State Senate - District 26
Republican Candidates – Brian Seiferlein (Waterford)
Democrat Candidates – Deborah Cherry (Burton), Wanda Lawrence (Mt Morris)
Current Rep – Deborah Cherry (D-Burton)
Deborah Cherry – 55.85%
John Muller – 44.15%
Kerry – 49.86%
Bush – 49.29%
Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Strongly leans Democrat
Genesee County - Atlas Township, Burton , Clio, Davison, Davison Township, Forest Township, Grand Blanc, Grand Blanc Township, Mt Morris, Mount Morris Township,
Richfield Township, Thetford Township, Vienna Township
Oakland County – Brandon Township, Groveland Township, Springfield Township,
This one caught everyone by surprise in 2002. Most people did not think this would turn into a 50/50 district. Everyone thought that this was a safe district for Deb Cherry who had a barely uncontested race. She lost the Oakland County part of the district and won with 55.85% overall. So how did this district become competitive?
The Genesee County part of the district is 54.95% democrat. That’s solid, but not like it used to be. The GOP has improved there, especially in the southern tier, which is fast growing. The Oakland County part of the district is 56.93% Republican. Waterford has moved to the right in recent years and went 54.20% for Bush. The other three townships went 60%+ for Bush. 2/3 of the District is in Genesee County, which favors Cherry.
Over in Genesee County, Bush won three municipalities and lost ten. Most of these were rural areas with Flint commuters. Clio (Which won’t be close with a Cherry running), Forest, Richfield, Therford, and Vienna Townships are fairly small areas. Davison is close enough to be winnable now, despite if being Michael Moore’s hometown. The big killers for us here are Burton and Mt Morris Township. Burton is similar to a big Downriver Wayne County suburb. It is a union stronghold with many economic populist and social conservative democrats. It went 58.40% for Kerry, which is actually lower than its customary 60% democrat levels. Mt Morris Township is basically Flint’s North Side. It’s 75.74% democrat and won’t be voting for us anytime soon.
The three GOP voting areas of this district are Atlas Township and Grand Blanc. Atlas is solid, and Grand Blanc is the big key. It’s fast growing and has narrowly been voting Republican lately. If the GOP makes some more gains here as they have been, this district is winnable. The democrat areas like Burton are shrinking in population. This is a sleeper district than needs to be watched and has some upset potential.
That said, while there is upset potential here, this district is Deb Cherry’s race to lose, and I expect her to win. Her brother John Cherry held this seat before her, and Deb (a state rep beforehand) kept it in the family. John’s the Lt Governor and will do whatever he can to help his sister.
That said, I expect a major battle here in 2010 when Deb Cherry is term limited out. Dave Robertson, a current state rep from Grand Blanc has a great chance to win this district if he runs for it.