For the first time in 16 years, voters in Warren and Westland have a new mayor-elect, and that’s creating a partisan problem in the Michigan legislature.
Two Democratic members of the Michigan House of Representatives — Rep. Kevin Coleman (D-Westland) and Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren), won their respective mayoral races on Tuesday, reducing the Democrats’ paper-thin two-member majority in the House to a 54-54 tie.
Stone, the first woman to ever hold the top job in the city’s government, defeated Warren Human Resources manager George Dimas — one of several unsuccessful candidates endorsed by long-time mayor Jim Fouts.
Fouts is currently awaiting a ruling on a lawsuit challenging new term limits in the city, which he claims unfairly kept him off this year’s ballot.
In Westland, Coleman won with 59% of the vote over interim Mayor Michael Londeau.
Both Stone and Coleman must take office within a few weeks, leaving the chamber in a partisan deadlock until Gov. Gretchen Whitmer schedules special primary and general elections to fill the seats.