As was predicted, the 2022 Elections were unpredictable. Democrats across the State prevailed up and down the ballot in what appeared to be a bleak year heading into election day. The unofficial results show that voters comfortably returned Governor Gretchen Whitmer for a second four-year term. In addition to re-electing Whitmer, both Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel cruised to re-election. The biggest surprise of the night was the Democrats capturing the majority in both the state House (56-54) and state Senate (20-18). The House has not been under Democratic control since the 2009-2010 legislative session.
In the Senate, Democrats take control of a chamber that has been controlled by Republicans for 38 years. The ascension to the majority by Senate Democrats caps a huge reversal for a party that was in a 27-11 super-minority status barely four years ago.
There are many factors that went into a large victory for the Michigan Democratic Party including but not limited to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and redistricting in Michigan which made legislative districts more politically neutral and high voter turnout. Many of the races came right down to the wire and ultimately it boiled down to five key races, of which Democrats won three. The two Senate races in Macomb County voted in Democrats Rep. Kevin Hertel and Veronica Klinefelt and in the Tri-Cities seat, Bay City Commissioner Kristen McDonald Rivet won election over Representative Annette Glenn of Midland.
What this all means for Michigan and specifically for the heavy construction season is yet to be seen. With her party in control of both the House and Senate, Governor Whitmer will have more help in moving her agenda forward, which includes a long-term sustainable infrastructure funding solution. And as MITA has mentioned in the past, we have been very strategic and unbiased in our political giving and have great relationships with those coming to serve in the Legislature in 2023.
Just two short days after the election, both the House and Senate elected their leaders for the 2023 – 2024 legislative session. Representative Joe Tate of Detroit was elected Speaker of the House becoming the first African American elected to that position. House Democrats then selected Representative Abraham Aiyash as the Majority Floor Leader and several other top leadership positions. House Republicans selected Matt Hall and Bryan Posthumous as the Minority Leader and Minority Floor Leader. In the Senate, Democrats selected Sen. Winnie Brinks of Grand Rapids as the Senate Majority Leader and newly elected Senator Sam Singh as the Majority Floor Leader. Republicans selected Senator Aric Nesbitt of Lawton as the Minority Leader and Senator Dan Lauwers as the Minority Floor Leader.
It will take some time before legislative work begins next term. Committee assignments, introduction of bills, and general governance like setting the chamber rules will take a while, especially with a shift in majority and 57 new members of 110 serving in the House of Representatives. MITA’s immediate objective is educating those new members and members in the new majority on the needs for infrastructure funding and solutions on solving the problem for the long term. MITA staff has already begun meeting with new leadership in both chambers and the governor’s staff on our agenda items for 2023.
Snapshot of the 102nd Michigan Legislature
16 new members (9 Democrats and 7 Republicans)
22 returning members (11 Democrats and 11 Republicans)
Michigan House of Representatives
57 new members (28 Democrats and 29 Republicans)
53 returning members (28 Democrats and 25 Republicans)
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