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Dems Win House, 56-54

November 15, 2022

Article by MIRS News for SBAM’s Lansing Watchdog e-newsletter

House Democrats have won control of the House, 56-54, after Rep. Nate Shannon (D-Sterling Heights) held off a challenge from Michelle Smith, Democrats won in the 61st District with Denise Mentze,r and Jamie Thompson won for the Republicans in HD-28.

The 2022 election marks the first time since the 2009 election that House Democrats have taken majority.

Since 1994, the Republicans have taken the House majority 12 out of the 15 midterm elections, in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2004 and every year since 2010. 

Democrats won the majority in 1996, 2006 and 2008. 

Ahead of Tuesday night, Republicans were presumed to have easy wins in 42 House seats, and have taken an additional 12 thus far. 

43. District 42. This 46% Democratic district pitted Democrat Justin Mendozaagainst future Republican leader Matt Hall (R-Comstock Township), with Hall winning by 53.5% in Allegan and 53.67% in Kalamazoo County. 

In Kalamazoo, Hall earned 19,708 votes, while Mendoza received 15,741. In Allegan, Hall received 3,875 votes to trump Mendoza’s 3,355. 

 Though Mendoza outraised Hall $37,007 to $31,705 this period, Hall outraised his opponent $278,697 to $65,565 overall. 

Republican PAC Building a Better Economy spent $328,688 in Grand Rapids and Traverse City media market ad buys that may have helped put Hall over the edge. The Michigan Chamber also placed ads in Hall’s favor, and his spending started as early as June, while Mendoza didn’t have any recorded ad buys during the cycle. 

44. District 55. Rep. Mark Tisdel (R-Rochester Hills) beat out Democrat Patricia Bernardin an Oakland County district that leans 46.60% Democratic. 

Across 39 precincts, Tisdel received 51.77% of the vote with 23,210 votes. Bernard got 21,610 votes for 48.18%. 

Tisdel was outspent in district ad buys by Bernard, who purchased $141,532 in ads in partnership with the House Democratic Fund, with an additional $272,130 from Democratic PAC’s. 

Tisdel purchased $394,804 with the help of the HRCC, who spent $9,012 on desktop and mobile ads of their own. 

45. District 54. Republican Donni Steele beat out Democrat Shadia Martini with 51.1% of the vote in Oakland County. 

Steele received 22,959 votes across 36 precincts, while Martini earned 21,913 for 48.78%. 

Martini’s campaign spent $99,988 in partnership with the House Democratic Fund. Two Democratic campaign committees spent even more, with a combined $224,188. 

But Steele put $370,799 in ads in partnership with the House Republican Campaign Committee and $32,400 through her campaign.

Total ad spending on her behalf was $413,054, while Martini had $350,047 in ad dollars. 

46. District 96. Over on the east side of the state, Rep. Timothy Beson (R-Kawkawlin) won reelection with 55.2% in Bay County. 

He received 23,372 votes, while his opponent, Democrat Kim Coonan, earned 18,880 for 44.6% of the county. 

The win for Beson follows his spending the $381,225 raised this cycle to get on Flint TV since Sept. 20. During the third week in October, he had $106,052 on Flint TV by itself.

Coonan worked on spending the $91,564 he raised on mail and some radio. 

47. District 86. Republican Nancy DeBoer used the $188,930 she raised this period and $246,804 overall to assist her with a win in the Holland-area district by around 60%. 

She worked with HRCC to get $80,705 on TV with more, still, for radio. 

Her opponent, Democrat Larry Jackson, reported $24,822 this quarter and $56,608 in total, with $8,000 on a consultant his biggest campaign expense. 

48. District 46. After Maurice Imhoff faced accusations of threatening to blow up a school and pressuring girlfriends to send him nudes as a teenager, his $143,980 in campaign contributions dried up, and he lost the race to Republican opponent Kathy Schmaltz, who raised $161,929 this period. 

Schmaltz defeated Imhoff 54% to 46%. While Washtenaw County recorded Imhoff up 900 votes, Schmaltz got 3,500 votes more out of Jackson County to seal her win. 

In Jackson, Schmaltz earned 14,675 votes in 29 precincts, while Imhoff received 11,036. 

Much of Imhoff’s money came from ActBlue contributions across the country. 

Though ad spending for Imhoff continued as late as Nov. 1, the numbers shrank from over $20,000 in early October to $435 in November from the Forward Majority Action Michigan PAC. 

Schmaltz didn’t start spending on ads until Oct. 11, but the HRCC placed several $10,000 ad buys in the Lansing media market. 

49. District 29. Rep. Alex Garza (D-Taylor) lost in a close race to Republican opponent Jim DeSana, who he outraised $101,215 to $67,870.

In Wayne County, Garza received 51.71% with 13,470 votes, while DeSana earned 12,510 votes and 48.02% across 26 precincts. 

But as of 4 a.m. Garza had only received approximately 3,000 votes in Monroe County, while DeSana got 4,900. 

Republicans and DeSana outspent Democrats starting in mid-September and have spent a total $210,548, alternating between big spends and smaller numbers.  

Garza and friends spent $128,771 in ads this election cycle concentrated in the Detroit market.

50. District 68. Rep. David Martin (R-Davison) won reelection to a second term over Democratic opponent Cheri Hardmon, 55%-45%. 

The incumbent won both Oakland and Genesee County portions of the district.  

In Oakland, Martin was reported to have received 2,016 votes, while Hardmon earned 981.

Though Democrat Hardmon reported raising $12,750 this quarter, Martin greatly outraised her with $205,478. 

Ad spending also mirrors campaign fundraising, with the House Republican Campaign Committee placing $405,173 in ads in partnership with Martin, along with an additional $200,443 placed by Martin’s campaign and $7,316 by the HRCC alone. 

In comparison, Hardmon placed a total of $19,668 in ads this election cycle. 

51. District 62. With a 53.2% GOP base, Alicia St. Germaine won with a margin near 55%, after raising $250,045 this quarter and $265,612 overall. 

Outside of her billboards and mailers, the HRCC sunk $130,152 into a media buy, while Democratic opponent Michael Brooksraised $2,761 this period and $7,600 during this election cycle.

52. District 92. Republican Jerry Neyer won over Democrat opponent AnthonyFeigwith 55.49%. 

The SOS reported Neyer received 18,082 votes, while his opponent Feig earned 42.45% with 13,832 votes. 

Neyer claimed victory after raising $116,945 this quarter, while Feig reported raising $21,943, but neither candidate had any major ad spending.

53. District 57. Republican Oakland County Commissioner Thomas Kuhnwon the seat to represent Sterling Heights with 53% over Democratic opponent Aisha Farooqi. 

Kuhn won the seat after raising nearly four times that of his Democratic opponent, who raised $51,168 this last period. Campaign spending also appeared to be one-sided. 

In Oakland County, Farooqi earned 52.37% of the vote with 6,796 votes. Kuhn received 47.60% with 6,177 votes. 

54. District 28. Republican Jamie Thompsonraised $212,196 to win the seat that leans 52.30% Democrat over Robert Kull, who raised $66,649 these last two months and spent about half of it. 

In Wayne County, Kull received 15,248 votes with 51.55%, while Thompson earned 14,242 votes and 48.15%.

But in Monroe County around 5 a.m., Thompson pulled ahead with 4,700 votes compared to Kull’s 3,000. 

Thompson, in partnership with the HRCC, spent $113,006 throughout the election cycle in ads, while her opponent Kull placed $37,969 in ad dollars along with the HDF and Democratic PAC’s. 

While Democrats began with predicted wins in 40 districts, caught up with an additional 16 seats.

41.  District 21. Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi) raised $61,922 this period to win the 51.70% Democratic-leaning seat over Republican opponent David Staudt, who reported $23,913. 

Ballenger base numbers put the district at 56% Democratic, and three Democratic PACs boosted her odds with a total $42,494 in desktop and mobile ads. 

On election night, Breen received 22,669 votes in Oakland county for 56.41%, while Staudt earned 16,979 votes for 42.25%. 

Third party Libertarian candidate James Youngearned 521 votes and 1.3% of the vote. 

42. District 76. Rep. Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) was reelected over Jeremy Whittum, a Republican candidate who raised $94 this period. 

In the 51.7% Democratic leaning seat, Witwer’s campaign partnered with the HDF to spend $312,979 in ads, along with an additional $234,187 from Democratic Campaign Committees. 

Total ad spending for Witwer was $632,736, and she raised $404,454 this period, part of a total $647,567 overall. 

In a statement following the conclusion of the race, Witwer said she looks forward to “continuing to work every day to grow our main street businesses, support our family farmers and continue to deliver good-paying manufacturing jobs for the families of Michigan’s 76th House District.”

43. District 109. Democrat Jenn Hillbeat out Republican Melody Wagnerin the competitive up-north district. 

Hill had a slow start in Alger and Baraga Counties. She received 1,817 votes for 43.06%, while Wagner received 56.94% with 2,403 votes. In Baraga County, Wagner received 2,139 votes, while Hill earned 1,247. 

But the Secretary of State reported Hill ahead overall with 52.98% of the vote, earning 21,899 compared to Wagner’s 19,438. 

Hill overcame an opposition to the Line 5 pipeline that some criticized, and the Democrat was also outspent in ads by Wagner.

The House Republican Campaign Committee in partnership with Wagner invested $479,888 in ads, while her campaign contributed $19,277 and the HRCC alone gave an additional $4,997. 

Hill in partnership with the House Democratic Fund spent $373,101, while the fund alone spent $7,944. The Michigan Democratic State Central Committee contributed $131,298, while the Prosperity Michigan Action Fund spent $5,158.

44. District 27. Democrat Jaime Churchessqueaked out a narrow victory over Republican Bob Howeywith 50.66%. 

She earned 21,384 votes across 34 precincts, beating out Howey, who earned 20,724 votes for 49.1% of the vote. The remaining 0.24% of the vote went to write-ins. 

45. District 38. Democrat Joey Andrewswon over Republican opponent Kevin Whitefordto represent a district that leans 51.8% Democratic. 

In Allegan County, Andrews earned 56.29% of the vote with 3,620 votes, while Whiteford received 2,802 votes and 43.57%. Only 0.14% went to write-ins. 

In Berrien County, 92.2% of precincts reported Whiteford had 14,014 votes over Andrews’ 13,097. 

Following a House Democratic Party statement calling the race, Andrews thanked supporters and volunteers and expressed his excitement to “bring our positive message to Lansing and begin advocating for our lakeshore communities in Lansing on the issues so critical to our region’s future.” 

Both Andrews and Whiteford spent big on the seat, but Andrews’ combined $606,200 in ad spending trumped Whiteford, who put in $278,932 with the HRCC. 

46. District 44. Rep. Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek) beat out Republican David Morgan16,007 to 14,631 after reporting $324,461 this period and $462,122 this election cycle, outraising Morgan, who raised $58,767 this period and $150,956 this cycle. 

Haadsma also outspent Morgan with $118,235 this period, while Morgan reported spending $32,009. 

Haadsma is the only ad spender in the race, with $606,051 total in campaign ad dollars, with ads in the Grand Rapids and Marquette media markets. 

None of Morgan’s money was on television. He did a little radio, but he spent more ($5,500) in ads for the Battle Creek Shopper.

47. District 48. Democrat Jennifer Conlin won reelection after outraising Republican Jason Woolford, $277,997 to $36,946.

Conlin is also the only ad spender in the race, with $399,399 between herself and several Dem PACs. 

Woolford won in Jackson and Livingston Counties with 56% to Conlin’s 43%, and in Jackson County Conlin earned 568 votes, while Woolford received 866. 

But Conlin more than made up for it with a more than 4,000 vote victory in Washtenaw County. 

48. District 31. Democrat Reggie Millerwon over Republican Dale Biniecki with 61.73% in Wayne County.

Miller received 11,899 votes in Wayne, compared to 31.91% and 7,308 votes for Biniecki. 

In Washtenaw County, Miller received 51.14% and 4,400 while Biniecki earned 48.79% and 4,198. 

As of 4 a.m., Miller had received approximately 3,500 votes in Monroe County, while Biniecki got 5,500. 

Lenawee County’s sole precinct reported 546 votes for Biniecki and 227 for Miller. 

The win comes after Miller raised $361,893 this period and $447,339 in total. By comparison, Biniecki raised $267,204 this quarter and $302,759 in total. 

The Democrats, along with Miller, spent $512,613 on campaign ads, including $248,796 from the Democratic State Campaign Committee. 

Ads in Biniecki’s favor totaled $264,698, with a majority coming from a partnership with his campaign and the HRCC. 

49. District 22. Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth Township) raised $312,618 this period to beat out his opponent, Republican Cathryn Neracher by 53.65%. 

Neracher received 46.23% of the vote after raising $46,642, but only spending $2,940 on ads throughout the cycle.

She was far outspent by Koleszar, who partnered with the House Democratic Fund to purchase $190,646 in ads. 

The Michigan Democratic State Campaign Committee spent $164,007, while the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee contributed $57,364. The Michigan Education Association also placed $1,437 for Koleszar. 

50. District 73 was won by Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township), who beat out former Canvasser Norm Shinklewith 56% of the vote. 

Her Republican opponent earned 44% in Ingham County. 

Brixie outraised Shinkle $31,948 to $30,302 this period and $176,016 to $56,451 overall. Neither side spent on ads, save some Americans For Prosperity digital ads. 

51. District 84. Rep. Carol Glanville (D-Walker) won reelection after the Democrats spent $768,084 on ads, compared to a mere $22,084 by Republican Mike Milanowski Jr. and the Great Lakes Education Project. 

House Democrats called the race with over 80% of precincts reported, and Glanville thanked voters in the 84th district for the opportunity to represent them in Lansing through a statement she released. 

“The people of the 84th have demonstrated their desire for commonsense, community-focused leadership that honors the core West Michigan values of integrity, decency, and care for the common good,” she said. “I’m inspired by everyone I met on the campaign trail. The stories and concerns I heard over the course of this campaign will inform the work I do on your behalf at the capitol.” 

Investment into ads for Glanville includes $379,777 from the HDF and $340,079 from the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee, and spending began in March. 

Though Milanowski raised $55,492 this period, Glanville beat him there too with $405,800. 

52. District 103. House Democrats reported Democrat and Grand Traverse County Commissioner Betsy Coffiadefeated Rep. Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann) after 4 a.m. by just over 1%. 

The SOS reported Coffia earning 27,805 votes for 49.84%, while O’Malley received 48.47% with 27,040. 

O’Malley’s defeat comes after he reported raising the most of any House candidate in the final quarter before the general election with $570,564, part of a total $747,183 he raised in total this election cycle. 

Coffia was close behind with $431,768 raised this period and $662,678 total this election cycle. She far outspent O’Malley, reporting a $261,467 spend this quarter, compared to $67,008 spent by the Republican Rep. 

Coffia’s pre-election expenditures included $30,000 and $11,975 contributions to the House Democratic Fund, along with $103,091 in broadcast ad buys and $18,750 in digital ad purchases. 

O’Malley’s spending included $38,449.40 in consultation fees to the Marketing Resource Group and $25,555 in radio ads. 

In the Traverse City media market alone, O’Malley and the MHRCC spent $1,181,569, more than Coffia’s entire partisan spending on ads, which totaled $696,676. 

53. District 81. Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) won her seat in Kent County by 53.59% after having raised $293,021 this period and $506,302 in total.

Her opponent, Republican Lynn Afendoulis, raised $209,461 this quarter and $258,259 in total. She received 46.15% of the vote with 15,624 votes to Hood’s 18,143. 

The $597,691 in ad spending to promote Hood dwarfed her opponent, whose supporters scraped together $125,224. 

54. District 83. Republican Lisa DeKryger was beat out by Democrat John Fitzgerald, who received 49.39% of the vote with 11,893. 

DeKryger received 11,464 votes and 47.60% after spending $127,359 in cable and desktop ads. 

Fitzgerald won the race after spending $780,046 in broadcast spots, including $385,125 from the HDF in partnership with Fitzgerald’s campaign. 

The Democrat raised $391,026 this period, part of a $449,372 total. 

55. District 61. Democrat Denise Mentzerbeat out Republican Mike Aielloin an open seat that leans 52% Democratic by 52%. 

Mentzer received 20,162 votes, while Aiello received 18,560 for 48%. 

Mentzer captured the seat after two Dem campaign committees spent $314,347 in addition to $141,344 spent by Mentzner’s campaign and the House Democratic Fund. 

Aiello put in $300,021 in partnership with the HRCC, who also contributed $6,187 alone. 

56. District 58. Democrat Nate Shannonwon in the competitive downriver district over Republican Michelle Smithby 51.3%. 

Shannon earned 18,122 votes, while Smith received 17,183 votes for 48.7%. 

Smith slightly outraised with $301,811 this period, while Shannon raised $240,148. 

But Smith’s ad buy this cycle, in partnership with the HRCC, was much higher at $357,515. Smith alone purchased an additional $2,764 on a Detroit media buy, while Americans for Prosperity bought $16,339 in ads and the HRCC contributed $6,328 alone. 

Shannon, in partnership with the House Democratic Fund, spent $178,024, while the Democratic State Campaign Committee contributed $250,912 in ad dollars. The Democratic State Central Committee bought $56,312 and the MEA bought $1,437 in digital ad space. 

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