Red to blue: 3 more Michigan State House districts to watch (93, 94, and 97)

It’s been a while since I’ve worked on ‘Red to Blue’ but I want to get back on it. We have so many opportunities this year that I hate to see us pay so little attention to them.

Taking control of the House back is totally do-able, for a handful of reasons:

  • Popularity of President Obama and the effectiveness of his GOTV efforts
  • The right-wing attacks on labor
  • The complete ridiculousness of the Republican Party as legitimate party for solutions
  • The Republican war on women

All of these things add up to a groundswell of Democratic voters hitting the polls while the Republican swing voters either stay home or support the Democrats. It will still be a tough year; the Republicans are getting meaner and more desperate. (For an excellent rundown on this phenomena on a national level, check out this Daily Kos article: What is Driving Repubs Crazy? )

So back to our State House. We’ve discussed districts 19, 51, 51, 55, 64, 65, 70, 78, and 79. Today let’s jump into 93, 94, and 97.

93: This district covers Clinton and Gratiot counties. It changes a bit due to redistricting but it remains in these two counties. Here’s the map.

Current rep Paul Opsommer is termed out, and this district became a skoch more Democratic when the Republicans redrew the lines. That’s good news for us, I’m happy to have all the help we can get. There’s no incumbent in this seat and it’s sure to be targeted by the GOP. I’m not aware of any committed Democratic candidates here though. Paul Silva is listed as a candidate but I’ll be watching this district to see if we get any other candidates here.

94: This is a Saginaw County district that still leans Republican, but not enough for them to be safe. Ken Horn terms out here and the GOP will no doubt be targeting this open seat. Our candidate will have to be well supported and funded. A Democrat can take this seat but it will be a lot of work, and given the rural area, I suspect agriculture and gun rights will be hot here.

Judith Lincoln is the only Democratic candidate I know of here. I don’t know enough about her to evaluate her odds here, and there’s still time for another candidate to file. Click here for the mlive article on Judith.

97: This is a strange area and it will have an incumbent defending the seat. The area is huge, encompassing Clare, Gladwin, Arenac, and part of Oceola counties.

This seat is held by Joel Johnson and I don’t see why the GOP would pay much attention to it unless it becomes competitive toward the end. Then I’d expect a money dump to defend it. This strikes me as one of those seats where a Democrat would have to do one of two things: either capture tons of media time and just attack Johnson full on, or run a “stealth” grassroots campaign with a low profile. For the first scenario you need a lot of money, and for the second you need a solid organization. I vote for the second scenario because it holds off the GOP money for a while.

I don’t know of any Democratic candidates for this district right now.

For more Red to Blue,

I’ll be on with Tony Trupiano tomorrow morning at 8.35 to talk about these races. :)

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  1. […] 5225 was dumped on us by Paul Opsommer, who’s termed out this year.  The bill was introduced in the House in December of last year, eventually it passed out of the […]

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