Jan 30, 2024 - News

Detroit votes: Special election primary polls open at 7am

Illustration of an African American man's hand holding an "I Voted!" button  surrounded by ballot elements.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Around 23,000 Detroiters can vote in Tuesday's 13th House District special primary.

Driving the news: The primary will nominate candidates to fill the vacancy in the 13th House District. Macomb County commissioner Mai Xiong, former Rep. LaMar Lemmons III of Detroit and Warren resident Suzanne Ostosh are running as Democrats.

  • Running in the Republican primary are Warren pastor Curtiss Ostosh, Suzanne Ostosh's husband, plus Warren residents Brandon Cumbee and Ronald Singer.

Why it matters: Two special elections in heavily Democratic Metro Detroit districts will determine whether Democrats maintain control of the House after the party's 56-54 majority slipped to a 54-54 tie with Republicans last November.

Catch up quick: Special elections in the 13th and 25th House districts will choose replacements for former state Rep. Lori Stone, who was elected mayor of Warren, and former state Rep. Kevin Coleman, who was elected mayor of Westland.

  • Their elections led Democratic leadership to adjourn the Legislature early and hold off on passing major legislation until it regains the majority.

State of play: Xiong has received endorsements from big-name Democrats: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Stone and Detroit City Council member Scott Benson, who represents District 3 (which overlaps with the 13th House District).

  • Xiong also was endorsed by organizations like the AFL-CIO, the Working Families Party, the UAW and the We the People Action Fund.

Zoom out: The 25th District primary also takes place Tuesday across western Wayne County to replace Coleman. The candidates in the Democratic race are Whitmer-endorsed Andrea Rutkowski, Peter Herzberg, Melandie Hines, Shannon Rochon and Layla Taha.

  • The lone Republican candidate is Josh Powell.
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