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The Results Are In: Many Primary Election Chamber-Endorsed Candidates Move Onto November

Advocacy News – Aug. 3, 2022

Michigan now (mostly) knows the outcomes of its Aug. 2 primary elections. The good news? A significant number of pro-business, pro-jobs candidates are advancing.   

The challenges of economic rebounding from COVID-19 along with ongoing concerns about workforce shortages and barriers to employment, rising prices and a continued desire to increase Michigan’s competitiveness were forefront for this year’s deliberations of the Michigan Chamber PAC Board, comprised of member businesses and organizations from across the Great Lakes State. The board focused on identifying and supporting candidates who can be pragmatic problem solvers and understand the critical role Michigan’s businesses play in every community and for every Michigander, as well as the importance of fostering an environment for job providers to grow, compete and succeed.  

There were several major races where the Michigan Chamber backed candidates saw success: 

The Race for Governor. In the Republican primary for Governor, Chamber-backed candidate Tudor Dixon prevailed handily. She will face incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who ran unopposed, in the November general election. The Chamber endorsed Dixon for the Republican nomination, finding her to be the best choice for GOP voters in August. The Chamber has indicated it will reevaluate any endorsement determination for the November general election. 

CongressAll but two Chamber-backed candidates for Congress, or 80%, prevailed in their primary elections on Tuesday, including:   

  • Cong. Jack Bergman (R – 1st Congressional District) 
  • Cong. John Moolenaar (R – 2nd Congressional District) 
  • Cong. Bill Huizenga (R – 4th Congressional District)  
  • Cong. Tim Walberg (R – 5th Congressional District) 
  • Current Republican State Sen.Tom Barrett (running for the 7th Congressional District) 
  • Cong. Lisa McClain (R – 9th Congressional District) 
  • Businessman and Republican John James (running for the 10th Congressional District) 
  • Cong. Haley Stevens (D – 11th Congressional District) 

Two congressional candidates did not make it across the finish line: Cong. Peter Meijer (R – 3rd Congressional District), who lost narrowly to John Gibbs, and current Democratic State Sen. Adam Hollier (D – running for the 13th Congressional District), who lost to current State Representative and former gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar. 

State Senate. For the Michigan Senate, 20 out of 22 Chamber-backed candidates (announcements HERE and HERE), or 91%, will advance to the November general election, including: 

  • 6th Senate District – Mary Cavanagh (D)  
  • 9th – Mike Webber (R) 
  • 11th – Mike MacDonald (R) 
  • 12th – Pam Hornberger (R) 
  • 14th – Tim Golding (R) 
  • 18th – Tom Albert (R) 
  • 20th – Aric Nesbitt (R) 
  • 22nd – Lana Theis (R) 
  • 23rd – Jim Runestad (R)  
  • 24th – Ruth Johnson (R) 
  • 25th – Dan Lauwers (R) 
  • 26th – Kevin Daley (R) 
  • 29th – Tommy Brann (R) 
  • 30th – Mark Huizenga (R) 
  • 31st – Roger Victory (R) 
  • 32nd – Jon Bumstead (R) 
  • 33rd – Rick Outman (R) 
  • 34th – Roger Hauck (R) 
  • 36th – Michele Hoitenga (R) 
  • 38th – Ed McBroom (R) 

State House – Incumbents. In the State House, all but two Chamber-backed incumbent State Representatives seeking re-election, or 94%, will move onto the November general election.   

  • 2nd House District – Tullio Liberati, Jr. (D)  
  • 4th – Karen Whitsett (D) 
  • 10th – Joe Tate (D) 
  • 25th – Kevin Coleman (D) 
  • 29th – Alex Garza (D) 
  • 35th – Andrew Fink (R) 
  • 37th – Brad Paquette (R) 
  • 39th – Pauline Wendzel (R) 
  • 42nd – Matt Hall (R) 
  • 45th – Sarah Lightner (R) 
  • 49th – Ann Bollin (R) 
  • 50th – Robert Bezotte (R) 
  • 52nd – Mike Harris (R) 
  • 55th – Mark Tisdel (R) 
  • 58th – Nate Shannon (D)  
  • 64th – Andrew Beeler (R)  
  • 67th – Phil Green (R) 
  • 68th – Dave Martin (R) 
  • 72nd – Mike Mueller (R) 
  • 76th – Angela Witwer (D) 
  • 85th – Bradley Slagh (R) 
  • 88th – Greg VanWoerkom (R) 
  • 89th – Luke Meerman (R) 
  • 90th – Bryan Posthumus (R) 
  • 91st – Pat Outman (R) 
  • 93rd – Graham Filler (R) 
  • 96th – Timothy Beson (R) 
  • 103rd – Jack O’Malley (R) 
  • 104th – John Roth (R) 
  • 105th – Ken Borton (R) 
  • 110th – Gregory Markkanen (R) 

State House – Open and Challenge Seats. Eighteen out of 28 Chamber-backed candidates seeking open seats or challenging incumbents, or 64%, will move onto the November general election. In this category, several of the Chamber-back candidates were eked out by Trump-endorsed candidates.  The advancing candidates include: 

  • 21st House District – David Staudt (R) 
  • 30th – William Bruck (R) 
  • 24th – Dale Zorn (R) 
  • 38th – Kevin Whiteford (R) 
  • 46th – Kathy Schmaltz (R) 
  • 57th – Thomas Kuhn (R) 
  • 59th – Doug Wozniak (R) 
  • 60th – Joseph Aragona (R) 
  • 63rd – Jay DeBoyer (R) 
  • 73rd – Norm Shinkle (R)  
  • 81st – Lynn Afendoulis (R)  
  • 84th – Mike Milanowski, Jr. (R) 
  • 86th – Nancy DeBoer (R) 
  • 87th – Will Snyder (D)  
  • 95th – Bill G. Schuette (R) 
  • 100th – Tom Kunse (R)  
  • 102nd – Curt VanderWall (R) 
  • 106th – Cam Cavitt (R) 

As we move toward the November general election, the Chamber PAC Board will continue to evaluate candidates and their understanding of key business issues and policy approach. We will look at:   

  1. Races where the MI Chamber only made an endorsement for the primary and evaluate whether to continue with our support or support another candidate; 
  2. Races where the MI Chamber preferred candidate did not win but we have a favorable candidate questionnaire (state legislative races) or interview (congressional) thereby allowing the PAC Board to make an endorsement heading into the general election; and/or  
  3. Races where MI Chamber did not endorse in the primary.  This could include situations where the PAC Board felt there wasn’t a difference between the candidates in the primary election (e.g., they’d all be good lawmakers and/or have a supportive track record) or where our endorsement may have not made a difference in the primary election result.   

For non-incumbent candidates seeking election to the State House or Senate to be eligible for a Chamber endorsement, they must have filled out a candidate questionnaire prior to the August primary. Congressional and gubernatorial endorsements are based on the candidate’s prior voting record (if there is one) and candidate interviews. For incumbent lawmakers, endorsement decisions are largely based on the candidate’s voting record in the Chamber’s Job Providers Index.   

“As the economy tightens and historic inflation, workforce shortages and supply chain issues continue, public policy issues that affect Michigan’s job providers are more important than ever,” said Wendy Block, VP of Business Advocacy and Member Engagement. “We want to help ensure candidates who are pragmatic problem solvers, can work collaboratively and understand Michigan businesses. We all benefit from a stronger Michigan that works for our employers, communities and families.” 

Please contact Wendy Block with questions at wblock@michamber.com. 

Advocacy News – Aug. 3, 2022

Michigan now (mostly) knows the outcomes of its Aug. 2 primary elections. The good news? A significant number of pro-business, pro-jobs candidates are advancing.   

The challenges of economic rebounding from COVID-19 along with ongoing concerns about workforce shortages and barriers to employment, rising prices and a continued desire to increase Michigan’s competitiveness were forefront for this year’s deliberations of the Michigan Chamber PAC Board, comprised of member businesses and organizations from across the Great Lakes State. The board focused on identifying and supporting candidates who can be pragmatic problem solvers and understand the critical role Michigan’s businesses play in every community and for every Michigander, as well as the importance of fostering an environment for job providers to grow, compete and succeed.  

There were several major races where the Michigan Chamber backed candidates saw success: 

The Race for Governor. In the Republican primary for Governor, Chamber-backed candidate Tudor Dixon prevailed handily. She will face incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who ran unopposed, in the November general election. The Chamber endorsed Dixon for the Republican nomination, finding her to be the best choice for GOP voters in August. The Chamber has indicated it will reevaluate any endorsement determination for the November general election. 

CongressAll but two Chamber-backed candidates for Congress, or 80%, prevailed in their primary elections on Tuesday, including:   

  • Cong. Jack Bergman (R – 1st Congressional District) 
  • Cong. John Moolenaar (R – 2nd Congressional District) 
  • Cong. Bill Huizenga (R – 4th Congressional District)  
  • Cong. Tim Walberg (R – 5th Congressional District) 
  • Current Republican State Sen.Tom Barrett (running for the 7th Congressional District) 
  • Cong. Lisa McClain (R – 9th Congressional District) 
  • Businessman and Republican John James (running for the 10th Congressional District) 
  • Cong. Haley Stevens (D – 11th Congressional District) 

Two congressional candidates did not make it across the finish line: Cong. Peter Meijer (R – 3rd Congressional District), who lost narrowly to John Gibbs, and current Democratic State Sen. Adam Hollier (D – running for the 13th Congressional District), who lost to current State Representative and former gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar. 

State Senate. For the Michigan Senate, 20 out of 22 Chamber-backed candidates (announcements HERE and HERE), or 91%, will advance to the November general election, including: 

  • 6th Senate District – Mary Cavanagh (D)  
  • 9th – Mike Webber (R) 
  • 11th – Mike MacDonald (R) 
  • 12th – Pam Hornberger (R) 
  • 14th – Tim Golding (R) 
  • 18th – Tom Albert (R) 
  • 20th – Aric Nesbitt (R) 
  • 22nd – Lana Theis (R) 
  • 23rd – Jim Runestad (R)  
  • 24th – Ruth Johnson (R) 
  • 25th – Dan Lauwers (R) 
  • 26th – Kevin Daley (R) 
  • 29th – Tommy Brann (R) 
  • 30th – Mark Huizenga (R) 
  • 31st – Roger Victory (R) 
  • 32nd – Jon Bumstead (R) 
  • 33rd – Rick Outman (R) 
  • 34th – Roger Hauck (R) 
  • 36th – Michele Hoitenga (R) 
  • 38th – Ed McBroom (R) 

State House – Incumbents. In the State House, all but two Chamber-backed incumbent State Representatives seeking re-election, or 94%, will move onto the November general election.   

  • 2nd House District – Tullio Liberati, Jr. (D)  
  • 4th – Karen Whitsett (D) 
  • 10th – Joe Tate (D) 
  • 25th – Kevin Coleman (D) 
  • 29th – Alex Garza (D) 
  • 35th – Andrew Fink (R) 
  • 37th – Brad Paquette (R) 
  • 39th – Pauline Wendzel (R) 
  • 42nd – Matt Hall (R) 
  • 45th – Sarah Lightner (R) 
  • 49th – Ann Bollin (R) 
  • 50th – Robert Bezotte (R) 
  • 52nd – Mike Harris (R) 
  • 55th – Mark Tisdel (R) 
  • 58th – Nate Shannon (D)  
  • 64th – Andrew Beeler (R)  
  • 67th – Phil Green (R) 
  • 68th – Dave Martin (R) 
  • 72nd – Mike Mueller (R) 
  • 76th – Angela Witwer (D) 
  • 85th – Bradley Slagh (R) 
  • 88th – Greg VanWoerkom (R) 
  • 89th – Luke Meerman (R) 
  • 90th – Bryan Posthumus (R) 
  • 91st – Pat Outman (R) 
  • 93rd – Graham Filler (R) 
  • 96th – Timothy Beson (R) 
  • 103rd – Jack O’Malley (R) 
  • 104th – John Roth (R) 
  • 105th – Ken Borton (R) 
  • 110th – Gregory Markkanen (R) 

State House – Open and Challenge Seats. Eighteen out of 28 Chamber-backed candidates seeking open seats or challenging incumbents, or 64%, will move onto the November general election. In this category, several of the Chamber-back candidates were eked out by Trump-endorsed candidates.  The advancing candidates include: 

  • 21st House District – David Staudt (R) 
  • 30th – William Bruck (R) 
  • 24th – Dale Zorn (R) 
  • 38th – Kevin Whiteford (R) 
  • 46th – Kathy Schmaltz (R) 
  • 57th – Thomas Kuhn (R) 
  • 59th – Doug Wozniak (R) 
  • 60th – Joseph Aragona (R) 
  • 63rd – Jay DeBoyer (R) 
  • 73rd – Norm Shinkle (R)  
  • 81st – Lynn Afendoulis (R)  
  • 84th – Mike Milanowski, Jr. (R) 
  • 86th – Nancy DeBoer (R) 
  • 87th – Will Snyder (D)  
  • 95th – Bill G. Schuette (R) 
  • 100th – Tom Kunse (R)  
  • 102nd – Curt VanderWall (R) 
  • 106th – Cam Cavitt (R) 

As we move toward the November general election, the Chamber PAC Board will continue to evaluate candidates and their understanding of key business issues and policy approach. We will look at:   

  1. Races where the MI Chamber only made an endorsement for the primary and evaluate whether to continue with our support or support another candidate; 
  2. Races where the MI Chamber preferred candidate did not win but we have a favorable candidate questionnaire (state legislative races) or interview (congressional) thereby allowing the PAC Board to make an endorsement heading into the general election; and/or  
  3. Races where MI Chamber did not endorse in the primary.  This could include situations where the PAC Board felt there wasn’t a difference between the candidates in the primary election (e.g., they’d all be good lawmakers and/or have a supportive track record) or where our endorsement may have not made a difference in the primary election result.   

For non-incumbent candidates seeking election to the State House or Senate to be eligible for a Chamber endorsement, they must have filled out a candidate questionnaire prior to the August primary. Congressional and gubernatorial endorsements are based on the candidate’s prior voting record (if there is one) and candidate interviews. For incumbent lawmakers, endorsement decisions are largely based on the candidate’s voting record in the Chamber’s Job Providers Index.   

“As the economy tightens and historic inflation, workforce shortages and supply chain issues continue, public policy issues that affect Michigan’s job providers are more important than ever,” said Wendy Block, VP of Business Advocacy and Member Engagement. “We want to help ensure candidates who are pragmatic problem solvers, can work collaboratively and understand Michigan businesses. We all benefit from a stronger Michigan that works for our employers, communities and families.” 

Please contact Wendy Block with questions at wblock@michamber.com.