State Senate - District 23
Republican Candidates – Frank Lambert (Haslett)
Democrat Candidates – Gretchen Whitmer (East Lansing)
Current Rep – Gretchen Whitmer( D-East Lansing)
2005 Results (Special Election)
Gretchen Whitmer – 75%+
Vince Green – 20%
Virg Bernero – 53.36%
Paul DeWeese – 46.64%
Kerry – 59.01%
Bush – 39.89%
Republican Michigander’s prognosis – Safe Democrat
Ingham County – Alaiedon Township, Aurelius Township, Delhi Township (Holt), East Lansing, Ingham Township, Lansing, Lansing Township, Leroy Township, Locke Township, Meridian Township, Onondaga Township, Wheatfield Township, White Oak Township, Williamston, Williamstown Twp
The redistricters gave a present to Ingham County Democrats. If Republicans wanted to be as mean on redistricting as they wanted to be, they could have split Meridian Township and East Lansing away from Lansing, and place it in a district with Livingston County. Instead some GOP leaning areas of Ingham County were given to Valde Garcia, making this a safe district.
Over 1/2 of this district's voters are in Lansing and East Lansing which are about 65% and 70% democrat. Over 1/2 of the rest are in Delhi and Meridian Townships. Meridian Township is now also for the most part solidly democrat(Although Mike Rogers sometimes wins there). Delhi has moved slightly to the right, but still sometimes goes democrat. The only way a Republican can win here is by running big numbers up in rural areas, stealing Meridian and Delhi and Lansing Township, and not lose too badly in Lansing and East Lansing. That hasn't been done since the 1980's. This district used to be Stabenow's seat.
Paul DeWeese gave it a good run in 2002, but the partisan numbers were too much. As much as this district went to Kerry, it went even more to Granholm as the state workers here did not like John Engler, taking it out in Posthumus. DeWeese got a lot of ticket splitters and even won Meridian Township, but Lansing and East Lansing was too much to handle.
The current rep is Gretchen Whitmer, a Blue Cross/Blue Shield heir from East Lansing. She was a state rep before this year and ran for Virg Bernero’s seat when he resigned to become Lansing Mayor. Whitmer caught a break as she did not have to face a primary candidate from Lansing or Holt pitting the blue-collar wing of the democrats against the rich leftist and academia crowd (Abortion on demand, ban all guns, raise taxes), which Whitmer represents.
This was briefly contested in 2005 in a special election (where anything can happen), but Vince Green had some tax related skeletons. Once that came out, everything just self destructed, and we all had some egg on our faces. Special elections have low turnouts which can make normally non-contested races contested. In normal turnouts, this district is safe democrat barring a disaster.
Unfortunately, it will take a miracle to win. It is too bad since Whitmer’s done literally nothing for Michigan State during the time I was there.