Local Election Highlights Include Marijuana Losses, Ranked Choice Voting

The local races reflected a number of statewide and national trends in politics.

Voters in many communities across Michigan went to the polls on Tuesday.

Incumbents in a number of communities held on to their seats, including embattled Warren Mayor Jim Fouts and a slate of incumbents in Royal Oak that faced challengers in heated races over controversial development in that city.

Meanwhile, proposals seeking to allow and regulate marijuana businesses in several communities across Michigan went down in defeat.

In Eastpointe, voters in that community experienced their first election using a ranked-choice voting system. People were asked to rank their top four choices for city council positions. Eastpointe also elected its first black mayor in a race that did not include ranked-choice voting.

Detroit Free Press staff writer Christina Hall and Matt Grossmann, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) and associate professor of political science at Michigan State University, join Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to analyze the various election results.

On incumbents defending their seats, Grossmann didn’t identify any clear overall trends of freshman upheaval or officials preserving their power. A broad movement Grossmann did observe was the power of the suburban voter, stating, “We did see some of the national trends of suburbanization helping Democrats.”

Christina Hall closely followed the election of incumbent Warren Mayor, Jim Fouts. She says the controversial mayor maintained support through his accessible brand of politics. Hall says, “Despite the controversies he continues to get attention.”

In Mayor Fouts’ case, attention translated to votes. Hall believes this was in no small part due to the new absentee voting guidelines that were put in place for this election.

Regarding the rejection of proposals to green-light marijuana businesses in various communities, Grossmann and Hall assert that even those who support recreational use may not be comfortable with it in their own backyard. Grossmann says to stay tuned to other areas where the proposals passed and will soon go into effect, predicting this may change public sentiment.

Click the player above for more in-depth analysis of Tuesday’s election results.


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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.