By AJ Trager
While many candidates endorsed by BTL in Michigan were defeated Nov. 4 others celebrated huge victories.
The Michigan Democratic Party saw the victory of two openly gay candidates elected to the Michigan House of Representatives: John Hoadley of the 60th District, representing Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo Township and Jeremy Moss of the 35th District, representing Southfield. These two candidates fought hard and will join the Republican held House and push for an amendment of Elliott-Larsen, the state’s civil rights act, to include further LGBT inclusions.
Another win for the Democrats was U.S. Senator elect Gary Peters, who beat Republican candidate Terri Lynn Land According to the Detroit Free Press, Peters received 409,800 votes more than Land who, following the announcement of defeat, did not offer a concession speech.
Michigan incumbent candidates Gov. Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson all saw re-election results last night. Gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder beat Mark Schauer by just 128,500 votes to receive 51 percent of the vote. Bill Schuette defeated candidate Mark Totten with 52 percent of the vote, by roughly 241,900 votes.
Richard Bernstein will join incumbent Justice Brian Zahra in the Michigan Supreme Court and will fairly represent the needs of all people, especially those with disabilities and the LGBT community.
However, the Michigan LGBT community saw a big defeat when Gary Glenn, the Republican candidate for the Michigan House seat in the 98th District, won over Joan Brausch by 3,068 votes, according to MLive.
The Michigan Senate Senate remains in GOP control with a 27-11 split, with Republicans picking up one more seat.
The Michigan U.S. House of Representatives remains in GOP control with a 9-5 split in the state’s representation. Democratic incumbent Dan Kildee remains in his 5th District seat and Democrat Sandi Levin, serving the Michigan U.S. House in the 9th District since 1983, remains in his seat.
Candidate for the U.S. 11th House District Bobby McKenzie lost to candidate David Trott, who will take over for Kerry Bentivolio (R) who was voted out of the race during the August Republican primary.
Debbie Dingell will take over for her husband John Dingell, who served the House for over 58 years in the 12th Congressional seat, representing Detroit’s western suburbs and Ann Arbor.
Democratic nominee John Conyers takes the 13th Congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. And current Mayor of Southfield, Brenda Lawrence, beat her Republican candidate with a soaring 78 percent of the vote to take the seat in the 14th Congressional District.
Highly endorsed candidate for the Michigan State University Trustees, George Perles, won a seat as did Republican candidate Melanie Foster, who beat out Democratic nominee Faylene Owen.
BTL endorsed candidates for Wayne State University Governors Marilyn Kelly and Dana Thompson both took a seat in the upcoming 8-year term.
University of Michigan Regent candidates Mike Behm and Katherine White will both take a spot in their 8-year term elected seat. And BTL endorsed candidate for State Board of Education, Cassandra Ulbrich, will join Democrat Pamela Smith in their newly elected term.
The two Michigan proposals to prohibit wolf hunting were both widely cast down, with the majority of voters choosing to allow a stop to the hunt. But the Detroit Free Press says that this is just the beginning of the debate since a third law was passed to allow a hunt to continue. However, the “no” vote does send a message to the anti-wolf hunt advocates that there is fuel for a possible lawsuit down the road.
Nationally, the Republican party won the majority in the U.S. Senate.
But what does this mean for the future of Michigan and national politics? What does this mean for the progression of ENDA, the amendment to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act or even the next steps in the race for Marriage Equality in Michigan?
What does Michigan’s LGBT community predict the biggest hurdles in the state will be over the next two years until the next election cycle?
Will the Michigan House and Senate be able to pass an amendment to the Elliott-Larsen act during the lame-duck session between now and January, without heavy religious exemptions and with trans inclusions?
Getting Out The Vote?
Michigan’s population is ranked ninth in the country, with just shy of 10 million people inhabiting the mitten state.
Going by the number of voters for Governor’s race, only 31 percent of Michigan residents came out to vote in the 2014 midterm election, roughly 3,137,887 people. That is hardly a comprehensive representation of Michigan; yet, just like many other midterm election years, those that do not vote have allowed those that do more power, especially in electing candidates such as Gary Glenn.
In two years, the state will once again be at the polls. It will determine not only who our next state elected officials will be, but also the next President of the United States. While that election statistically garners more voter turn out, the numbers are still not representative of the entire state population.