Tuesday’s primary elections saw many incumbents winning re-nomination to the state House and Congress. It was also a night of a few big surprises. A couple of Republicans who call themselves political “outsiders” upset more establishment candidates with more legislative experience. Is this a sign that the November election will be a referendum on so-called “career politicians?”
Businessman Paul Mitchell won the Republican primary against state Sen. Phil Pavlov to replace outgoing congresswoman Candice Miller, Congressman John Conyers won against Wayne County Clerk Janice Winfrey in the Democratic primary in Detroit, and Republican and former military general Jack Bergman defeated establishment competitors in Michigan’s 1st District. Bergman will face Democrat Lon Johnson, the former chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, in November.
“It’s one of those cases where Democratic prospects seem to have improved slightly,” says Michigan Public Radio Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta. He says Michigan’s 1st District is a race to watch this November. The Upper Peninsula has a lot of blue-collar workers and voters, which can benefit Democrats.
“The Trump campaign and Republicans are hoping to make a play for ‘Reagan Democrats,’” and Pluta says that could make it tough for Democrat Lon Johnson.
To hear more of Pluta’s analysis on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.