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These are the top 7 races to watch in metro Detroit during the 2020 election

Posted at 5:43 AM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 06:47:40-05

(WXYZ) — We're getting you ready if you're planning to cast your ballot in-person tomorrow with the top 7 races and issues to watch for in the 2020 election.

Related: Full coverage of the 2020 election

There are many important races on the ballot, including the one for president, but in Michigan, these races are mightily important.

U.S. Senate – Michigan seat

In a hotly contested U.S. Senate race, Businessman and veteran John James is facing incumbent Sen. Gary Peters, who previously served in the U.S. House and State Senate.

The ads between both candidates have been on airwaves across the state for months as James tries to win his second bid for Senate. He lost to Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018.

“It feels like James, his ads have been a little more resonate. That said, it’s a good Democratic environment in Michigan this year where Peters should still win, but James is making him sweat it out," Gongwer News Service Executive Director Zach Gorchow said.

Both candidates joined us on 7 UpFront last month.

“I’m the guy that’s getting things done and I’m doing it a bi-partisan way," Peters said. “I will defend the Affordable Care Act making sure everybody in this state regardless of who they are, where they live have access to quality affordable healthcare.”

“With regulatory, torte, and tax reform you would have more power with the patients and the doctors and the not the federal government and insurance companies," James said.

U.S. House – Michigan's 8th and 11th Congressional districts

In the 8th District, freshman Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin is seeking to hold onto her set against Republican challenger Paul Junge. In 2018, she won over Republican incumbent Mike Bishop, but President Trump carried the district by 7 points four years ago.

Another freshman who flipped a district in 2018 to blue is Haley Stevens in the 11th, facing Republican challenger Eric Esshaki.

“The 11th is a Republican-leaning district, so that is a challenge to Haley Stevens," Oakland University Political Science Professor Dave Dulio said. “Certainly there’s some criticism coming her way for support for some U.S. House members and other folks from the progressive left.”

Macomb County Prosecutor and Oakland County Prosecutor

Further down the ballot, voters in Macomb and Oakland counties will choose their prosecutor.

In Oakland County, Democrat Karen McDonald unseated incumbent Jessica Cooper in the primary with 66% of the vote. She's facing Republican Lin Goetz.

For Macomb County, Democratic former Circuit Court Judge Mary Chrzanowski and Republican State Sen. Peter Lucido are both fighting for the seat, a position still marred in scandal. Previous Prosecutor Eric Smith resigned, then pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in a federal embezzlement scheme.

Oakland County Executive

Also in Oakland County, there's a heated race for executive and one that will look different this cycle.

Democrat Dave Coulter is facing Republican Mike Kowall.

The race is on the ballot twice – once to fill out the partial term that L. Brooks Patterson left after he died, and the other is the full term which starts in January.

Coulter was appointed after Patterson died last year. If he wins, Coulter will be the first elected Democrat in that role.

Michigan State House races

Michigan's Democrats, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, are focused hard on flipping a handful of seats in the State House, which would have a major impact on the legislature – where Republicans currently have control in both houses.

“I think the battle for control of the House between the Democrats and Republicans really is going to be decided in Oakland County and in these three, maybe four seats," Gorchow said.

Areas are shifting more Democratic since President Donald Trump has been in office.

Michigan's 38th, 39th and 45th House districts are currently held by Republicans. Two of them are term-limited and cannot seek re-election.

Proposal 2

You'll find Proposal 2 on the ballot – a yes vote supports a change to the state's constitution to protect personal electronic data by requiring a search warrant.

Proposal N

A ballot measure in Detroit, Proposal N for neighborhoods is something Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has touted, and would allow the city to borrow $250 million of
flight blight. Critics worry about taxes and the follow-through on the project.