It’s been a hectic election season and perhaps an even more hectic Election Day – or should we say week. Between the lawsuits, the onslaught of tweets, and the grueling wait times, the 2020 election has become both confusing and slightly burdensome. That’s why we’ve stripped away the excess, offering an assessment of a few of the region’s most notable contests.
Gary Peters hangs on for a second term in the senate
Despite a gloomy outlook for Sen. Gary Peters (D) on election night, the incumbent senator pulled ahead yesterday, defending his U.S senate seat against Detroit businessman John James (R).
Combined with Michigan’s decision to count mail-in ballots after those cast in-person, much of Wednesday’s red mirage can be attributed to the lopsided quantities of conservative and liberal voters among the two methods. Still, a 1.5 percent margin (with 98 percent of votes counted) is slim for an incumbent facing up against a political newcomer.
Unfortunately for James, an almost-win is still a loss, and this is his second in a row. (His first was against Debbie Stabenow in 2018.) This uninspiring resume is sure to discourage would-be campaign donors, dulling the once-bright future of his political career.
The oval office is still up for grabs
A similar phenomenon could be observed in the state’s presidential race. Michigan leaned red throughout election night, with President Donald Trump leading by as much as 13 points. It wasn’t until yesterday morning that the state flipped.
The race held painfully tight until last night, when former Vice President Joe Biden claimed Michigan’s 16 electoral votes by nearly 3 percent, with 99 percent of votes counted.
Wisconsin has since been called for Biden as well, bringing the democratic candidate’s electoral total to 264 — just six votes shy of the magic number. Nevertheless, any celebration or lamentation would be premature. With the president carrying a sturdy 214 electoral votes and five states — Alaska, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, and Pennsylvania — still dragging their feet, it remains anybody’s game.
House Reps Haley Stevens and Elissa Slotkin both stave off challengers
Unsurprisingly, Rep. Haley Stevens (D) of Michigan’s 11th congressional district and Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D) of the 8th district faced similarly troubling outlooks when counting began. But like their senate and presidential counterparts, the two democrats made a comeback. Slotkin eventually outpaced Republican challenger Paul Junge by 4 percent, following a contentious run along the campaign trail. Likewise, Stevens defeated attorney and Republican newcomer Eric Esshaki by 2 percent.
Dave Coulter’s election as Oakland County Executive makes history
Oakland County residents have elected to continue the tenure of Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter (D), who was appointed to serve just five months in the seat, after his predecessor, Brooks L. Patterson, passed away mid-term.
Coulter’s 11-point win over Republican challenger Mike Kowall makes him the first Democrat ever elected to the position of Oakland County’s top official. It wasn’t the earliest first in his political career. During his nine years governing the city of Ferndale, Coulter became the first mayor in Michigan to perform same-sex marriages.
Both of Michigan’s proposals get a strong “yes” from voters
Michigan’s 84 percent approval of proposal 1 will remove the $500 million limit on the amount of oil and gas royalties from state-owned land that can be allocated to the state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund. Capital from the fund is distributed among local governments, for the purchase of land for public use.
The second proposal, which was approved by a margin of 78 percent, extends the current requirement that law enforcement obtain a warrant in order to access electronic data and communications.