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Federal and state election news from Washtenaw County on Examiner.com

by: Neon Vincent

Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 00:01:47 AM EST


During the 72 hours since the election, I've been busy reporting on the results in Washtenaw County while they're still considered newsworthy. Here are the five most recent articles in close to chronological order from the Washtenaw County Elections Examiner.
Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell has beaten incumbent Representative Mark Driskell for State House.
Credit: Gretchen Driskell for State Representative Facebook page.
Driskell wins close election to Michigan House
At 9:01 on the morning of election day, Representative Mark Ouimet exhorted the fans of his campaign's Facebook page to do their civic duty.

"Election Day is here! Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this campaign! I now only ask one more thing from you- vote!"

Vote they did, but not enough for Ouimet to be re-elected.
I'm very pleased by this result. It makes up for the bad taste in my mouth after Ouimet won in 2010. Also, with the election of Driskell and Adam Zemke, Washtenaw County is now represented by only Democrats in the Michigan House, a fact that led to my writing the next article.

Adam Zemke cruised to victory in Michigan's 55th State House district.
Credit: Adam Zemke's campaign website
Democrats sweep Washtenaw County's Michigan House contests
Washtenaw County's delegation to the Michigan House of Representatives will look very different in 2013 than it has for the past two years.

Before Tuesday's election, two Democrats, Jeff Irwin and David Rutledge, represented the county's two largest cities, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, along with some of the area outside and to the east of Ypsilanti, in the 53rd and 54th districts. Two Republicans, Mark Ouimet and Rick Olson, represented the rest of the county in the 52nd and 55th districts.

After Tuesday's election, all four State House districts will be represented by Democrats. The two Democratic incumbents won re-election, while Olson retired and was replaced by Adam Zemke and Ouimet lost to Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell.

The two new State Representatives formed part of a five-seat swing in the Michigan House in favor of the Democrats. Even so, Republicans still hold a 59-51 majority in the chamber.
Follow over the jump for the rest of the week's articles, including ones about Washtenaw County's two congressional districts with added personal commentary, the Michigan Supreme Court, the State Board of Education, and the three university governing boards.
Neon Vincent :: Federal and state election news from Washtenaw County on Examiner.com
John Dingell has been elected to Congress for a record 30th term.
U.S. Congress (Wikipedia/Public Domain)
Dingell, Walberg earn easy wins
Last night, the two U.S. Representatives whose districts include Washtenaw County cruised to victory.

John Dingell, whose new 12th Congressional District represents Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Willow Run in addition to the southwestern and downriver portions of Wayne County, handily defeated challenger Cynthia Kallgren to return to Washington, D.C., for his 30th term.

Tim Walberg, whose 7th Congressional District encompasses the rural northern, western, and southern parts of Washtenaw County, beat back a challenge from Kurt Haskell to return for a third term.
Dingell will now become the longest serving U.S. Representative ever.

As for Walberg, maybe next time. I have already been thinking ahead until then, as I posted in ac comment here at Michigan Liberal.
"I don't think she was a good candidate, but Haskell is far, far worse than Sharon Reiner."

That's saying something. We'll see how that turns out tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to writing his political obituary, and I mean that literally. I'm the Washtenaw County Elections 2010 Examiner and his race is one I'm covering. As soon as he won the primary, I wrote him off.

"For this district, I'm not sure of the exact politician that should be ran, but the archetype has to be a Dem based out of Jackson, if only because it gives them a fundraising base."

That's what Ruben Marquez is, and he lost the primary to Haskell. What about Jackson Mayor Martin Griffin?

Also, there are other places for a fundraising base, such as Monroe (although that's where Haskell's from), the Washtenaw County cities of Saline (Gretchen Driskell, anyone?) and Chelsea (the current Mayor looks like a Republican, but former State House Rep. Pam Byrnes lives nearby), Adrian (the Lenawee County Commissioner who represents the east side of the city, Karol "KZ" Bolton, is a Democrat), and Eaton County (State Representative Theresa Abed).

And you're right; this district is competitive. The Democrats just need the right candidate.
Here's to recruiting a better candidate in 2014. If the Democrats can't, I might just run. You read it here first.

Enough commentary. Back to the articles.

University of Michigan law professor Bridget Mary McCormack won a term on the Michigan Supreme Court Tuesday.
Credit: McCormack's campaign website
McCormack, Markman, Zahra elected to Michigan Supreme Court
Ann Arbor's own candidate for Michigan Supreme Court, University of Michigan professor Bridget Mary McCormack, led all candidates in a crowded field to earn a seat on the bench for the next eight years.

Michigan's voters were not as kind to the rest of the women running for Michigan's highest court. All four lost as incumbents Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra won re-election.

The election of McCormack and the return of Markman and Zahra mean that Republican appointees and nominees will retain their 4-3 advantage on the court for at least the next two years.
Lots of numbers, including a comparison of the statewide vote vs. that in Washtenaw County, plus the acceptance announcements of McCormack and Zahra, at the link in the headline.

Mark Berstein thanked his supporters for his election to the University of Michigan Board of Regents with this photo taken inside one of U of M's libraries.
Credit: Mark Berstein's campaign's Facebook page, MGoBernstein.
Democrats sweep State Board of Education, university governing board elections
In 2010, the Republicans were elected to all statewide offices in Michigan. This past Tuesday, the Democrats returned the favor, sweeping all offices on the statewide partisan ballot from the President on down.

This sweep included the eight seats being contested for the State Board of Education and the governing boards for the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University.

Washtenaw County provided the victorious Democrats an even larger margin of victory than they received statewide, with their vote shares ranging between five and six percent more than elsewhere in Michigan.

The winners were:
  • Michelle Fecteau of Detroit and Lupe Ramos-Montigny of Grand Rapids for the State Board of Education
  • Mark Bernstein of Ann Arbor and Shauna Ryder Diggs of Detroit for the University of Michigan Board of Regents.
  • Joel Ferguson of Lansing and Brian Mosallam of Dearborn for the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.
  • Kim Trent of Detroit and Sandra Hughes O'Brien of Northville for the Wayne State University Board of Governors.
Lots of numbers and quotes from the winning candidates at the article itself.

I plan on doing some "evergreen" articles--a comparison between Washtenaw County and the rest of the state, an analysis of minor party candidates, and the effects of redistricting on the relative effectiveness of Democrats and Republicans getting elected--beginning Sunday. They should be just as interesting until the next election as they are today.

Abstracted from Examiner.com articles on the election results, part 1, Examiner.com articles on the election results, part 2, Examiner.com articles on the election results, part 3, and Examiner.com articles on the election results, part 4 on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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