DETROIT (WXYZ) - Question: Who on earth ever came up with the bright idea of an August Michigan Primary Election? I mean, really, who cares about voting dead in the middle of summer? Answer: Only those running for office or pushing a particular ballot proposal! The turnout is always low. Most eligible voters are more interested in attending their next concert, deciding the menu for the next barbecue or enjoying their vacation with the kids.
Ok, enough! It is what it is so let’s all do our civic duty and go vote! After all, what happens today has a direct – and very important – impact on who you get to choose from in the November 7 General Election.
Up for grabs in the Michigan Primary Election are some key races in our metro Detroit area. Seven candidates are challenging incumbent Mike Duggan for his leadership position of the Motor City’s local government. By all indications, Duggan’s campaign is well financed with tons of big endorsements, including the city's powerful Black Slate. If Duggan doesn’t win, it would truly be an upset!
In the City Council contest, it will be interesting to see how well Wayne County Commissioner Jewel Ware, and former State Representatives Mary Waters and Virgil Smith, Jr. do. All have strong name recognition but are taking on incumbent city council members that are part of one of the most unified political bodies Detroiters have seen in a long time.
Political insiders will also be paying close attention to the heated campaigns to replace two Michigan House of Representative vacancies created by Brian Banks’ resignation and John Kiveh’s suicide. Banks, a Democrat, represented Harper Woods. Kiveh, also a Democrat, represented Marquette in the UP.
In Pontiac, Dr. Deirdre Waterman is trying to win her second term as mayor, John B. O’Reilly appears to be in a close contest in Dearborn and incumbent Karen Majewski is facing stiff competition in Hamtramck, the first city in the nation to elect a Muslim-majority city council.
However, on trial all today will be new voting machines in Detroit and about 60 other Michigan towns. Will it be a headache-free day for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson or a voting machine nightmare? Stay tuned to Action News on Channel 7 and 20 this evening for all of the details and election results. The political outcomes may give us some good clues into the mood of Michigan voters and how their emotions may play out next year when it’s time for them to elect state officers and representatives to Congress.
Go vote and then get right back to enjoying your summer! The polls are open until 8:00pm.