Friday, April 22, 2005


House Outlook Final

Districts 64 and 65 make up Jackson County and they have similar stories. Two popular reps were forced out in 2004, making way for two freshman reps. All four republicans, the two new reps have quite a bit to be worried about. In the 64th, Rick Baxter slipped by Martin Griffin by 350 votes even though he spent 200k on the race compared to Griffin's 40k. In the 65th, Leslie Mortimer spent about as much as her opponent Mike Simpson and won with 51% of the vote. If the dems find a good candidate, they could take her out.

John Espinoza beat Paul Muxlow out for the open seat in the 83rd district last year and it looks as if Muxlow will make another run at it. Don't expect him to get to far, this one would be a long for the GOP, I doubt they'll be able to knock off Espinoza.

David Farhat is a second term rep from the 91st who has only faced one opponent. Nancy Frye, a friendly democrat lost in 2002 by a couple hundred voted and decided to take a second shot at it, she didn't do as well the second go around, mainly because Farhat raised twice as much (250k) and she raised half as much (35k) when compared to the 2002 election. A good candidate will emerge to take on Farhat in this district that surrounds Muskegon.

Tim Moore is the only republican that managed to wrestle a seat from the dems in the last election and the state party will fight to get it back. The 97th district is formed from Claire, Glaswin, Arenac and half of Bay county. Jennifer Elkins beat David Coker by a hair in 2002 and lost by a hair to Moore in 2004. Unless the dems can come up with a really solid candidate, I don't see them taking back this district without spending over 300k.

Gary McDowell grabbed this open seat, the 107th that spans both peninsulae. He had run unsuccesfully against popular incumbent Scott Shackleton two years before but he easily defeated Walter North. Expect this to be a big race, but one the dems hold on to. Also look out for Congressman Stupak to play a bit role in the campaign.

That about wraps it up. It's a long way to November (2006), but it looks like there will be fire-works in the house. The Dems are positioned to pick up 4 seats (19, 62, 64, 75), the republicans to grab 1 (67) and 6 seats (26, 30, 39, 84, 91, 97) that could go either way. Of course anything could happen between now and election day. We'll know a lot more after the new year when we can see campaign finance statements.

In District 64-65, Bush saved both candidates getting 55 and 56% in both of them. Rich Baxter and Leslie Mortimer need to be ready for a rematch. I think Simpson and Griffin were victums of John Kerry at the top.(much like Joe Yekulis was a victim of Bush in Washtenaw)

Tim Moore must have ran a heck of a campaign in D97 since it has a slight dem tilt, and more so at local levels.(Arenac and Bay especially).

D107 - McDowell won thanks to the NRA and the Dove Bill vote of Walt North. His district went 57% for Bush, but yoopers are extremely independent. Emmitt county is a base GOP county in NW MI, so this won't be easy for him to defend.

D91 - Farhat ran about equal to Bush in this district. 51-52%.

D83 - Muxlow somehow found a way to lose Sanillac County. Being a complete jerk (I know republicans who voted straight republican except for Muxlow) tends to do that to people. Bush won the district with 54%(Port Huron in St. Clair county tilts democrat). This will be a tough defense for Espinoza, unless Muxlow gets a rematch.
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