In 2010 the Red Tide engulfed Michigan. As a result, Democrats lost control of the state house. This diary provides a viewing guide for election night. For more details about some of the races, you can look back to my previous diaries. I will provide a little more context for the races I did not discuss previously.
I apologize for any typos in advance. I have been busy and haven't had time to edit the diary.
Republican: Pat Somerville (incumbent)
Democrat: Tom Boritzki
Democrats thought they had a top recruit when Boritzki decided to run. This district is a union-heavy, Downriver district. When you see Tom Boritzki, you can tell he fits the district. In addition, he is the former Mayor of Trenton, a new addition to Somerville’s district. Unfortunately, it appears that this race may fall into Republicans hands. Democrats use to be favored to win districts like this, but it appears that this part of Michigan is trending Republican. It is possible that Boritzki pulls off a surprise though.
Rating: Lean Republican
Republican: Sean Clark
Democrat: Henry Yanez
I profiled this race before. Democrats must successfully defend this seat if they hope to regain control of the house. The DLCC included this race as one of their top 50 legislative races nationally. It could go either way tonight.
Republican: Klint Kesto
Democrat: Pam Jackson
I also profiled this race before. This is Lisa Brown’s seat. At one point Democrats did not believe that this race would be competitive. Jackson clawed her way back into contention.
Rating: Toss-Up/Tilt Republican
Republican: Mark Ouimet (incumbent)
Democrat: Gretchen Driskell
This western Washtenaw district has become a referendum on the Snyder agenda. In 2010, many Democrats voted for Mark Ouimet because he compiled a moderate voting record as a county commissioner. This background helped him win a district that included parts the city of Ann Arbor! Republicans made his district safer by removing those parts of Ann Arbor. Gretchen Driskell is a great candidate though. She is the long-time Mayor of Saline. Saline is a Republican-leaning city, but Driskell should perform well there. The big question is whether Driskell can do well enough in the population centers to counteract losses in the more rural townships.
Republican: Owen Diaz
Democrat: Adam Zemke
Republicans gave Democrats this seat to save Ouimet. The Republican incumbent, Rick Olson, decided to just not run. It is about a 65% Democratic district.
Rating: Safe Dem (Democrat Pick-Up)
Republican: Nancy Jenkins (incumbent)
Democrat: Jim Berryman
I profiled this race before in my previous diaries. Jim Berryman has been around this district for a long time. He was the Mayor of Adrian in the 1980s, and a State Senator in the 1990s. He has run a good campaign, and this race should be close.
Republican: Jase Bolger (incumbent, Speaker of the House)
Democrat: Bill Farmer
I never expected this to be competitive, but it has become a race. Bill Farmer was supposed to be a sacrificial lamb. Then the Roy Schmidt scandal broke (see here). The Democratic Party spent a lot of money publicizing Speakers Bolger’s role in the scandal. That investment seems to have paid off. Now it looks like Democrats could win this R+5 district.
Republican: Deb Deb Shaughnessy (incumbent)
Democrat: Theresa Abed
Abed was not the Democrat’s preferred choice in the primary. She worked her tail off though to win it. Now she is working hard to win the general election. Can that work neutralize the red lean of the district?
Rating: Lean Republican
Republican: Roy Schmidt (incumbent, former Democrat)
Democrat: Winnie Brinks
If the scandal put Bolger in hot water, you better bet it ended Roy Schmidt’s chances at re-election. Everything I have heard says that this race is over.
Rating: Safe Dem
Republican: Dan Grimshaw
Democrat: Terry Brown
I profiled this before. Kurt Damrow barely beat Brown in 2010. Then Damrow went on to have a scandal plagued first term. It was so bad that he lost the Republican primary. Grimshaw won’t save the Republicans though. Terry Brown is just so ridiculously popular despite being a Democrat in a red district. The question of the night will not be if Brown wins. The main question is by how much Brown will out-perform Obama.
Rating: Likely Dem
Republican: Holly Hughes (incumbent)
Democrat: Collene Lamonte
This race will be close. Democrats controlled this seat before 2010. It is a 56.4% Obama district. It should be very winnable, but taking down an incumbent is always hard. Collene Lamonte a teacher, and has hit Hughes hard over the billion dollar education cuts.
Republican: Ray Franz (incumbent)
Democrat: Allen O’Shea
Allen O’shea managed to barely escape an intense primary with tribal chairman Derek Bailey. Now he is locked in a tough race with Ray Franz. It is an interesting race that pins a wind power advocate (O’shea) against a skeptic. This district is on the lake, so being pro-wind farms should help O’Shea
Republican: Bruce Rendon (incumbent)
Democrat: Lon Johnson
This seat shouldn't be close. Republicans should have dominated this seat. Lon Johnson has run a great campaign, but it might not be enough to overcome the red hue of the district. For those that don’t know Mr. Johnson, he is a former Al Gore fundraiser and the husband of OFA Deputy Campaign Manager Julianna Smoot.
Rating: Likely Republican
Republican: Peter Petallia (incumbent)
Democrat: Ken Hubbard
This seat got greener after redistricting. Hubbard looks like a great candidate on paper, but he under-performed a little in the primary. He has stepped up his game since, and seems to have made this race competitive.
Rating: Toss-up/Tilt Republican
Republican: Ed McBroom (incumbent)
Democrat: Sharon Gray
Sharon Gary emerged from a tough primary with former State Rep Judy Nerat. Now she faces Ed McBroom. Sharon has the tough task of convincing people to vote for her because of policy even though they personally like McBroom.
Rating: Lean Republican
Republican: Matt Huuki (incumbent)
Democrat: Scott Dianda
This 2010 rematch is one of the closest in the state. The district is similar to the 108 in terms of base Democratic performance. The biggest difference is that people don’t really like Huuki as a person.