2006 State Representative Elections – Sneak Preview – Pt 1
On to the state rep districts. 58 out of the 110 districts are Republican held. Control of the State House is in play. State Representatives are limited to three two year terms, so term limits are a major factor.
District 1 – Part of Detroit, Harper Woods, all of the Grosse Pointes – Wayne County - Currently Republican.
Incumbent Rep. Ed Gaffney won his last race with 57.03%. John Kerry however carried this district with 52.69%. The Pointes are all republican, but Harper Woods votes democrat statewide and sometimes votes republican for state representative races. Detroit is the major pull here for the democrats. If Detroiters turn out in mass, this seat is winnable for the democrats. Gaffney has one term left in 2006 and should win again, but the Pointes are not as Republican as it used to be. John Kerry carried Grosse Pointe Park. However, I do not see the Pointes voting for a Detroit democrat. Gaffney should win again, but 2008 will be a major battle here.
District 19 – Most of Livonia – Wayne County – Currently Republican
Incumbent Rep. John Pastor had a tough race in 2004 against Democrat Joan Gebhardt winning with 53.13%, lower than President Bush’s 54.76% of the vote. In 2002’s open seat race, Pastor won by 10,000 votes so this is a cause for concern. I would not be surprised if the democrats compete hard for Livonia in 2004, especially if the demographics start to change there as they have been in Redford and Westland.
District 21 – Belleville City, Van Buren Twp, most of Canton Twp – Wayne County - Currently Republican
Incumbent Rep Phil LaJoy won re-election in 2004 with 57.68% of the vote, but John Kerry carried this district with 49.11% so this can be a competitive district. Canton leans slightly Republican (about 52%) and has 80% of the voters, but Belleville and Van Buren Twp both are both about 56% democrat. I expect LaJoy to win again, but there could be a major battle in 2008.
District 23 – Brownstown Township, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Huron Township, Rockwood, Sumpter Township, Woodhaven – Wayne County - Currently Democrat
Incumbent Kathleen Law won re-election with 55.56% of the vote, and John Kerry narrowly carried this district with 51.13% of the vote. Law had a very tough open seat race in 2002 winning by only 259 votes. Grosse Ile is much more Republican than the other areas are Democrat, so there is always a “puncher’s chance” with a high turnout there. Huron Township and Gibraltar swing, although Law is from Gibraltar so it leans democrat in this state rep district. Woodhaven is marginally democrat. Flat Rock, Rockwood, Sumpter, and Brownstown townships are solid democrat. Law will likely win again, but I expect a major battle here in 2008 as downriver is not as democrat as it used to be. A populist pro-2a Republican can win here.
District 24 – St. Clair Shores, Lake Twp, Harrison Twp – Macomb County – Currently Republican
Incumbent Rep. Jack Brandenberg had a major open seat win here in this formerly democrat held district in 2002, and he won re-election with 62.70% of the vote. President Bush carried this district with 49.93% of the vote in this swing area. St Clair Shores is a swing city that went for Gore, Posthumus, and Kerry all narrowly. It has ¾ of the voters. Harrison Township and Lake Township lean Republican and usually makes the difference. I expect a major battle here in 2008.
District 25 – North Warren and Southern Sterling Heights – Macomb County – Currently Democrat
This is almost a reverse of the Brandenberg district. Incumbent Rep. Steve Bieda had a major open seat win over a formerly GOP seat in 2002, and won re-election with 61.05% of the vote. While Warren is a Democrat city, and Sterling Heights a Republican leaning city, Northern Warren is more Republican than the rest of the city, and Southern Sterling Heights is more democrat than the rest of the city. John Kerry carried this district narrowly, with 51.22% of the vote. I believe Posthumus won the district in 02 however. I expect Bieda to win, and then a major fight in 2008.
District 26 – Royal Oak and Madison Heights – Oakland County – Currently Democrat
The Republicans almost stole an open seat here in 04 despite John Kerry’s 54.67% in this district. Democrat Marie Donigan defeated Carlo Ginotti with 50.75%. This was Democrat David Woodward’s district before term limits. Royal Oak leans slightly democrat, and Madison Heights more strongly so, however it is not impossible to win there with a culturally moderate candidate.