With less than a week to go before the Aug. 2 primary, what’s likely to happen in key races for the state House of Representatives, Democrat and Republican, in districts that are open (because of term limits) or where incumbents might be imperiled? Here’s a breakdown:
2nd State House: Former Rep. Bettie Cook Scott in a nail-biter over Willie Bell, Joseph Tate and Carla Tinsley-Smith (daughter of the term-limited incumbent) in the Democratic primary in a heavily Dem Detroit district.
9th: Sylvia Santana, wife of the term-limited incumbent, wins a seven-candidate Democratic primary against stiff competition in a heavily Dem seat in Motown.
14th: Cara Clemente of Lincoln Park, wife of the termed-out incumbent, should win the Dem primary.
15th: Look for Abdullah Hammoud of Dearborn to win a six-candidate Dem primary to succeed term-limited incumbent George Darany.
18th: Kevin Hertel, son of a former House Speaker, will win the Democratic primary to succeed the termed-out incumbent in a strongly Democratic district.
20th: A tough one to call between engineer Chris Roosen and attorney Jeff Neilson in a Republican primary to try to succeed term-limited incumbent Kurt Heise. Go with Neilson, whose wife is an elected Wayne Co. probate judge.
23rd: Another close contest, this between Trenton City Councilman Steven Rzeppa and Brownstown Twp Clerk Sherry Berecz in a four-candidate Dem primary to try to flip the seat away from the Republicans in November. GOP incumbent Pat Somerville is term-limited. Go with Rzeppa.
24th: Macomb Co. Commissioner Steve Marino will win the Republican primary and try to hold the seat for the GOP in November against a stiff Democratic challenge. Incumbent Republican Anthony Forlini is term-limited.
26th: No contest here on either side of the ballot, but Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison will hold the seat for the Democrats in November with the departure of the term-limited incumbent.
28th: Insurance executive Patrick Green, who is also a Warren city councilman, should win the Democratic primary to succeed fellow Dem Derek Miller, who resigned the seat early this year when he was named Macomb Co. Treasurer. Green will win the general in November.
30th: Diana Farrington, wife of the term-limited incumbent, faces more competition in the GOP primary than political observers might think, but she should survive. Michael R. Notte, son of the late Shelby Twp supervisor, will win the Dem primary, setting up a contentious 11/8 showdown.
31st: Clinton Twp Treasurer William Sowerby will win the Dem primary in the race to succeed the termed-out incumbent, Marilyn Lane, in a heavily Democratic district.
32nd: Pam Hornberger, treasurer of the L’Anse Creuse school board, is a narrow favorite to win the GOP primary against three estimable males. She’s been endorsed by the term-limited incumbent, Andrea LaFontaine.
33rd: Jeff Yaroch, a Richmond city councilman, is in a six-way dogfight for the Republican nomination. He should win it and hold on to the seat for the GOP in November.
46th: Lake Orion accountant Joe Kent should win the GOP nomination to succeed the term-limited GOP incumbent.
50th: Longtime legislative aide Tim Sneller, a Democrat from Burton, will be the next state representative.
52nd: Another nail-biter between Ann Arbor school board member Donna Lasinski and Washtenaw Co. Road Commissioner Barb Fuller for the Democratic nomination. Give Lasinski the edge.
53rd: Yousef Rabhi will be the next Democratic state representative from this Ann Arbor enclave, succeeding the term-limited incumbent.
54th: Washtenaw Co Commissioner Ronnie Peterson should win a six-way Dem primary and go on to be elected the next state representative.
57th: Bronna Kahle, former director of the Adrian senior center, should win the Republican primary, but she’ll have a battle on her hands in November against the Democratic nominee. Incumbent Republican Nancy Jenkins is term-limited.
64th: Perhaps the most intense three-way Republican primary in the state. We’ll call it for Jackson Co. Commissioner Julie Alexander over former lobbyist John Griffin and Phil Tripp, owner of a string of auto repair shops. This seat was once marginal, but the GOP nominee should hold on to it in November after the term-limited incumbent departs.
66th: Former Van Buren Co. Commissioner Beth Griffin should win her Republican primary and hold on to the seat for the GOP after House Majority Floor leader Aric Nesbitt is forced out by term limits.
70th: Veteran legislative aide James Lower, a former Edmore village manager, should win the GOP primary and attempt to retain the seat for his party following the departure of the term-limited incumbent.
72nd: The Michigan Freedom Network has endorsed public school teacher Ryan Gallogly of Byron Center, but we’ll go with Tony Noto, a restaurant owner-operator and retired education for the Republican nomination to succeed the term-limited incumbent. Military veteran Steve Johnson of Wayland is also in the mix in this heavily GOP district.
77th: Wyoming restaurateur Tommy Brann will win his GOP primary and retain the seat for his party with the departure of the term-limited incumbent.
79th: A four-way GOP primary that’s really between two candidates — real estate broker Ryan Arnt of St. Joseph and Kim LaSata, wife of a former state rep who is now a sitting Berrien Co. circuit judge. Arnt has been endorsed by the outgoing incumbent, Al Pscholka, and Arnt should prevail.
83rd: Can another Muxlow make it to the state House? It seems so — look for Matt Muxlow of Brown City, son of the term-limited incumbent, to win his primary and the seat in November.
85th: Owosso Mayor Ben Frederick should win his GOP primary. Shiawassee Twp Supervisor Anthony Karhoff should win the Democratic primary. That sets up an 11/8 showdown in a marginal district now held by a term-limited Republican.
86th. A lot of talent in this five-candidate GOP field to succeed term-limited Lisa Posthumus Lyons. It will probably boil down to Belding attorney Katherine Henry, who has geography working against her, or Thomas Albert of Grattan Township, an investor with state government’s retirement system. The 86th will stay Republican in November.
87th: No Republican primary for Ionia Co. Commissioner Julie Calley, wife of the Lieutenant Governor, and she’ll win the seat in November to succeed the term-limited incumbent.
89th: Commercial banker Jim Lilly of Park Twp should win this contentious GOP primary to succeed the term-limited incumbent in a heavily Republican West Michigan district.
90th. Donald Trump might be surprised that his newly adopted party, the GOP, features a primary match-up between two Hispanic-Americans. The incumbent, Daniela Garcia, the first Republican chicana ever to serve in the state House, will hold off challenger Orlando Estrada and win re-election in November in the second-strongest GOP House district in the state.
92nd: Muskegon Co. Board of Commissioners Chairman Terry Sabo of Muskegon should win the Democratic primary for the very strong chance he’ll succeed the term-limited Dem incumbent.
96th: A spirited race between attorney Brian Elder, a former Bay Co. commissioner, and current commissioner Don Tilley for the Democratic nomination to succeed term-limited Democrat Charles Brunner. Give Elder the edge, and he’ll hold the seats for the Democrats in November.
97th: Gladwin Mayor Tom Winarski is the favorite to win the five-way GOP primary to succeed term-limited Republican Joel Johnson.
99th: Union Twp. Trustee Brian Hauck should win his GOP primary, but then he’ll face a stiff challenge from the Democratic nominee, Brian Mielke, in November. The winner will succeed term-limited Speaker Kevin Cotter.
100th: Scott Van Singel of Grant, nephew of a former House Republican floor leader, will win his GOP primary and go on to election in November
101st: Mason Co. Commissioner Curt VanderWall should win his GOP primary, but how will he fare against the Democratic nominee, former Rep. Dan Scripps, in November? They’ll be vying to succeed still another term-limited Republican incumbent.
102nd. Fascinating four-candidate race for GOP nomination that appears to be a jump-ball. Give the edge to school psychologist Dr. Ormand G. Hook over Manton Mayor Michele Hoitenga and Morris Langworthy, Jr., who came close to beating the term-limited incumbent, Republican Phil Potvin, six years ago.
103rd: Daire Rendon, wife of the term-limited incumbent, should win the primary and go on to victory in November.
104th: Incumbent Republican Larry C. Inman of Traverse City faces a stiff challenge from conservative activist Jason Gillman, whose father was a longtime TC city councilman. Inman should survive, but it may be uncomfortably close.
106th: Two more hot races, on both sides of the ticket. On the Republican side, give Cheboygan Co. Commissioner Sue Allor the edge over two of her competitors, Congressional aide Jesse Osmer and Jackie Krawczak, president of the Alpena Chamber of Commerce. On the Democratic side, don’t underestimate former teacher Robert Kennedy, but downstate Democrats hope Erin Kieliszewski, wife of the Alpena Co. sheriff, will be their party’s nominee.
107th: Incumbent Republican Lee Chatfield should fend off his GOP primary challenge from Kathy Twardy, a Sault Ste. Marie city commissioner.
108th: Darryl Shann of Bark River, a retired area law supervisor for the DNR, may be the strongest Republican nominee his party could offer in November, but even if he wins his three-way GOP primary he’ll be the underdog against Democrat Scott Celello, the Dickinson Co. sheriff, who should flip the seat to the Dems after the departure of term-limited Republican Ed McBroom.
Daniel Downing says
No guess on the 17th?
Not until the general election …
Many kudos to you, Bill Ballenger, on the succinct breakdowns and prognostications. A more ideal “Spark Notes” crib sheet for August 2 does not exist elsewhere.