State Senate - District 32
Republican Candidates – Roger Kahn (Saginaw)
Democrat Candidates – Dave Adams (St Charles), Aaron Dodak (Burt), Carl Williams (Saginaw)
Current Rep – Mike Goschka (R-Brant)
Mike Goschka – 54.62%
Mike Hanley – 45.38%
Kerry – 51.79%
Bush – 47.41%
Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Tossup
Saginaw and Gratiot Counties
This is going to be one of the GOP’s toughest defenses. Mike Goschka did the impossible and win Saginaw area districts for the GOP. He upset a then speaker of the house, Lew Dodak, and then moved on to the State Senate later. Much of the county is more Republican now than it used to be. Two of the three districts covering Saginaw County are now held by Republicans, as well as Goschka’s state senate district. Saginaw County is not as democrat as its reputation. The City of Saginaw is another matter.
That said, there is still a union and democrat leaning to Saginaw County, recently hovering at 53-54% Democrat at the top of the ticket. Neighboring Gratiot County is solidly Republican, but accounts for less than 1/5 of the voters. Saginaw is where this election is decided. In Saginaw County, the democrats off the bat have a 17,000 vote spread (Presidential years) that the GOP needs to make up due to a three-headed monster. The City of Saginaw, Buena Vista Township, and Bridgeport Townships are 74.02%, 82.49%, and 61.93% democrat. They give the county the democrat leaning. Bridgeport and Buena Vista are small areas, but their one sidedness makes them significant. Saginaw has about ¼ of the county’s population.
The suburban and rural areas lean republican. Saginaw Township has more voters than the City, and leans Republican, although not overwhelmingly so. Frankenmuth (and Blumfield Twp just North of there) is small, but 70-75% Republican. In order for the Republicans to win this district, they need to win the rural and suburban areas big, cut down on the losses in Saginaw itself, and win Gratiot County big. It’s tough, but Goschka did it twice here.
There is no GOP primary as Roger Kahn is unopposed. He is a one-term state rep in a slightly Republican district covering Eastern Saginaw County outside of the City itself. He is also a long time county commissioner and a doctor.
On the democrat side, there’s a three way race here between Dave Adams, Carl Williams, and Aaron Dodak. Carl Williams is a state rep from the City of Saginaw. Aaron Dodak is Lew Dodak’s son and a GM engineer. Dave Adams is a teacher. This is a pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment district. I do not know where Dodak or Adams is on those issues, but Williams is a left-winger in a more social conservative district. The primary will be interesting and if the gun issue or life issue is neutralized, advantage democrats. If not, advantage Kahn, who ran about 3% ahead of Bush in his state rep district – just enough to win this district.