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2012 Election Round Up (Mid-Michigan Edition)

by: JPowers155

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 15:40:18 PM EST

There will likely be a lot of arm-chair quarterbacking and posts about the data over the next few weeks from people far more qualified than I so pay attention to those folks. If you're looking for a "quick and dirty" summary of election results here in Mid-Michigan with a dose of snark... read on.

Michigan State University Trustees (aka "Cow College"):  Looks like Republican Melanie Foster and Democrat Joel Ferguson will be returning to rule over our land grant university. Not quite all of the results are in so this isn't official-official but it's pretty likely that MSU will have the status quo.

UPDATE: MLive is calling it for Ferguson and Mosallem (another Dem). 

54A District Court: Hugh Clarke, Jr. ran unopposed after a pretty contentious process to get him on the bench in the first place. 

54B District Court:  For the first time in my life, I didn't vote for Mark Meadows. I cast my ballot for Andrea Larkin and she won. (Clearly, there's a connection.) I like and respect Mark but Andrea ran the better campaign. I think after so many years of winning everything (City Council, Mayor, the House) with 70%+ of the vote, he just didn't put much into the race. So maybe people I know were SHOCKED by this outcome.   


JPowers155 :: 2012 Election Round Up (Mid-Michigan Edition)

67th - 68th - 69th House Districts:  We kept 67 from falling into the hands of the Republicans (yay!) but we elected an anti-same gender marriage retired fire chief. My personal jury is still out. On a positive note, Andy Schor and Sam Singh, both of whom will be good additions to the quagmire and (hopefully) will do a better job of representing our region than Mark Meadows did because while it was 4 years ago, I still haven't forgiven him for the Andy Dillon debacle. 

71st House Distrct:  For the first time since 1964, a Democrat (a pro-choice, pro-same gender marriage Democrat) will represent the district. Theresa Abed ran a heck of a race and while I think Deb Shaughnessey is a raving loon, she accepted defeat gracefully in the linked LSJ article. 

Ingham Drain Commissioner:  Pat Lindemann continues his reign as the quirky but effective drain commissioner. Out of deference to other contributors to this site, let's just say that the entire environmental community in the region is doing the happy dance of joy to have Pat re-elected. 

Ingham County Register of Deeds, Clerk & Treasurer: Curtis Hertel, Jr. handily won his re-election as Clerk carrying on a family tradition of serving in political office. Same for the new Ingham County Clerk, State Representative Barb Byrum who is term limited. Kudos also to Eric Schertzing who continues his tenure as Treasurer and Chair of the state's second largest land bank.

Ingham County Commissioners:  Long time readers of this site will recognize some of the names elected last night including Sarah Anthony, Brian McGrain, Todd Tennis & Penelope Tsernoglou. 

Other races of interest:
Over in Delhi Township, the Dems held off a Tea Party full court press for trustee. With 100% of the precincts reporting, looks like Dems Ketchum and Warfield will be elected. I'm acquainted with a couple of the Tea Party candidates and this win is kind of epic. 

The only Republican I probably would have voted for was in Meridian Township (Shane Goodale) but he lost by a pretty large margin to Julie Brixie (another solid candidate). Shane and I serve on a board together and he's a common sense sort. I think he has a strong future in local politics and might eventually make it to the House. He'll be an ally and unlikely to swing way to the right. Which of course means that he's going to be booted from office by the TPers as soon as possible. 

I need to rant here for a minute... what the HELL is going on with all of the wee townships that only have one candidate running for trustee/supervisor/dog catcher and they are all Republicans? Have we entirely given up on recruiting out-county? (I'm talking specifically about Ingham County here but I think it applies across the state from the random clicking around I've done on 12 or 13 other counties just to see if maybe we were an anomaly.)

One final note which I make because I can. East Lansing Public Library Millage passed with flying colors and we will not be absorbed by the CADL Borg while I'm alive and kicking. (Also, Dad? I was right, you were wrong. Neener. Neener. Neener.) 

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Thersa Abed
You want to know the crazy thing about Abed's win?  Not only did she win Delta Township (a Lansing suburb) by upwards of 82% - and, BTW, Dems swept all the offices in Delta Township - but she won Shaungessy's hometown of Charlotte in the middle of Eaton County...where Shaungessy had served for years as mayor.  Save for the county commission - which has been gerrymandered to death - Dems have been finding a way to win in Eaton County since 2006.  

I think campaigns in this suburban-to-rural area should be a case study for state dems in how to win in these type of areas.

Lansing suburbs
Not being from the area, my best guess is that there's a lot of government/MSU types who have moved into these outlying areas that are providing the votes in these communities. The same effect has been taking place around Ann Arbor as the surrounding townships have been trending more blue or at least becoming more progressive in their votes, even if they stay Republican.  

[ Parent ]
Tea Party Response, I think
So many of the candidates in the outlying areas on the R side are really Tea Partiers who espouse all sorts of whackadoodle positions (solar dryer for sludge? it's a Communist conspiracy!) and I think those semi-red areas looked at the options (decent name recognition moderate Dem vs raving loon) and went for the less offensive option. 

Do stupid people know they are stupid?

[ Parent ]
State workers
Eaton County has a lot of state workers and has for a long time. There is a social conservative streak there more than in Ingham County (Sue Tabor, Rick Jones), but they will vote dem if state workers feel stepped on. Granholm and Bush both won it twice.

I think Abed can give an assist to Rick Snyder.  

"He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security" - Benjamin Franklin

Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP

[ Parent ]
Abed didn't
Abed didn't run a campaign on the protection of state workers, at least not specifically.  As you said, Snyder was a big reason for this, but that would be true just about anywhere Dems won this time.  I can tell you from watching this campaign on the ground that the issue was the pension tax.  I guess this could indirectly connect with state workers, since they are more likely to have pensions, but I really think Lansing-area Dems have a more energetic apparatus.  BTW, another part of this are measurable demographic shifts in Delta Township.

[ Parent ]
Pension tax
I don't think Abed had to run a campaign specifically targeting state workers. I think she had a lot of them automatically. Clinton County was close, and likely went GOP only due to the north end. We had a great candidate there this year. The 67th district was once again "good enough to lose" despite Osterle almost winning in 2010.

I can believe the pension tax. I knew that was going to be a problem as soon as Snyder proposed it.

Delta's changing some, but it's always been tough territory. Bush won it twice, but with less than 50% and we've lost there more than we've won. I need to look at the micro results to see what happened. I think the bigger problem there may be losing the Charlotte area.  

"He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security" - Benjamin Franklin

Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP

[ Parent ]

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