This month’s elections were relatively low-key, but they still point to some trends that will impact our state next year in the presidential election. Zach Gorchow, executive editor and publisher for Gongwer News Service, discusses the key takeaways with Cheyna Roth on the latest episode of MichMash.
Subscribe to MichMash on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR.org or wherever you get your podcasts.
In this episode:
- Two mayoral race wins by members of the Michigan House reduced the Democrats’ two-member majority in the chamber to a 54-54 tie
- Voters reject proposals for legal marijuana dispensaries
- The latest in the state’s abortion law
One of the most notable results from Michigan’s latest election was the Democrats losing their historic majority in the state House. Michigan Democrats secured the majority in both the state Senate and state House in 2022, which allowed for a trifecta of governmental power — including the governorship — which the state has not seen since 1983.
Now Michigan is making history again, as 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 Nov. 7, reducing the Democrats’ paper-thin two-member majority in the House to a 54-54 tie and marking the first time in three decades that neither party have a majority.
“Once those two [Stone and Coleman] resign their seats next week they [Democrats] will be without their majority until an unknown date,” Gorchow said. “We’re waiting on Gov. Whitmer to formally call a special election.”
The Democrats were aware of the representatives’ desire to run for mayor in their respective hometowns, so it wasn’t a total surprise and the party members planned accordingly, he said.
“One thing that I think factored into their decision in the legislature to adjourn earlier for the year than any time in memory — they are going to formerly adjourn for the year, Tuesday Nov. 14, meaning there will be no more session days — was the fact that they could be without a majority in the house and unable to do anything without any Republican votes, so I think they basically said let’s just call it good for the year.”
After the legislature reconvenes in January, Gorchow says he suspects them to focus on committee activity — where Democrats will still retain their majority — but likely won’t be passing many bills on the house floor.
More from MichMash: