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Dems to regain Mich. House majority after voters fill vacancies

Michigan Capitol building in Lansing on a summer day.
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio
The Michigan Capitol building in Lansing.

Michigan Democrats are poised to regain their state House majority after declaring victory in two special elections to fill vacancies.

The House has been evenly divided for five months since two Democrats resigned to take office as the mayors of Warren and Westland. Democratic nominees Mai Xiong and Peter Herzberg easily won their races in districts that leaned heavily in their favor over the Republican nominees.

House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) cheered the results and said they show voters’ faith in Democratic leadership.

“They elected Democrats in specials tonight and we know Michiganders will choose a Democratic majority again in November,” he said in a prepared statement. “The House Democratic Caucus is happy to be back at full strength and more than ready to have Mai Xiong and Peter Herzberg help us continue to put people first.”

Xiong is a Macomb County commissioner who defeated Ronald Singer to fill the seat left empty by former Representative Lori Stone, who is now the mayor of Warren.

Herzberg, a Westland City Council member, defeated Josh Powell in the race to fill the House seat vacated last November by Kevin Coleman. That was after she won his race for mayor of Westland.

Once the results are canvassed and certified, the new lawmakers will be sworn in. Xiong and Herzberg will serve out the rest of the current term that ends in December and are expected to run for reelection in the August primary and November general election.

Democrats have remained in charge under the House rules but kept the schedule light without a majority of votes to get things done.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.