Magazine article State Legislatures

Special Elections: Michigan House Still Tied

Magazine article State Legislatures

Special Elections: Michigan House Still Tied

Article excerpt

By capturing three April 26 special elections--including one by only 98 votes out of nearly 23,000 cast--Democrats thwarted a Republican attempt to seize control of the Michigan House for the first time in 25 years. The return to a 55-55 party split means continuation of the shared power arrangement that Co-Speakers Curtis Hertel and Paul Hillegonds crafted after the 1992 elections.

As expected, Democrats easily won two seats vacated by Democrats who left because they were elected mayors. Hubert Price of Pontiac won the seat of former Representative Charlie Harrison, and Lynn Martinez of Lansing won the seat vacated by Representative David Hollister.

But it was a tight race in the heavily Democratic 110th District to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Democratic Representative Stephen Shepich after his conviction for fraud in the House Fiscal Agency scandal. (The disclosure and coverage of that story won a Pulitzer Prize for Detroit News reporters Eric Freedman and Jim Mitzelfeld.)

Official certification had Democrat Paul Tesanovich, a former Hertel aide, defeating Stephen Dresch by 39 votes. …

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