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Michigan Credit Union League

2018 Election Results for the Michigan Credit Union Movement

As with any election, the outcome of the Nov. 6 General Election is important to Michigan’s credit unions, so the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) has provided an in-depth update on last night’s results.

With the incoming elected officials, many of whom are new, MCUL will play an integral role in helping shape policy that affects our industry. The League will need your help to continue educating legislators on the credit union difference and what credit unions mean to our members and communities. Further, MCUL congratulates all of the statewide winners and look forward to working with them.

The League remained neutral in the gubernatorial and Secretary of State races but endorsed Speaker Tom Leonard in his unsuccessful bid for Attorney General based on a strong track record of support for credit unions and our issues.

At the federal level, MCUL endorsed Senator Debbie Stabenow, Andy Levin and Rashida Tlaib in their bids for open seats, as well as all incumbents. In the state Senate, 27 of 32 MCUL-endorsed candidates were successful. In the House, 79 of 83 endorsed candidates prevailed.

These endorsements were made based on survey responses, track records with credit unions and our issues, as well as careful analysis of the candidates and races by PAC Trustees and MCUL staff.

“We congratulate our winners and are confident that we will be able to build relationships quickly and fruitfully with all incoming officials,” said MCUL President/CEO Dave Adams. “As an industry, we should be very pleased with yesterday’s election results. Many credit union-friendly candidates were successful last night in their bids for office. In the coming weeks, we will be working to meet the newcomers and begin the education process on the important issues facing our industry. Our team is extremely optimistic about what is to come in 2019.”

The following is a further breakdown of the election by category:


Former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) defeated Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) in the race to be Michigan’s next Governor. The race was called earlier in the evening last night, compared to many others around the state. As of this morning, Whitmer had amassed 53.2 percent of the vote to Schuette’s 44 percent. Notably, she will be the second woman to hold the state’s top executive post, and her running mate, Garlin Gilchrist II of Detroit, will be the state’s first African American Lt. Governor.

Attorney General

Michigan Speaker of the House Tom Leonard (R) ran against Dana Nessel (D) in a hard-fought battle for Attorney General. The race was called for Nessel early this morning, tallying 1,878,621 (48.8 percent) of the vote to Leonard’s 46.5 percent.

Secretary of State

Jocelyn Benson (D) was successful in her bid for the next Secretary of State, defeating Mary Treder Lang (R). Benson received 52.7 percent of the vote to Treder Lang’s 44.2 percent. Benson’s victory hands the office to the Democrats for the first time in nearly a quarter-century.

U.S. Senate

Sen. Stabenow (D) won re-election to a fourth six-year term Tuesday. As of this morning, Sen. Stabenow defeated newcomer John James (R), receiving 52 percent of the vote compared to James’ 46 percent.

U.S. House of Representatives

Eleven members of Michigan’s current U.S. House delegation ran for re-election on Tuesday, with 10 winning their contests. Returning to Congress in 2019-2020 will be: Representatives Jack Bergman (R), Bill Huizenga (R), Justin Amash (R), John Moolenaar (R), Dan Kildee (D), Fred Upton (R), Tim Walberg (R), Paul Mitchell (R), Debbie Dingell (D) and Brenda Lawrence (D). Representative Mike Bishop (R) conceded his race in the 8th District to challenger Elissa Slotkin (D). While Rep. Bishop led early in Oakland and Livingston County, returns in Ingham County gave Slotkin the edge.

Michigan also had three open-seat contests:

9th District (S. Levin) Andy Levin (D) defeated Candius Stearns (R), 60 percent to 37 percent. Levin will replace his father, Representative Sander Levin, who is retiring from the U.S. House of Representatives after 18 terms of service.

11th District (Trott) In the hotly contested race to replace retiring Representative David Trott (R), Haley Stevens (D) defeated Lena Epstein (R), 52 percent to 45 percent. This race was closely watched throughout the state and nationally, as Primary Election returns showed Oakland County and out-county Wayne to be a fierce battleground up and down the ticket.

13th District (Conyers) Former State Representative Rashida Tlaib (D) was elected to represent the 13th district for the two-year term beginning in January 2019. She replaces retired Representative John Conyers (D). Tlaib did not face a Republican on the ballot, and easily defeated the Working Class Party and Green Party candidates with 89 percent of the vote. She will be one of two Muslim women elected in the midterms nationally, who together will be first ever to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones (D) won the nod to serve out the remainder of Rep. Conyers’ term this year, with 91 percent of the vote.

State Legislature

Due to term limits, 27 of Michigan’s 38 state Senate seats were open this cycle. Going into the election and facing stiff Democratic headwinds, Republican’s held a 27-11 supermajority. They were able to hold on to a slimmer majority for the coming term, at 22-16. Notably, incumbent Senators Marty Knollenberg (R) and Margaret O’Brien (R) lost to their challengers, newcomer Mallory McMorrow (D) and former Representative Sean McCann (D), respectively. Sitting Representatives Laura Cox (R), Mike McCready (R) and Henry Yanez (D) also lost their first-time Senate bids to political newcomers, Dayna Polhanki (D), Rosemary Bayer (D) and Michael MacDonald (R). Sitting Representatives Winnie Brinks (D) and Chris Affendoulis (R) faced off in Grand Rapids, with Brinks emerging victorious.

In the state House, all 110 seats were up for election, many of them open due to term limits or the current occupants seeking another office. The Republicans held a 63-47 majority prior to the election, and saw that lead winnowed to 58-52 afterward. Oakland County and out-county Wayne proved observers correct, as both developed into battlegrounds where Democrats were able to flip seats. Padma Kuppa (D), Mari Manoogian (D) and Laurie Pohutsky (D) defeated challengers in these formerly-Republican enclaves, and Matt Koleszar (D) defeated incumbent Rep. Jeff Noble (R). The Republicans stole a seat back in the Upper Peninsula, however, where Gregory Markkanen (R) defeated his challenger to change the seat from blue to red. Newcomer Greg VanWoerkom (R) successfully defended a hotly-contested Muskegon-area open seat, and incumbent Representatives Brandt Iden (R) and Larry Inman (R) fended off stiff challenges in Kalamazoo and the Traverse City area, to seal continued majority for the Republicans.

Thank you for your support and engagement with MCUL and the political process, this year. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the MCUL Government Affairs team.

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2018-11-07 00:00:00