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Hune won't seek Mike Rogers' seat

by: Eric B.

Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:35:23 PM EDT

From Ye Olde Inbox, seconded from MIRS.

Sen. Joe HUNE (R-Hamburg) won't seek the open 8th Congressional District seat, the first-term state senator announced today.

"Washington and Lansing both need strong conservative leadership," Hune said in a statement this afternoon. "As a state representative and a state senator, I have always stood for less government in our lives, lower taxes and growing our economy. 

"I have a strong desire to continue the unfinished work of rebuilding Michigan and will be seeking re-election to the 22nd Senate District."

That leaves the Mackinac Mauler, Mike Bishop, and Bryan Barnette in the running. Tom McMillin might also get in.

Eric B. :: Hune won't seek Mike Rogers' seat
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The thought of three Rochester area Republicans
being the three primary candidates for a Livingston-anchored Republican congressional race makes me laugh.

If it is Bishop, Barnett and McMillin -- I'd bet that McMillin's avalanche of liberty wins it.

Michigan's delegation including Amash, Bentivolio and McMillin -- chew on that for a moment!

Great Lakes, Great Times.

As much as I'd like McMillin not to represent me in the MI Senate...
...and having him run for Congress would do that, I'd rather have him continue running for MI Senate.  In a contest among McMillin, Knollenberg, and two "some guys," McMillin might win that.  Fishman would have a fighting chance against McMillin, while Knollenberg Jr. might be a tougher slog.

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

[ Parent ]
Do you
Do you think that someone like McMillin could make it to Congress?  I've become less bullish on this seat as the Democratic process has become a clown car, recently, but if McMillin were the Republican nominee, I couldn't even imagine him winning.  I can totally see Bishop or Barnett winning a race by at least five points, but McMillin is about as wacky as any legislative candidate in the country.

[ Parent ]
I think you might be confusing the general and the primary
I can see McMillin winning the GOP primary, then having the difficulty you forsee in the general.

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

[ Parent ]
Mike put McMillin's name up against sitting congressmen, which makes me think he believes McMillin could win a general.  As much as this race has fallen in my view with key Democrats declining to run, I would still have a very hard time picturing someone as extreme as McMillin winning in the general even against someone like an Eric Schertzing.  

I think people sometimes forget that while this seat certainly leans Republican, we're not talking about some automatically safe Republican district in the South, or something, and that while we have to have a good candidate, that they will have to be very careful about protecting this seat, themselves.  Were McMillin to somehow pull this out, this race would go straight back to toss-up territory in my eyes at the very least regardless of who our nominee was.

[ Parent ]
I feel like Bishop has the best chance of getting it, which is another reason why Barb Byrum would have been such a great candidate. With Bishop representing such a small part of this district right now, I could see her pulling quite a few independent votes from Ingham County. Her name is recognizable enough and shes already representing a big chunk of the district.

I can see quite a few people in this election splitting up their ticket. A lot of independents still see Snyder as someone moderate and more pro-business than a politician, but may be more socially liberal to vote for Peters or Totten.

If Peters especially can win over independents to vote for him, they might be more prone to voting for a Dem that they know about in their congressional district, such as someone like Byrum.  

[ Parent ]
I'm not sure geography hurts Bishop in particular given that all three of the declared Republicans candidates are now either from Rochester or Rochester Hills.  That basically cancels out the geographic effect in both the primary and general.

In the primary, I think this will come down to name recognition, which is what Bishop has as an advantage over the other two.  I think McMillin's advantage is that he's ideologically in line with the base in a primary.  He is upset material.  I think Barnett is the odd man out, here, with his only chance being for Bishop and McMillin to destroy one another and him slipping through as the "adult" in the race, which is what Snyder did with Hoekstra and Cox during the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary.

In the general, I think Bishop has the best shot far-and-away, with Barnett next, and McMillin being far behind these two.  McMillin would be our dream even with a district that leans slightly to the right.

On the Dem side, I really, really, really hope the big names reconsider.  If not, we should start practicing typing "Congressman Bishop" right now unless I'm grossly underestimating Eric Schertzing.

[ Parent ]
If Barnett's win condition is the same as Snyder's in 2010...I have a bad feeling about this
It suddenly is even more imperative that Democrats put up a credible candidate.

Rick Snyder beat MiCox and Hoekstra in 2010 by pulling in centrists and independents, who chose the Republican primary ballot just to vote for Snyder (and because in most places there weren't compelling primary battles on the Democratic side).

This is why I've long argued that Snyder's very existence on the GOP side doomed Andy Dillon in the Democratic primary -- because in large measure they were appealing to the same voting bloc to offset their opponents' appeal to their respective party bases.

Point being, by voting for Snyder once, it suddenly became easier for those same voters to vote Republican again in November. And too many of them DIDN'T split their tickets, which stacked with the existing midterm swoon to turn Michigan completely red.

If that happens this year in the 8th District, where Bryan Barnett convinces enough centrists to take the Republican ballot just so they can beat the two right wingers (in a scenario where the Democrat fails to put up a strong challenge to keep those same voters from straying), then that bodes VERY BADLY for every other Democrat running for office in the District (state House & Senate, mayors, county commissioners, etc.), and WILL HURT our statewide candidates.

Eric Schertzing had better be a dream candidate, or at the very least needs to understand that his JOB is less about WINNING than about GOTV to help everyone else.

He can't SAY it of course, but understanding his role should allow him the freedom to be a true base-rousing Progressive (as opposed to a DCCC-blessed mealy-mouthed prevaricator trying to win by attacking Obamacare and avoiding "controversial" issues like marriage equality and the minimum wage...*cough*BobbyMcKenzie*cough*).

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
I don't
To be clear, the comparison I made to Snyder in 2010 was at the most superficial level possible.  I do not think for one minute it's more likely than not that Barnett is able to pull a Snyder, and I'm not even familiar enough with Barnett to know if he's a centrist or could even play one in a primary.  That's not even to mention that Barnett is an elected politician, and Snyder wasn't, and I doubt seriously that Barnett is independently as wealthy relative to the other two as Snyder was to the two he split.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves with doom, just yet.  I only brought up the scenario because it's the only way Barnet can win with two bigger personalities in the race.

[ Parent ]
He can't SAY it of course, but understanding his role should allow him the freedom to be a true base-rousing Progressive

Schertzing describes himself as "fiscally conservative," so, no, that won't be happening.  

[ Parent ]
So assuming Eric gets his petitions in on time, he'll be lucky to crack 35%
Maybe he hit 40% against a loon like McMillin.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
I don't think people understand what this being an open seat does to the ultimate turnout.  The Dem in this race, regardless of who it is, is going to get more of the vote than the last two guys did simply because this is now an open seat.  Mike ran up such huge margins not because the district is so Republican, but because he was an incumbent against fairly non-serious candidates (Bob Alexander was the only one who seemed to have run a halfway serious campaign).  That this is an open seat, I'd be shocked if the Democrat - whether it is Schertzing or the Some Dude or Some Gal already in the race - didn't at least hit the baseline for this district.  You guys are way too pessmistic about an open race in a district like this.

[ Parent ]
I agree
Plus I just don't see the GOP voters loving Bishop.  

[ Parent ]
I think
he wins the primary. All bets are off in the general, at that point. His history of extreme statements are a veritable trove of potential lines of attack. He may be quacking more like a Ron Paul duck lately, but he has traditionally hailed from the Mike Huckabee wing of his party.

But yes, I went for the more dramatic scenario of him winning the general along with Bentivolio (whose primary fate is much more dubious) and Amash.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
You do?
I wouldn't be shocked if he did, because the GOP knows very well that the tea party and their ilk can certainly upset establishment candidates.  But, I'd say that McMillin has far more to prove than Bishop.  I think McMillin is a better ideological fit for a primary, but does he have the money and organizational skills of Bishop?  I find that really hard to believe.  I think this is Bishop's to lose, and that he'd have to make a stumble for McMillin to beat him.

[ Parent ]
Amash, Bentivolio, and McMillan
As my father once said, that's a three of a kind that would beat a full house.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
I am actually pretty shocked by this. Hune would have won.

The Rogers Endorsement
This is the next domino falling from the Rogers endorsement of Bishop.

A seat meant to be an "outstate" seat will end up represented by someone from the far eastern end of the district in Oakland County.

The last hope, so to speak, for the non-Oakland right-wing might be if Alan Cropsey sees this an an opportunity to resurface, particularly if McMillan stays in the Senate race. Otherwise, another Oakland seat with likely four Oakland County residents serving in the next Congress.

[ Parent ]
Cropsey would run in the 4th
He's in DeWitt. Clinton County.

As someone who has known Joe Hune for 12 years, I don't think the Rogers endorsement really affected Joe's decision one way or another.  

"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 ]
Hune already had a bird in the hand
He's filed for the State Senate seat already and has no primary opposition, so he knows he'll be on the ballot in November with a good chance to return to Lansing.  Why give that up with the risk that he won't make it past a crowded field in August?

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

[ Parent ]
Cropsey moved to DeWitt from this district
The tag on him when he ran for state Senate was that he had to move to the district because they already had Livingston County held aside for other people. So he did, and was my state senator for eight glorious years.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Did he used to live in
Shiawassee County, or... ?

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Before I followed politics
I knew Cropsey represented Livingston County at one point, but didn't live here. It was a big deal here when Fred Dillingham won as a state senator because Livingston finally got one of our own. That was in 1986 I believe. Mike Rogers won in 1994.

I found an old article. The old 1982 Cropsey district was Clinton, Shiawassee, and Livingston Counties. 1986 redistricting carved it up. The democrats in the house pushed mid-redistricting payback for the recalls in the State Senate.

"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 ]
With that Livingston perspective in mind,
how will the county activists respond to the prospect of no Livingston contender for your congressional seat? If you can't answer that as it may create headaches for you, then please don't -- but the 8th District reads to me like an Ingham-Livingston district, with the Republican strength driven by Livingston.

Granted, I may be shaded by the old 8th boundaries, which didn't grab as much of northern Oakland County.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
The 8th is now more Oakland than either Ingham or Livingston
I have said it before -- we consider this an 'Ingham' district or even an 'Ingham-Livingston' district at our own peril.

In the one election held with its current boundaries there were more votes in Oakland than in Ingham.  Livingston politically is much more like the Oakland portion of the district than like Ingham.  If you were going to describe the 8th in simple terms it would be as an 'Oakland-Livingston' district with more than enough of those two counties to absorb Democratic margins in Ingham.

This is not the district of apportionments past where Ingham could outvote a much smaller Livingston and the rest of the district -- be it Genesee, or a more southerly piece of Oakland or Jackson -- would rarely be enough for Republicans to close the gap.  

It is a solidly if not overwhelmingly Republican district in which Democrats have a large but insufficient base.  In 2012, which was an extremely good Democratic year, the base in the district was just over 47%.  It is slightly less Democratic than the 6th, which makes it onto nobody's lists.  It is more than a point less Democratic than the 7th.  It is only about a point more Democratic than the 11th, which would not be anybody's priority but for the incumbent.

In fact the best way to look at the current 8th is probably similar to how we look at the 7th and 11th, both of which may be in play only because their incumbents are weak and in the hopes that either the general atmosphere improves or the Republican does something especially bad, or both.

I have worked with Eric Schertzing for over thirty years and I would say he will be ready if the district becomes a real opportunity.  He has roots in the rural part of Ingham.  He has worked the Republican stretches of Livingston.  He has worked congressional campaigns in earlier versions of the district.  He will be attractive to independent voters without disappointing the base.  Nobody -- not Eric and not Barb Byrum -- could have hoped to put together the money needed to make this a top tier race in the time available.  

I don't think he will win, and I don't think Barb Byrum would either.  That 47% 2012 base will look like a dream on election day.  The national money will find other places to go with better prospects.  This district will do what it was drawn to do: elect a Republican under all but the most extreme circumstances.

[ Parent ]
Excellent, delicious information.
The context of my comment's question was the Republican primary, though, as the commenter is the chair of the Livingston County Party Republican Party.

It is a head-scratcher to me that no Livingston candidate might emerge to capitalize on three Oakland (specifically: Rochester area) candidates seeking the Republican nomination.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
From my perspective
GOP Primary voters
45% - Oakland
35% - Livingston
20% - Ingham

That all aside, Oakland isn't united and is more about the local club than it is about the County. Independence Twp, Orion, and Rochester/Oakland Twp areas are all distinct areas, not counting the far rural areas.

Livingston, while split to an extent among its areas (West vs East) is organized more around a County Organization than a local club. It would blockvote more than the others.

Ingham Republicans are more tied to Livingston than Oakland. That's due to long ties between the counties in the 8th district since it became competitive in 1992. Mike Rogers was well liked in Ingham County as well.  

Regardless of who runs, the road to winning goes through Livingston. Oakland's splitting their vote anyway, but more so with three candidates out of there. I don't expect a serious Livingston Candidate to run with Hune, Denby, and Bill Rogers all declining a run.

"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 ]
So who would best appeal to Livingston County?
Bishop, McMillin, or Barnett?

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

[ Parent ]
Ex-urban Livingston County is still very 00's neo-con based (i.e. Bush Doctrine). This would seem to play well with a Bishop.  I'd have instantly said McMillin had McMillin not trended so libertarian on certain issues as of late.  McMillin still probably speaks their language on most issues the best.  But I think he may just be unconventional enough that he may not be inline as someone like Bishop, these days.  

[ Parent ]
It's not that neo-con here
I know Livingston has the reputation of that with Mike Rogers. However, the attitude is more towards "win the war" not "start the war." A lot of people here just like to be left alone and are social conservative really on two issues. Abortion and 2nd Amendment (and often different crowds with both groups). With the other social issues, there's pushback against whatever side that pushes. The triangle foundation doesn't play well there, but nor does Gary Glenn. While the gay marriage ban passed here, it passed in line with most of the state.

If I had to judge the main important issues needed to win here, I'd say budget (taxes and spending both), competence, abortion, regulations, and 2nd Amendment (Livingston County is number one in pistol permits per capita in counties over 100k).

People liked Mike Rogers more because he was "Mike" and by all accounts I hear a good guy (whether you like his politics or not) than his views on foreign policy. They knew his mom from the Chamber of Commerce, dad as Brighton Twp supervisor, and Bill ran the building business. It was a two degrees of Kevin Bacon here. He was known as a competent guy with a very good staff. I knew Mike for 13 years. That's considered a newbie in that circle world, and I'm a county native.

Bishop has an in here due to Rogers and his staffers (all we've known well because they've been there for years). McMillin has an in with the tea party. Barnett will probably do well with some ex-Oakland residents (or Oakland commuters) here with Brook Patterson support.

I'm still undecided since Hune's not running. I've met Bishop and McMillin a few times. I know where they stand. I've met Barnett two or three times, but I don't know a lot about him and want to give him a fair shake before I make my decision. There may be a surprise candidate as well, although I don't expect one at this point with the filing deadline.  

"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 ]
Thanks for your opinion.  It's good to get insight from an actual Rpublican, and one who lives in the county no less.

I have to clarify what I said, though.  I really meant to imply that Livingston is more 00's Republican Party than it is libertarian.  Particularly compared to the Republicans in the rest of the district.  I don't know if it's an unfair stereotype, but I still associate Livingston County Republican with the "traditional families" crowd, the more evangelical Christian crowd, moreso, than their counterparts in Oakland County or even here in Ingham County.  

It seems very typical as far as exurban counties all across the U.S. are concerned.  It just doesn't seem small and isolated enough, to me, to be a live-and-let live libertarian bastion like you often find in the West.  Nor is it urbanized enough in the traditional sense (Macomb or Oakland) to be business/country club Republicans who are more live-and-let live on social issues, if even still tight with budgets.  So, that basically leaves the upper-middle-class church-going social conservative types so typical in exurban counties, those Republicans who moved out of places like Macomb and Oakland and Wayne because their cultures (even within the local GOP) were becoming too "liberal."

I guess what I'm getting as is that Livingston County Republicans strike me as neither L. Brooks Patterson Republicans (Barnett, or at least what Barnett is trying to portray himself as), nor enamored with established politicians like Bishop.  And, at the same time, particular amenable to the message someone like McMillin will almost certainly deliver, which, unfortunately, is includes a lot of undeniably hateful, red-meat rhetoric towards the LGBT community.

Since geography gets cancelled out, here, with all the candidates being from either Rochester or Rochester Hills, it would seem to me that the greatest factor in who will be able to win the primary is the guy with the best organization (Bishop).  And, the next most consequential factor sounds like it will be who has the message most in line with Livingston County.

The partisan part of me wants Tom McMillin to win.  The human side of me would rather either of the other two win given that McMillin would actually have a chance to win a general however unlikely it may be, and for the sake of EVERYONE in the district, I wouldn't want to risk that.

[ Parent ]
To an extent
I'm not evangelical, so I'm not around that as much. It's certainly a conservative area. In the same sense, it likes to be left alone. When you get back to the 2-5+ acre lots in many of these townships, there's a reason people live back there. They don't like to be bothered. It's family time there. If they want to have a firing range in their backyard, they can - and nobody will call the police. If they want their dogs to be able to run around, they can.

Among social issues, right to life is the one that counts. The other issue, often with a different crowd, is the 2nd amendment. The gay stuff is played more in the media than anywhere else. Most I know are just tired of hearing about the issue. They may not agree with it (most personally don't), but they don't believe in being jerks either.  

"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 ]
Whoever works here hardest
A lot of Livingston County gets tired of being in the shadow of Oakland, especially with the changes in Oakland. While Milford/Highland and South Lyon have close ties to Hartland or Brighton, Rochester might as well be Birmingham or Grosse Pointe for that matter.

All three candidates were at the Livingston County Lincoln Day dinner so it's a start. Barnett appeals best to the Brooks Patterson crowd. Bishop has Rogers support and most (if not all) his staffers which is big with Joe Hune, Cindy Denby, and Bill Rogers all out. McMillin is going to be real strong with the tea party.

"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 ]
Not my view, but the view from many in my county is that Rochester might as well be Birmingham, Bloomfield or Grosse Pointe. That's just "the rich area."

Most here don't commute to Detroit and there's the Lansing, in-county, Ann Arbor, and Genesee County commuters as well. Many Oakland County commuters don't go past Farmington Hills or at most Southfield.


"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 ]
That is a wild, but probable prospect
The four seats that include parts of Oakland County all being held by Oakland County residents -- wow. Especially wild, considering that in the 8th, 9th and 14th the Oakland portion is the smaller of the two (or more) county portions in those respective districts.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]

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