TitleBytes News & Happenings

Politically Busy Summer followed by the Legislature’s Return to Fall Session

Oct 9, 2017

By Cami Pendell, Michigan Legislative Consultants

As term limits take greater hold in Michigan, we are experiencing many more special elections than in the past due to vacancies occurring in House or Senate districts for various reasons. Just this past summer, there were special primary elections in two state House districts. One occurred in the 1st House District, which includes portions of Detroit, Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Shores. Since this is a solidly Democratic seat, there was an extremely competitive Democratic primary that included 11 candidates. Tenisha Yancey prevailed in that primary race and will face Mark Corcoran (Republican) in the November special general election. It is expected that Ms. Yancey will prevail again in November.

The second special primary took place in the 109th House District, which includes Marquette, Alger, Schoolcraft and Luce Counties. This too is a solidly Democratic seat and Sara Cambensy, a Marquette City Commissioner, won the most votes in the Democratic primary race. She will advance to the special general election and face Richard Rossway (Republican) and Wade Roberts (Green Party) in November. It is expected that Ms. Cambensy will win that special general election even though Republicans are expected to try to make it a competitive race.

No matter who prevails in either district, MLTA stands ready to welcome and work with the special general election winners once they take office.

On the heels of the special elections, the Legislature reconvened for its Fall Session. A few weeks following their return, they passed SBs 335 and 336 which authorize Independent Expenditure Committees, also known as Super PACs, to raise and spend unlimited funds. You may remember that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United legalized Super PACs, but there were still a number of questions regarding how they would operate at the state level. Governor Snyder, while signing SBs 335 and 336 into law, said that these new laws provide the Secretary of State with clear statutory authority to regulate these types of committees in Michigan. While there remains a lot of controversy surrounding Super PACs, it’s important to know about them because they will certainly be leveraged in the 2018 elections.

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