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Xiong, Herzberg Win Democratic Primaries

February 6, 2024

Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong, the predicted front runner in the 13th District House special election, has won the Democratic primary with 80 percent of the vote. In the Macomb County portion of the district, she received 88 percent. In the Detroit portion, she won 41.3 percent of the vote.

In Macomb, where Xiong is running to replace former Rep./now Warren Mayor Lori Stone, she received 3,474 votes, and was followed by Suzanne Ostosh, who received 252 votes for 6.4 percent in Macomb. Former Rep. Lamar Lemmons III received 223 votes and 5.6 percent.

In Detroit, Xiong earned 459 votes of 1,110, or 41.3 percent. Lemmons received 520 votes, or 46.8 percent and Ostosh received 55 votes, or 5 percent.

Election Day turnout, particularly in Detroit with the heavy, wet snow that fell most of the morning, was markedly poor. In Detroit, there are 17 precincts in the 13th House District. In five districts, where the average number of registered voters is 976, there was only one voter who showed up in person. In four others, two voters showed up. In the best district, 13 people showed up.

Overall, voter turnout in this section of Detroit, even with the absentee vote, was 4.95%.

Xiong will advance to the April 26 general election against Ronald Singer, who won the Republican primary with 63.3 percent in Macomb and 10 votes in the city of Detroit. Republican Brandon Cumbee earned 20.1 percent in Macomb and 12 votes in Detroit and Curtiss Ostosh received 16.6 percent of the vote in Macomb and three votes in Detroit.

Voter turnout across the board was very low, with only 1,110 ballots cast of 22,428 registered voters in the city of Detroit.

Across 8 Mile, the situation was similar. Warren City Clerk Sonja Djurovic Buffa said that as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, one precinct had seen only one voter.

Xiong posted on X Tuesday morning that at “what is typically one of the busiest polling locations in Warren,” only six voters had been to the precinct in 90 minutes.

Singer said that when visiting the polls in the morning, there were several hours between voter appearances.

Also, Democrat Peter Herzberg has prevailed in the 25th District’s special election Democratic primary with 41.72 percent of the vote in Westland, the district’s largest city, despite not receiving Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s endorsement and in a race where bad weather led to low voter turnout across Wayne County and Detroit.

Of the five Democrats running for the seat vacated by former Rep./now Westland Mayor Kevin Coleman, Herzberg received 2,034 votes (35.63 percent), followed by Andrea Rutkowski, who received 1,704 (29.85 percent). Layla Taha came in third with 1,244 votes (21.79 percent) Melandie Yvonne Hines received 471 votes (8.25 percent) and Shannon Rochon got 249 votes (4.26 percent). The final .011 percent were write-ins.

Herzberg, Coleman’s cousin, was endorsed by the Westland Mayor. Rutkowski was endorsed by Whitmer. The two split the labor endorsements.

“It’s not every day that the Governor’s hand-picked candidate goes down in her own party’s primary,” said House Republican spokesperson Jeremiah Ward. “Today (to borrow from an ‘80s song,) ‘Another One Bites The Dust.’”

On Facebook, Herzberg posed with Coleman for a photo captioned, “WE WON!!”

Sources ahead of the election predicted Herzberg as one of the candidates most likely to win, due to his name I.D. on Westland’s City Council. He was favored alongside City Council member Rutkowski and Taha, who is U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit)’s program manager.

Herzberg will be facing Republican Josh Powell, who received 1,652 votes in Westland and 2,117 in Wayne, on April 16. With a 62 percent Democratic base, the Democrat is favored to win.

The weather was definitely a factor affecting election turnout Tuesday, after continual snowfall in Westland and Wayne County throughout the day.

Westland City Clerk Richard LeBlanc said as of noon, only 200 people had shown up to the polls in Westland.

In total, 6,457 of 50,018 voters, or 12.91 percent, cast a ballot in Westland. Of those, only 678 were in person on Election Day.  Only 927 people voted in the primary overall on Election Day. The remaining 7,414 voted absentee or early.


Article courtesy MIRS News for SBAM’s Lansing Watchdog newsletter

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