Monday, August 08, 2005

2006 State Representative Elections – Sneak Preview - (D1 - 26)

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.


Anonymous said...

Considering Donigan's social views, do you think a Republican moderate candidate with similar beliefs on social issues (maybe like a Christie Whitman or Rudy Giuliani) would have a good chance in 2006 in the 26th district? That candidate may just make social issues a non-issue and make the voters focus on what is important like the economy and jobs.

Dan said...

It would have to be a very good year for us at the top to win it in 2006. We couldn't win this seat in 1998 when it was open and Fieger lead the dems. Dave Woodward took it. Carlo Ginotti was the closest to winning it. I don't know his views.

I think the last time we won it was if/when Shirley Johnson had it.

It's possible, but a longshot. I still hope we contest it.

Anonymous said...

The 20th should be interesting. Republican John Stewart (a total nutball) is term limited and his wife is runningto replace him.

By all accounts she is everything he is not: decent, steady, sensible, etc.

Her problem may be that voters are tired of her husband's antics and "Stewart fatigue" sets in.

Also running are Plymouth councilman Phil Pursell (the son of popular former congresman) and Abe Mumfpha (who has scandal issues).

The Dems aren't sorted out yet, but this could be a relatively competative race.

At the end of the day, Phil Pursell will likely be the GOP nominee and keep the seat in Republican hands.

Dan said...

I'm concerned a little about this district as well. I'm glad his wife is better than he is, although there still may be "base problems." That's also Granholm's home district.

The only democrat base there is Wayne, and while it's 60%+ democrat, it's smaller than Plymouth and Northville. That said, Plymouth City is starting to flip too, and I'm concerned if the township follows, although we did stop the bleeding in Canton in 2004.