Michigan Voters Advance Gubernatorial Candidates

DETROIT (CN) – The race to become the next governor of Michigan was narrowed down to Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette and Democratic establishment favorite Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday night.

Schuette garnered almost 50 percent of his party’s vote, while second-place Republican challenger Brian Calley, the current lieutenant governor, finished with about 25 percent of the vote. The race was called for Schuette around 9:30 p.m. local time Tuesday. Outgoing Governor Rick Snyder is term-limited.

Shortly before midnight, President Donald Trump tweeted congratulations to Schuette.

“Congratulations to Bill Schuette. You will have a Big win in November and be a tremendous Governor for the Great State of Michigan. Lots of car and other companies moving back!” he wrote.

Whitmer was the popular Democratic pick and was endorsed by establishment leaders, including Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and labor unions like the United Auto Workers.

She thanked her main opponents, Abdul El-Sayed and Shri Thanedar, at a victory party in downtown Detroit and pledged to work together.

“I extend a hand out to them, there is a place for you as we move forward,” she said, according to a Detroit Free Press report. “I appreciate your energy and ideas — let’s work together to get this done.”

In the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, Democrats picked former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib to run unopposed for the congressional seat that former Rep. John Conyers held for more than 50 years. Tlaib would be the first Muslim woman in Congress. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)

Former State Representative Rashida Tlaib won the race for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District to replace John Conyers Jr.

Conyers, the longest serving African-American congressman in U.S. history, resigned last year when allegations of sexual harassment surfaced. The district, which includes parts of Detroit and its suburbs, is so thoroughly Democrat that no Republican candidates ran.

Tlaib’s win Tuesday and the fact that she faces no Republican challenger in November means she will likely become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress, as long as she doesn’t face a competitive write-in opponent in the fall.

In the 11th Congressional District, the race had yet to be called as of early Wednesday morning. The Free Press reports that businesswoman Lena Epstein was leading the Republican primary and former Obama administration official Haley Stevens led for the Democrats. The seat is largely considered a toss-up in the November election.

John James, a Detroit businessman and war veteran endorsed by President Trump, won the Republican primary to face Democrat U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in the fall general election.

Reports surfaced Tuesday of ballot shortages in Oakland County due a bigger turnout than expected. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson tweeted in the afternoon that more ballots would be supplied and everyone in line by 8 p.m. would be allowed to vote.

Sharon Dolente, a strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Free Press they were investigating the situation.

“I’ve gotten a lot of reports that precincts are running out of ballots, but I’ve also gotten reports that ballots are being delivered,” she said.

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