David Maturen is a Republican state representative representing district 63 (eastern Kalamazoo and southern Calhoun counties). He has held the seat since 2014, after spending 12 years on the Kalamazoo County Commission. Maturen is one of the most liberal Republicans in the state house.
The National Rifle Association has just issued its endorsements for the 2018 primary. They give grades to candidates who have voting records or fill out their survey. They endorse most acceptable incumbents and endorse in some open seats. Endorsed candidates are in bold. (Aq means a candidate got an A from the questionnaire only, and doesn’t have a voting record.)
Governor: No endorsement. Schuette got A+, Calley and Colbeck got A, Hines got Aq.
US Senate: No endorsement. John James and Sandy Pensler both got Aq.
8. Bishop A endorsed.
11. All five Republican candidates got A or Aq.
6. (D) Kosowski B, Geiss F
8. Lucido A+, Goike A
10. All three got Aq.
12. Tedder A, McCready D
14. Apparently nobody filled out the questionnaire.
15. Jim Runestad A+
16. Mike Shirkey A+
19. Bizon B+, Callton A.
21. LaSata A, Pagel C.
22. Lana Theis A+
24. Barrett and Roberts both got A.
26. Nesbitt and Genetski both got A.
29. Chris Afendoulis got C+.
30. Victory, Garcia got A, DeBoer Aq, Haveman B+.
31. Gary Glenn A+, Daley A-.
32. (D) Phelps A, Gaudreau F
33. Rick Outman A
34. Bumstead, Hughes both got A.
35. Franz, Vanderwall, and Rendon all got A.
37. Schmidt A+, Gurr Aq.
38. McBroom A, Carey Aq.
Michigan Right to Life has just issued its endorsements for the 2018 primary. RTL swings a significant number of Michigan primary voters, so its endorsements will decide some races.
RTL will recommend all candidates if they are all pro-life, but if there is a serious non-pro-life candidate, they will pick one pro-life candidate to endorse. Their noteworthy endorsements are listed below.
Governor: All Republican candidates meet criteria.
US Senate: John James solely endorsed. Sandy Pensler is not endorsed.
All Republican incumbents are endorsed except for Fred Upton. Notably, Upton was endorsed in 2012, 2014, and 2016 despite a past pro-abortion record.
9. Candius Stearns
11. All five Republican candidates are endorsed.
State Senate: All Republican incumbents are endorsed.
8. Both Lucido and Goike
10. All are endorsed
12. McCready and Tedder are endorsed (not Molnar or Whitney).
14. No endorsement of Ruth Johnson.
15. Jim Runestad solely endorsed.
19. Both Bizon and Callton are endorsed.
21. Both LaSata and Pagel are endorsed.
22. Lana Theis solely endorsed.
24. Both Barrett and Roberts are endorsed. Roberts has not been endorsed in past cycles.
26. Nesbitt, Genetski, and Wickstra all endorsed.
29. Chris Afendoulis solely endorsed.
30. Victory, Garcia, DeBoer, Haveman all endorsed.
31. Glenn and Daley both endorsed. Luczak (D) solely endorsed.
33. Rick Outman solely endorsed.
34. Bumstead and Hughes both endorsed.
35. Franz, Vanderwall, and Rendon endorsed (not Urka).
38. Carey, McBroom both endorsed.
The race for the Republican nomination for Attorney General will be decided at the Michigan Republican Convention on August 25 in Lansing. Two candidates are competing for the nomination. Tom Leonard was a prosecutor who was elected to the Michigan state house in 2012 and became speaker in 2016. Tonya Schuitmaker is a lawyer, state representative (2004-2010) and state senator (2010-2018).
Republican delegates who want to nominate the right person need to know the records of the two candidates. Both have voting records, which can be researched at MichiganVotes.org. The following summarizes their records on issues of importance to conservatives.
Gas Tax Increase Both Leonard and Tonya opposed Proposal 1, which would have increased taxes by 2 billion dollars to pay for roads and other transportation projects. Leonard and Tonya both supported a smaller gas tax increase for roads.
Amazon TaxLeonard opposed the ‘Amazon Tax’ to force consumers to pay sales tax on out-of-state internet purchases. Tonya supported this tax increase.
Income Tax CutLeonard supported and led an effort to cut the state income tax, which narrowly failed in the state house. The state senate did not vote on the bill.
Medicaid Expansion Both Leonard and Tonya opposed Medicaid expansion, which was part of the implementation of Obamacare.
Pension Reform Both Leonard and Tonya supported reforming school employee pensions. Leonard led the effort to make sure that the bill passed.
Business Subsidies The Mackinac Center recently released an index to rate how often a legislator has voted to support taxpayer supported business subsidies. Leonard supported 70.1% of subsidies, while Tonya supported 76.9% of subsidies.
Hollywood Subsidies Both Leonard and Tonya voted to end subsidies for Hollywood movie studios.
FoxConn SubsidiesLeonard opposed subsidies for FoxConn, a Taiwanese company. Tonya supported the subsidies.
Electric ChoiceLeonard and Tonya both voted for a bill to impose more regulation on electricity generation and limit choice of electricity providers.
Auto InsuranceLeonard supported a bill to reform auto insurance to provide more choices and reduce rates. The bill failed in the state house and was not taken up in the state senate.
Speed Limits Both Leonard and Tonya voted for a small increase in freeway speed limits.
Common CoreLeonard opposed the implementation of Common Core education standards. The state senate passed Common Core with an (unrecorded) voice vote, but Tonya indicated her support for Common Core. Neither chamber has voted on Common Core repeal legislation this session.
Constitutional CarryLeonard voted for constitutional carry, and made sure the bill was voted on as speaker. The state senate has not taken up the bill.
Official EnglishLeonard supported making English the official language of Michigan. Tonya was one of only two Republicans to oppose official English in 2006.
District 1 (Upper Peninsula, Northern Lower Peninsula) Safe Republican.
CD12: 48.1-47.6 CD14: 52-45 CD16: 55-40 McCain: 48.5 Romney: 53.5 Trump 57.9
Following the retirement of Dan Benishek, conservative retired general Jack Bergman defeated moderate state senator Tom Casperson and former senator Jason Allen 39-32-28 in the R primary. He defeated former Michigan democrat chairman Lon Johnson, a liberal who bought a small house in Kalkaska County, in the general. Veteran Matt Morgan is running for the D nomination, but may be disqualified because he messed up his petitions.
District 2 (Ottowa, Muskegon) Safe Republican.
CD12: 61-34 CD14: 64-33 CD16: 63-33 McCain: 50.4 Romney: 56 Trump 55.8
Republican former state rep. Bill Huizinga won a close primary in 2010 to replace Pete Hoekstra, and was easily reelected since then. He has generally voted a fairly conservative line. This remains the most Republican district in Michigan. Robert Davidson and Nick Schiller are running for the D nomination.
Every seat in the Michigan state senate is up for election in 2018, and the majority of seats are open due to term limits. The senate has been run by more moderate Republicans, who have obstructed more conservative legislation passed in the state house. How conservative the senate is for the next four years will be determined by Republican primaries in August. Here are my recommendations for who to support in those primaries.
Recommended candidates are in bold. Their voting records can be found at MichiganVotes.org.
7. State rep Laura Cox is an establishment conservative who is a strong candidate in a vulnerable district. She is unopposed.
8. State rep Peter Lucido is a mixed bag who opposed Proposal 1 and an increased gas tax but also opposed right to work and electric choice and supported Hollywood subsidies. He faces former state rep Ken Goike, who opposed right to work, Common Core, Medicaid expansion, Proposal 1, and Hollywood subsidies, and supported a gas tax increase and electric choice.
10. Dr. Michael MacDonald seems to be the most credible candidate in a weak field. Michael Shallal has a history of questionable statements, and Joseph Bogdan is running a gadfly campaign.
12. State rep Jim Tedder is more conservative than average in the state house, opposing Hollywood subsidies and supporting an income tax cut, constitutional carry, and pension reform. He faces moderate state rep Michael McCready, who supported Common Core, Medicaid expansion, Proposal 1, Hollywood subsidies and opposed an income tax cut, constitutional carry and pension reform. Vernon Molnar and Terry Whitney are also running.
All 38 seats in the Michigan Senate are up for election in 2014. Republicans currently have a 27-11 supermajority, and have controlled the senate since 1983. Republican control of the state senate has prevented democrats from complete control of Michigan’s government in some years, and stopped a lot of bad things from being passed.
Fortunately for Republicans, the Michigan state senate is up only in midterms, which usually favor Republicans much more than presidential years. Republicans had a good year in 2014, picking up one state senate seat, following four pickups in 2010.
The 2010 redistricting produced a map that was moderately pro-Republican, while complying with all relevant laws.
There are 26 open seats due to term-limits, 7 D and 19 R. All current state senators are former state representatives except three (Colbeck, Conyers, Hertel). This pattern held in the past, and most credible candidates this time are current or former state reps.
For the past few years, the state senate has been more moderate than the state house. This cycle, there are several ideologically split Republican primaries that will determine how conservative the state senate will be next year. These will be in districts 12, 21, 24, 26, 30, 31, 34, and 35.
I have included election data for the 2014 state senate election, and McCain (2008), Romney (2012), and Trump (2016) results in each district. More data is available from Republican Michigander and RRH Elections.
The McCain numbers look terrible for Republicans because he collapsed after publicly pulling out of Michigan. The largest McCain percentage in any Michigan state senate district won by a democrat in the past twelve years is 46.2% in (old) district 31.
Here is a breakdown of the individual races. State reps years in office are listed after their names, with P meaning present.
January 31 was the deadline for campaign finance reports for Michigan legislature. Some races are already well-developed, while in others, candidates have only recently declared or have yet to declare. Here are summaries of the total amount raised in Michigan state senate districts. Totals include state house committees for state representatives. Cash on hand is in parentheses when significantly less than the total raised.
October 25 was the deadline for campaign finance reports for Michigan legislature. Some races are already well-developed, while in others, candidates have only recently declared or have yet to declare. Here are summaries of the total cash on hand in Michigan state senate districts. Totals include state house committees for state representatives. XX means the report has yet to be filed.
On Wednesday, the Michigan state house passed a package of bills to implement constitutional carry in Michigan. Constitutional carry means that the government does not impose any permits or fees before citizens can exercise their constitutional right to carry firearms. Around five years ago, support for constitutional carry moved from the fringe to a mainstream Republican position. Twelve states now have constitutional carry, and more are considering it.
Scott Dianda – district 110 (western UP) – running for state senate (district 38) in 2018
Seven Republicans voted against some or all of the bills. They are
Kathy Crawford (against 3 of 4) – district 38 (Novi) – termed out in 2020
Michael McCready (against all 4) – district 40 (Bloomfield) – termed out in 2018 – may run for senate (district 12)
Martin Howrylak (against 2 of 4) – district 41 (Troy) – termed out in 2018
David Maturen (against all 4) – district 63 (E Kalamazoo) – termed out in 2020
Chris Afendoulis (against all 4) – district 73 (GR Township) – termed out in 2020 – may run for senate (district 29)
Rob Verhuelen (against all 4) – district 74 (Walker) – termed out in 2018. Verhuelen ran against Tom Leonard for Speaker last year.
Dave Pagel (against all 4) – district 78 (S Berrien) – termed out in 2018
The bills now go to the state senate, where it is not certain whether they will be taken up. It is also unclear whether Governor Snyder, who has a mixed record on gun rights, would sign them. Nonetheless, Speaker Tom Leonard and most Republicans in the state house deserve credit for getting them this far.