Granderson: Democratic victories in Michigan show the way to 2024
Democratic Rep. Brenda Clark, who was elected in a special district in the Detroit suburbs, is pictured at a swearing-in ceremony for newly elected district attorney, Dana Nessel, in Detroit on Oct. 24. (Gus Chan/The Washington Post)
Tens of thousands of Democrats gathered in Lansing on Saturday to celebrate new leaders who will run Michigan in the next presidential election year.
Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who was elected in a special election to Michigan’s first statewide elected post last week, received the most votes of any woman in the House.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., stands with Joe Raedle from the Detroit Free Press after she was elected in a special election to the United States Senate on Oct. 23. (AP)
Michigan Democrats were particularly energized by Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer’s victory a day earlier.
Whitmer campaigned on several new jobs-creation initiatives — including a call for legalizing marijuana — that were widely rejected by Democratic elected officials and liberal groups, and that came in stark contrast to the incumbent governor. “We won this election because our base was on board with the governor,” said Tom Cross, a Democrat from Macomb County. “There was a lot of pent-up anger in this election. Michigan is a diverse state, and people are demanding change.”
Michigan Democrats celebrated Whitmer’s victory with party leaders Saturday, who met at a hotel ballroom to make final preparations for next year’s election.
Democrats will have to hold onto gubernatorial, senatorial and other key seats in the November election to keep control of the Legislature.
That’s the case in many parts of the country, where the 2016 election cycle created a situation where Republicans gained majorities in the House and Senate, and are seeking to expand onto governors’ offices and, theoretically, make gains in state