LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Two Michigan House districts will hold special election primaries on Tuesday to fill seats that were held by Democrats whose departures have left the legislative chamber in an even split since November.
Six candidates are running in each of the Detroit-area districts. Both the 13th and 25th districts have historically voted Democratic and the candidate who secures the Democratic nomination is expected to be the frontrunner in the April 16 general election.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has endorsed fellow Democrats Mai Xiong in the 13th District and Andrea Rutkowski in the 25th.
The seats were vacated in November after Democratic state Reps. Lori Stone and Kevin Coleman won mayoral races in their hometowns. That eliminated the Democrats’ two-seat majority in the state House and put the chamber in a 54-54 deadlock.
The House deadlock follows a year in which Democrats pushed through a number of key pieces of legislation after flipping both chambers in the Legislature while holding onto the governor’s office in last year’s midterms.
There has been minimal voting activity in the Legislature since the 2024 session began on Jan. 10.
The April winner in each district will serve the remainder of the term, through the end of this year. The entire Michigan House will be up for election in November’s general election.
In addition to Xiong, who is a Macomb County commissioner, Suzanne Ostosh and former state Rep. LaMar Lemmons III are running in the 13th District’s Democratic primary. Curtiss Ostosh, Brandon Cumbee and Ronald Singer are competing for the Republican nomination.
In the 25th District, Melandie Hines, Layla Taha, Peter Herzberg and Shannon Rochon will compete for the Democratic nomination against Rutkowski, who received Whitmer’s endorsement and is a Westland City Council member. Josh Powell is the lone Republican running in the district.
Story by Joey Cappelletti, Associated Press