Election Results and Changes in House Leadership

Posted on November 11, 2016 by Dene Westbrook

State House

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.


New Members

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.

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