Ingham County voters will to go to the polls for a special election to pick a state Senate replacement for Virg Bernero, who became mayor of Lansing on Sunday.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday called a special primary for Feb. 21 and a special general election for March 14.
She scheduled special elections for two House vacancies to coincide with the August primary and November general election.
Granholm just announced a special election for the state senate district in Ingham County. She also announced that special elections for two other vacancies (Phillips and Kehrl) in Pontiac and Monroe based house districts will coincide with the regular elections. All the vacancies were seats held by democrats. The Pontiac seat is solid democrat, and the Monroe seat is a toss-up.
Anything can happen in special elections due to low turnout. Paul Hackett nearly won an upset in a 60%+ GOP district with low turnout. Whoever shows up wins in cases like this. For that reason alone, I hope the GOP contests this seat and doesn't write it off. We need to take the fight on their home court, especially in special elections.
Four candidates have announced. One is rich leftist Gretchen Whitmer, who is a typical East Lansing style of democrat. She has millions and will try and buy this seat. Another democrat is Melissa Sue Robinson, formerly known as Charles Stralens. Robinson is a frequent candidate who runs in several elections.
On the GOP side, Attorney Vince Green and former Lansing City Councilwoman Geneva Smith are running. Green I've met before and is conservative. Former Rep. Paul DeWeese is his treasurer, so there is some backing there. I do not know anything about Smith.
At to the District itself, the big problem here is that some of the more friendly areas (Vevay, Mason, Stockbridge) in Ingham County are in Garcia's district due to poor redistricting planning. The district has a strong democrat lean, but it is more of an anti-Bush lean. Paul DeWeese had 46.64% and held Virg Bernero to 53.36% in a district Granholm ran ahead of John Kerry due to state workers and their anti-Engler attitude. In a special election, that could be a sleeper since low turnout is good for us here, just as it benefits democrats in Livingston County.
The 2004 results of the district.
Municipality Bush (Bush%), Kerry (Kerry%)
Alaiedon Twp 1088 (56.08%) 838 (43.20%)
Aurelius Twp 1222 (60.83%) 771 (38.38%)
Delhi Twp 6831 (52.25%) 6105 (46.40%)
E. Lansing 5119 (28.40%) 12647 (70.16%)
Ingham Twp 734 (60.66%) 463 (38.26%)
Lansing City 16101 (33.03%) 32102 (65.86%)
Lansing Twp 1707 (40.76%) 2436 (58.17%)
Leroy Twp 1103 (61.28%) 674 (37.44%)
Locke Twp 657 (63.97%) 361 (35.15%)
Meridian twp 9589 (43.25%) 12378 (55.83%)
Onondaga 768 (56.60%) 568 (41.86%)
Wheatfield 624 (62.09%) 375 (37.31%)
White Oak 378 (59.62%) 247 (38.96%)
Williamston 1065 (54.48%) 869 (44.45%)
WilliamstownTwp 1824 (56.56%) 1373 (42.57%)
Total 48810 (39.89%) 72207 (59.01%)