day in Michigan: Races to Watch

MICHIGAN — Today is Primary Election Day across the state. There are many races that will decide who will more than likely win the general election in the Fall and races to decide who will be the candidates to take on the tight races expected in the General Election. Great Lakes Weekly has a breakdown of all the major primaries we’re watching and will have an update once all the votes are counted.

Race for Governor

Gretchen Whitmer is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination and remains one of the most popular governors in the country.

The Republican race has been dominated by scandal with half of the field disqualified for fraud. Tudor Dixon has claimed the nominal role of frontrunner after securing the endorsement of Donald Trump and the backing of the DeVos family. However, Kevin Rinke has spent his own fortune trying to make the race competitive. Also running are Garrett Soldano, Kevin Kelley and Ralph Rebrant.

Congressional Republicans Face Primary Challenges

In the 2nd Congressional District, Congressman John Moolenaar faces a challenge from Thomas Norton. Meanwhile, freshman Congressman Peter Meijer faces an uphill battle against MAGA-Republican John Gibbs. Tim Walberg and Lisa McClain, who are both known Big Lie spreaders, face nominal challenges as well.

Marquee Matchups Highlight Democratic Primaries

In Michigan’s newly drawn 11th Congressional District Congressman Andy Levin and Congresswoman Haley Stevens face each other in the safe Democratic district. In the 12th District, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib faces a challenge from many lesser known challengers. In the 13th, the retirement of Brenda Lawrence has left many to run for her seat including Portia Roberson, self-funder and state representative Shri Thanedar and state senator Adam Hollier. Others running are long-time political names such as Sam Riddle, John Conyers (son of former Congressman) and Sharon McPhail.

State Senate Up for Grabs 

All 38 seats are up for grabs with some members facing challenges in newly drawn seats against other senators or representatives of their own party. Some of the more interesting races are below:

SD1: Senator Erika Geiss vs. Representative Frank Liberati (Democratic)

SD4: Many Republicans running in this Lean Democratic seat are supporters of the “Big Lie”

SD6: Two Democratic candidates face off in this seat left open by the disqualification of incumbent senator Betty Jean Alexander. State Representative Mary Cavanagh and Farmington Hills Mayor Vicki Barnett face off.

SD8: Two senators face off in this safe Democratic seat, Mallory McMorrow is favored after raising both her national profile and over $1 million combined across PACs and her candidate committee. Her opponent is Senator Marshall Bullock.

SD16: Two Republican state representatives face off. Joseph Bellino will face off against TC Clements

SD17: Incumbent Sen. Kim Lasata is trying to fight off Trump endorsed Green Beret turned first time candidate, Jonathan Lindsey.

SD22: Ultra-MAGA Republican Mike Detmer is challenging sitting State Senator Lana Theis in a battle to see which candidate can be the most extreme. Theis is best known in life for attacking her fellow state senator Mallory McMorrow and giving McMorrow a platform to reject hate and raise money to beat back the kind of hate Theis is most known for.

SD35: One of the few truly competitive senate GOP primaries in a swing seat. Current Rep. Annette Glenn is taking on Dow executive Christian Velasquez and former Rep. Tim Kelly. Glenn appears favored but Velasquez is well resourced.

SD37: The Democratic race features an odd entry from “Trucker” Randy Bishop who is a well-known conservative. He is running against Barb Conley for the nomination. The Republican race features former state representative Triston Cole, a top lieutenant for disgraced former Speaker Lee Chatfield who has been accused of child rape by his sister-in-law and current state representative John DaMoose who is the founder of the legislative anti-choice caucus, a group that holds the position that child rape victims should carry the rapist’s child to term. DaMoose, despite his extremism, has been able to secure kind words from the executive director of the progressive group, Center for Change. Joanne Galloway has praised DaMoose for, “[getting] the Michigan High Speed Internet Office funded,” adding, “he took our calls, he did his research and responded to our emails.”

State House Races 

HD15: This Dearborn-based seat features Dearborn City Council President Erin Byrnes

HD20: The race features Noah Arbit and Ken Furguson vying for the Democratic nomination.

HD27: The Republican primary features 2016 failed candidate Bob Howey, establishment-backed Robert Counts and Lisa Werner who is a “Big Lie” spreader.

HD 28: A competitive general election seat with a three-way GOP primary could produce a very fringe winner. The Republican establishment likes Virgie Ammerman.

HD42: Republicans are counting on Matt Hall to win his primary as he is the establishment choice for Speaker if Republicans retain the House.

HD64: Four-way GOP primary including two incumbent house members. Rep. Beeler has secured Farm Bureau and the Chamber endorsements. He faces off against Rep. Gary Eisen. Eisen made news when he posted a picture of his gun and referenced the president. He further stated how the election will likely be violent.

HD75: Emily Stivers and Penelope Tsernoglou face off in a contentious Democratic primary.

HD77: Democratic candidate Jon Horford, who is the brother of Celtic Al Horford, seeks to defeat two challengers.

HD80: Lily Cheng-Schulting is challenging Kent County Commissioner Phil Skaggs for the Democratic nomination.

HD84: Establishment Republicans hope to defeat Robert Regan who lost a special election earlier this year after he made statements suggesting he had told his daughters to, “lie back and take it,” if they were the victim of rape.

HD88: The House GOP campaign chair, Representative Greg VanWoerkem is the underdog against Mick Bricker, a relative of Representative Matt Maddock.

HD103: Betsy Coffia is making another run for state representative and has raised a lot of money for her campaign. She is favored to win the Democratic nomination. On the Republican side, incumbent Jack O’Malley is backed by the DeVos clan and faces off against Heather Cerone who is backed by a MAGA Republican faction.

HD104: Incumbent John Roth moved to avoid a primary with Jack O’Malley. He now faces a stiff challenge from MAGA Republican Katie Kniss.

HD107: With John DaMoose leaving for a senate run, this open seat Republican primary features Parker Fairbairn, a 23-year old DeVos-backed candidate against Neil Friske who owns an apple orchard and has been accused of being a direct descendant of run away Nazis.

HD109: Jen Hill, a member of the Marquette City Commission faces off in the Democratic primary against Joe Boogren, the Supervisor of Forsyth Township.









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