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AP Decision Notes: What to expect in Michigan’s state house special elections

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michigan Democrats hope to restore their slim majority in the state House of Representatives on Tuesday when voters fill two vacant seats in suburban Detroit.

The chamber deadlocked at 54-54 in November when two Democratic members won mayoral elections. Democrats previously had full control of state government since the 2022 midterms, when they flipped the state Senate and the House and held on to the governorship.

In District 13, which includes parts of Macomb and Wayne counties northeast of Detroit, Democrat Mai Xiong faces Republican Ronald Singer. Xiong is in her second term on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, where she represents parts of the city of Warren. She had the endorsement of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the Jan. 30 special primary. Singer is a mechanical engineer who ran unsuccessfully for this seat in the 2022 general election.

In District 25, which includes the city of Westland in Wayne County west of Detroit, Democrat Peter Herzberg faces Republican Josh Powell. Herzberg, a member of the Westland City Council, defeated fellow councilmember Andrea Rutkowski in a five-way Jan. 30 primary, 36% to 30%. Rutkowski had Whitmer’s endorsement, while Herzberg was endorsed by Kevin Coleman, the new mayor of Westland, who most recently held the seat.

Democrats are heavily favored in both contests. Former Democratic state Rep. Lori Stone, who last represented the 13th District before her election as mayor of Warren, defeated Singer in the 2022 general election with 67% of the vote. Coleman last carried the 25th District with 63% of the vote.

The winners will serve for the remainder of the year.

Here’s a look at what to expect on Tuesday:


The special state House elections will be held on Tuesday. Polls close at 8 p.m. ET.


The Associated Press will provide coverage for the special elections in state House districts 13 and 25. On the District 13 ballot, Xiong is the Democratic nominee and Singer is the Republican nominee. On the District 25 ballot, Herzberg is the Democratic nominee, Powell is the Republican nominee and Robert Stano is the nominee for the U.S. Taxpayers Party of Michigan.


Any voter registered in the 13th or 25th state House districts may participate in Tuesday’s special elections.


The 2022 general election provides a good indication of the challenge both Republican nominees face in the special elections.

In District 13, most of the district is located in Macomb County, where Singer received 40% of the vote. In Wayne County, which makes up about one-fifth of the District 13 electorate, Singer received only 3% of the vote.

In District 25, which is located entirely within Wayne County, the Republican nominee in 2022 received about 37% of the vote.

The AP does not make projections and will declare a winner only when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap. If a race has not been called, the AP will continue to cover any newsworthy developments, such as candidate concessions or declarations of victory. In doing so, the AP will make clear that it has not yet declared a winner and explain why.

The AP may declare a winner in a race that is eligible for a recount if it can determine the lead is too large for a recount or legal challenge to change the outcome.


Turnout for special elections tends to be much lower than in regularly scheduled elections. In District 13, a total of 29,611 votes were cast in the 2022 general election, while 6,700 votes were cast in the Democratic and Republican special primaries on Jan. 30.

In District 25, the total votes cast in 2022 was 33,477, while 7,820 were cast in the Jan. 30 special primaries.


In the 2022 general election, the AP first reported results at 8:05 p.m. ET, or five minutes after polls closed in most of the state. By noon ET the following day, about 97% of total votes had been counted.


As of Tuesday, there will be 203 days until the November general election.


Follow the AP’s coverage of the 2024 election at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

Robert Yoon, The Associated Press

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