Karoub Special Election Report
Nov. 7, 2018

With the exception of Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Clement’s victory, it was a big night for Michigan Statewide elected Democrats Tuesday.

In impressive fashion, Democrats surged in this midterm election and placed their respective candidates in the Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General positions. Voters also returned United States Senator Debbie Stabenow to Washington and flipped two coveted United States House seats.

With about 90 percent of precincts reporting, Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer carved out a 53 to 44 percent win over Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette. The election results mirror the latest polls going into Tuesday’s election. Attorney Mark Bernstein will act as director of the transition team for the Governor-elect.

Democrat Jocelyn Benson snapped a 24-year Democratic drought in the Secretary of State post by defeating Republican Mary Treder Lang by a solid margin. Democrat Dana Nessel won a close race for Attorney General over Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard.

Senate Republicans managed to maintain a 22-16 majority in the state Senate. The majority Republicans lost five seats, costing the GOP its 27-11 supermajority. Senator Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) is likely to be elected the Republican’s next majority leader and Senate Democrats are expected to re-elect Senator Jim Ananich (D-Flint) minority leader.

Republicans will retain control of the Michigan House of Representatives for the 2019-2020 term although Democrats did pick up five seats. Unofficial results have the House at 58 Republicans and 52 Democrats for next year. Representative Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) is expected to be the next Speaker of the House. House Democrats have a tight race for Minority Leader between Representatives Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) and Brian Elder (D-Bay City). Leadership elections are scheduled to be held Thursday, Nov. 8.

The win in the Senate and House of Representatives secures Republican control of the legislative branch from 2019-2020 and prevents Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer from having a Democratic legislature in her first term.

Supreme Court

Women’s strength on the 2018 ballot carried on through the Supreme Court races, where Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Clement will remain a justice in 2019 alongside Democrat Party-nominated Megan Cavanaugh. Justice Cavanaugh will succeed conservative Justice Kurtis Wilder. The court will maintain a 4-3 Republican nominated advantage.


Michigan’s U.S. House delegation will be evenly split 7-7 between Democrats and Republicans after victories Tuesday of Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens. Michigan Republicans previously maintained a 9-5 advantage. Ms. Slotkin defeated U.S. Rep Mike Bishop in the 8th District and Ms. Stevens defeated Lena Epstein in the open 11th District.

Ballot Proposals
  • Proposal 1 – Recreational marijuana is now legal for adults to consume in Michigan after voters approved Prop 1. Michigan will join nine other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, and Prop 1’s victory also comes 10 years after Michigan voters said yes to medical marijuana.
  • Proposal 2 – Legislative district lines will now be drawn using a 13-member citizen commission (four Republicans, four Democrats and five Independents) after the passage of Prop 2. The proposal will replace the current system of the Legislature drawing district lines.
  • Proposal 3 – Voters will now be able to pick the straight ticket option, register to vote as late as Election Day and cast an absentee ballot for any reason after the passage of Prop 3.

Please be advised that these are unofficial results. More detailed unofficial results of Tuesday’s election can be found on the Secretary of State’s website at www.michigan.gov/sos.

On Thursday, Nov. 8 the Michigan Legislature will convene for purposes of electing caucus leadership and begin preparing for the lame duck session.