Republicans will retain control of the Michigan House of Representatives next year, as Democrats were unable to take the nine seats required to win the majority. The Republican majority is the same as in the 2014 general election, with 63 Republicans and 47 Democrats.
Two House Districts flipped this election. In the 17th House District, Incumbent Representative Bill LaVoy (D – Monroe) was unseated by Republican Joseph Bellino. Representative LaVoy was the only incumbent to not win re-election this year. The Democrats made up this one loss with Democrat Darrin Camilleri winning the Downriver-based 23rd District, currently held by Representative Somerville (R – New Boston).
Those elected for Republican and Democrat leadership of the 99th Legislature will begin their new roles on January 1st, 2017. Representative Tom Leonard (R – DeWitt) is the new Speaker of the House, replacing current Speaker Kevin Cotter (R – Mount Pleasant).
Representative Sam Singh (D – East Lansing) is the new House Minority Leader. House Minority Leader Tim Greimel announced Wednesday he would not seek re-election after the party was unable to narrow the Republican majority during the election. Representative Singh has many years of local government experience prior to him joining the House of Representatives. He served on East Lansing City Council for 10 years and is a former Mayor of East Lansing. See below for the new leadership.
There are 43 new members of the House of Representatives. Of these 43, there are over 15 with a background in local and county government. Please see below for a detailed chart, indicating their roles in municipal governments.
|New House Members with Local Government Backgrounds|
|Name||(District – Main City)||Party Affiliation||% Won||Municipal Background|
|Julie Alexander||(64 – Hanover)||Republican||63%||Jackson County Board of Commissioners|
|Sue Allor||(106 – Wolverine)||Republican||61%||Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners|
|Julie Calley||(87 – Portland)||Republican||67%||Ionia County Commissioner (8 years)|
|Brian Elder||(96 – Bay City)||Democrat||58%||Bay County 7th District Commissioner (2003-2010) & Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys|
|Jim Ellison||(26 – Royal Oak)||Democrat||59%||Past Chairman of the Royal Oak Planning Commission & 7 terms as Royal Oak Mayor|
|Ben Frederick||(85 – Owosso)||Republican||56%||Owosso City Council (9 years) & Mayor of Owosso|
|Patrick Green||(28 – Warren)||Democrat||66%||Warren Councilman|
|Beth Griffin||(66 – Mattawan)||Republican||54%||Van Buren County Commission Vice Chair|
|Michele Hoitenga||(102 – Manton)||Republican||69%||Mayor City of Manton|
|Jewell Jones||(11 – Inkster)||Democrat||66%||Inkster City Councilman|
|James Lower||(70 – Cedar Lake)||Republican||63%||Vice-Chairman Ionia County Commission & Edmore Village Manager|
|Steve Marino||(24 – Harrison Township)||Republican||55%||Macomb County Commissioner|
|Ronnie Peterson||(54 – Ypsilanti)||Democrat||75%||Washtenaw County Commissioner|
|Yousef Rabhi||(53 – Ann Arbor)||Democrat||80%||Washtenaw County Commissioner|
|Terry Sabo||(92 – Muskegon)||Democrat||68%||2011-12 Muskegon County Road Commissioner|
|William Sowerby||(31 – Clinton Township)||Democrat||56%||Clinton Township Treasurer|
|Jeff Yaroch||(33 – Richmond)||Republican||70%||Richmond City Council (16 years)|
Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.