2020 Elections Recap

It took almost 24 hours after the polls closed for Michigan to certify and finalize the counts for the election on Tuesday. Many races, including at the top of the ticket with the election for President, were too close to call until all the votes were counted. What made things take even longer was a record number of absentee voters this election. Polling had suggested that Vice President Joe Biden had a sizable lead in Michigan over his opponent President Donald Trump going into election day; and, just as it was the case in 2016, late enthusiasm for President Trump made the race extremely close and put Michigan as one of the states that will likely determine the presidential election. At the end of the counting, Joe Biden has officially been declared the winner in Michigan.

In the race for U.S. Senate, Senator Gary Peters narrowly defeated his opponent John James. Mr. James is a strong candidate that we likely will see again on the ballot for office in the future.

Despite the two top races going the Democrats way, the House Republicans pulled off what many thought was not possible by maintaining their majority in the State House. Republicans were able to hold onto all except one of their vulnerable seats in Oakland County and Traverse City, while also knocking off two Democratic incumbents. Representatives Brian Elder (Bay City – D) and Sheryl Kennedy (Davison – D) lost their re-election efforts. Democrats also flipped two seats, but fell way well short of reaching a majority.

The House Republicans and Democrats will pick their leadership positions as early as this week, and it is expected that Representative Jason Wentworth (Farwell – R) will be voted in as Speaker of the House by his Republican colleagues.

Of all the candidates that the MITA PAC supported this election cycle, approximately 60 candidates in all, Representative Elder was the only individual who lost their election. As we move forward, we look forward to working closely with the new Speaker and his leadership team on many items affecting the heavy construction industry.

Lame Duck Session

Now that the majority is known for the House, we can expect a relatively busy lame duck session. Likely filled with outgoing lawmakers priorities, it doesn’t appear that there will be many controversial issues that will come up. MITA will be working on a few items, including Employer COVID Liability Reform legislation, mining permitting and getting the necessary approval for the Governor’s $500 Million Clean Water initiative.

Lame Duck session officially begins after the election and lasts until the end of this year. The Legislature will go on break for a week for hunting season and also a week for Thanksgiving. The first few weeks of December should be where most legislative movement may occur.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at mikenystrom@thinkmita.org or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at lancebinoniemi@thinkmita.org. They both can be reached at 517-347-8336.