All 14 Michigan seats to the United States House of Representatives
The 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, to elect the 14 U.S. Representatives from the state of Michigan, a decrease of one following the 2010 United States Census. The elections coincided with the elections of other federal and state offices, including a quadrennial presidential election and an election to the U.S. Senate. Primary elections were held on August 7, 2012. The filing deadline for candidates to file to run in the primary was May 15. Except for two seats, all the incumbents sought re-election. The open seats were the 5th and 11th Congressional Districts. Due to the loss of one seat from the 2010 Census, two congressmen ran against each other. Despite Democrats winning more than 240,000 more votes for U.S. House districts statewide, Republicans won nine of 14 seats and Michiganders tied a state record by electing the lowest rate (35 percent) of U.S. Representatives by a major party whilst simultaneously casting its electoral votes for that party's presidential nominee.
|United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan, 2012|
|Party||Votes||Percentage||Seats Before||Seats After||+/-|
The Michigan Legislature, which is controlled by the Republican Party, began the redistricting process on April 11, 2011. A plan released by the Republican Party in June 2011, which would place the homes of Democrats Gary Peters and Sander Levin into the same district, was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate later that month. The plan was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder on August 9. The two incumbents forced to face each other were Gary Peters and Hansen Clarke.
In redistricting, the 1st district was made slightly more favorable to Republicans: Republican nominee John McCain received less than one percentage point more of the vote in the 2008 presidential election in the newly drawn district compared to the former district.Roll Call had rated the race as "Leans Republican," but changed the rating first to "Tossup" and then "Leans Democratic." Republican Dan Benishek, who was first elected to represent the 1st district in 2010, ran for re-election.
The third-party candidates were Emily Salvette as the Libertarian Party nominee and Ellis Boal as the Green Party nominee.
Gary McDowell, a former state representative and unsuccessful candidate for the 1st district in 2010, ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.Derek Bailey, the tribal chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians had considered running as a Democrat, but chose instead to run for the 101st Michigan House district seat.
|Republican||Dan Benishek (incumbent)||64,411||100.0|
|Benenson Strategy Group||September 29 - October 1, 2012||400||± 4.9%||40%||43%|
|Garin-Hart-Yang||September 18-20, 2012||402||± 4.9%||40%||49%|
|Public Policy Polling||September 18-19, 2012||866||± 3.3%||42%||44%|
|Garin-Hart-Yang||June 19-20, 2012||402||± 4.9%||40%||38%|
|Public Policy Polling||January 18-23, 2012||867||± 3.3%||41%||46%|
|Republican||Dan Benishek (incumbent)||167,060||48.1|
Republican Bill Huizenga, who was first elected to represent the 2nd district in 2010, sought re-election. He was unopposed for the Republican primary. Other third-party candidates on the ballot were Mary Buzuma for the Libertarian Party, Ronald Graeser for the U.S. Taxpayers Party and William Opalicky for the Green Party. Roll Call rates the race as "Safe Republican", and Huizenga won easily re-election with 61.2% of the vote.
Muskegon city commissioner Willie German Jr ran in the August primary as a write-in candidate after David Takitaki, a political science professor at Adrian College and Muskegon Community College, was seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Huizenga, but withdrew from the race for health reasons. Commissioner German was therefore on the ballot on the Democratic side.
|Democratic||Willie German Jr. (write-in)||1,813||100.0|
|Republican||Bill Huizenga (incumbent)||58,170||100.0|
|Republican||Bill Huizenga (incumbent)||194,653||61.2|
|Democratic||Willie German, Jr.||108,973||34.2|
Republican Justin Amash, who was first elected to represent the 3rd district in 2010, is seeking re-election and ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Libertarian Party candidate Bill Gelineau is also on the ballot.
Former state representative, former judge, former Kent County Commissioner and small business owner Steve Pestka won the Democratic primary, defeating Trevor Thomas who had worked for former governor Jennifer Granholm's 2006 re-election campaign and in her executive office. Redistricting drew the home of former Democratic Representative Mark Schauer, who represented the 7th district from 2009 until 2011, into the district; but he decided not to run for Congress in 2012. Pat Miles, a lawyer who unsuccessfully challenged Amash as the Democratic nominee in 2010, also decided not to run.
|Republican||Justin Amash (incumbent)||51,113||100.0|
|Republican||Steven Lee Butler (write-in)||16||0.0|
|Republican||Justin Amash (incumbent)||171,675||52.6|
|Independent||Steven Butler (write-in)||2||0.0|
Republican David Lee Camp, who has represented the 4th district since 1993 and previously represented the 10th district from 1991 until 1993, will seek re-election. The Democratic candidate is attorney Debra Freidell Wirth. The other candidates are John Gelineau for the Libertarian Party, George Zimmer for the U.S. Taxpayers Party and Pat Timmons for the Green Party.Roll Call rates the race as "Likely Republican".
|Democratic||Debra Friedell Wirth||20,519||100.0|
|Republican||Dave Camp (incumbent)||67,028||100.0|
|Republican||Dave Camp (incumbent)||197,386||63.1|
|Democratic||Debra Freidell Wirth||104,996||33.6|
Democrat Dale Kildee, who has represented the 5th district since 2003 and previously represented the 9th district from 1993 until 2003 and the 7th district from 1977 until 1993, chose to retire rather than run for re-election in 2012. His nephew, former Genesee County treasurer Dan Kildee ran unopposed on the Democratic side.
Roll Call rated the race as "Safe Democratic".
Jason Gatties, a business manager and security consultant from St. Joseph, received the US Taxpayers Party of Michigan's nomination at their state convention on June 16, 2012. Christie Gelineau received the Libertarian Party's nomination at their state Saturday June 2, 2012. Roll Call rates the race as "Likely Republican".
Mike O'Brien, a project leader at Herman Miller and former organic farmer, will seek the Democratic nomination. John Waltz, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Kentucky's 4th congressional district in 2010, had planned to seek the Democratic nomination, but dropped out in February 2012 because of an illness.
Former state Representative Jack Hoogendyk, who unsuccessfully challenged Upton in the Republican primary in 2010, announced on January 17, 2012, that he would run again. Upton easily defeated Hoogendyk in the GOP primary.
|EPIC-MRA||July 28-29, 2012||800||± 3.5%||31%||61%||8%|
|Republican||Fred Upton (incumbent)||45,919||66.6|
|Republican||Fred Upton (incumbent)||174,955||54.6|
In redistricting, the 7th district was made slightly more favorable to Republicans: McCain received less than one percentage point more of the vote in the 2008 presidential election in the newly drawn district compared to the former district.
Republican Tim Walberg, who has represented the 7th district since January 2011 and previously served from 2007 until 2009, is running for re-election.Roll Call rates the race as "Likely Republican".
Kurt Haskell, an attorney, and Ruben Marquez, the chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Party, ran for the Democratic nomination. Former U.S. Representative Joe Schwarz, who represented the 7th district from 2005 to 2007 as a Republican and was defeated by Walberg in the Republican primary in 2006, and had been recruited by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has decided not to run. Former U.S. Representative Mark Schauer, who represented the 7th district from 2009 until 2011, no longer lives within its boundaries and will not run.
|Democratic||Kurt Richard Haskell||18,812||66.7|
|Republican||Tim Walberg (incumbent)||45,592||76.0|
|Republican||Tim Walberg (incumbent)||169,668||53.3|
|Democratic||Kurt R. Haskell||136,849||43.0|
|Republican||Mike Rogers (incumbent)||56,208||85.7|
|Republican||Mike Rogers (incumbent)||202,217||58.6|
In redistricting, the homes of Democratic Representatives Sander Levin and Gary Peters were drawn into the 9th district, which comprises mostly Macomb County but also includes a part of Oakland County. Levin, who has represented the 12th district since 1993 and previously represented the 17th district from 1983 until 1993, will seek re-election here. Peters, who has represented the 9th district since 2009, will seek re-election in the redrawn 14th district.
Jim Fulner, an engineer from Berkley, earned the Libertarian Party nomination at their state convention June 2, 2012, in Livonia. Julia Williams, the 2010 Green Party Candidate for the same seat, was nominated again at the 2012 Michigan Green Party convention, Saturday June 9, 2012, in Mount Pleasant. Lester Townsend received the US Taxpayers Party of Michigan's nomination at their state convention Saturday June 16, 2012. This marks the fourth election cycle in a row Townsend has challenged Levin for his seat. Roll Call rates the race as "Likely Democratic".
|Democratic||Sander Levin (incumbent)||55,198||100.0|
Don Volaric, a businessman who unsuccessfully challenged Levin as the Republican nominee in the 12th district in 2010, is running for the seat. He was opposed in the Republican primary by Gregory Dildilian.
Volaric defeated Dildilian in the GOP primary.
|Republican||Gregory C. Dildilian||15,283||38.4|
|Democratic||Sander Levin (incumbent)||208,846||61.8|
Two candidates were seeking the Democratic nomination, Jerome Quinn and Chuck Stadler. Stadler defeated Quinn in the Democratic primary.
|Democratic||Jerome George Quinn||9,705||41.9|
|Republican||Candice S. Miller (incumbent)||68,063||100.0|
|Republican||Candice Miller (incumbent)||226,075||68.8|
Thad McCotter had represented the old 11th district since 2003 and sought the Republican presidential nomination. After poor polling results, McCotter ended his presidential campaign and announced plans to run again for his seat in Congress. On May 26, 2012, the Michigan Secretary of State announced McCotter had fallen well short of the required 1,000 petition signatures required for him to qualify for the primary ballot. In what state officials described as a level of fraud unprecedented in Michigan political history, subsequent reviews of McCotter's petitions revealed that over 85 percent of the signatures were invalid. Most of them were either duplicates or signatures that appeared to have been pasted from past years' petitions. Conceding that the signatures were indeed invalid, McCotter announced he would mount a write-in bid for his seat; however, he decided not to continue with his write-in bid on June 2 and announced his intention to retire after completing his term. McCotter suddenly resigned from his seat on July 6, leaving the 11th District unrepresented.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson found the apparent fraud egregious enough to turn the evidence over to the Michigan attorney general's office to determine if laws were broken regarding the invalid signatures. The Michigan Attorney General's office charged four McCotter aides with forgery, although McCotter was not charged with any wrongdoing.
Democratic candidate David Curson defeated Kerry Bentivolio in the special general election, conducted in the 2012-configured 11th district only, and coinciding with the regular general election on November 6. John Tatar was also on the ballot for the Libertarian Party and Mark Sosnowski for the U.S. Taxpayers Party. Bentivolio was endorsed by Gov. Rick Snyder, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Senator Rand Paul, and Congress members Candice Miller, Justin Amash, Dan Banishek and Ron Paul, and former officeholders Rick Santorum and Peter Hoekstra.
As a result of Republican-leaning areas of the old 9th district being drawn into the new 11th, the 11th district was made more favorable to Republicans. McCain received four percentage points more of the vote in the 2008 presidential election in the newly drawn district compared to the current district. While Roll Call rated this race as "Likely Republican" before the primary, they changed the rating to "Leans Republican". It has since changed back to "Likely Republican."
|Democratic||William F. Roberts||15,338||41.1|
For the regular primary held August 7, 2012, for the upcoming two-year term in Congress, Kerry Bentivolio, a veteran and former teacher who had already planned to challenge McCotter, was left the only candidate on the Republican primary ballot. The Troy Republican Club, U.S. House Member Justin Amash, Tea Party groups and Ron Paul's PAC all endorsed Bentivolio. Other Republicans, including Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, refused to endorse Bentivolio and instead endorsed former state senator Nancy Cassis as a write-in candidate. Bentivolio defeated Cassis in the August 7 primary, and was the only Republican candidate on the ballot in areas covered by the new 11th. Cassis and Drexel Morton also wrote as write-in candidates.
|Republican||Nancy Cassis (write-in)||21,436||33.4|
|Republican||Drexel Morton (write-in)||161||0.3|
|Republican||Loren Bennett (write-in)||14||0.0|
|Green||Steven Paul Duke||4,569||1.3|
|Natural Law||Daniel Johnson||3,251||0.9|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
Democrat John Dingell, who has represented the district since 2003 and previously from 1955 until 1965, and previously represented the 16th district from 1965 until 2003, will seek re-election here. Roll Call rates the race as "Safe Democratic".
Daniel Marcin, a doctorate student at the University of Michigan, will challenge Dingell in the Democratic primary. Fellow Democratic U.S. Representative Sander Levin, who has represented the 12th district since 1993 and previously represented the 17th district from 1983 until 1993, will seek re-election in the redrawn 9th district.
|Democratic||John Dingell (incumbent)||41,116||78.5|
Karen Jacobsen, a businesswoman, and Cynthia Kallgren, former candidate for State Representative, will seek the Republican nomination.
|Republican||Karen E. Jacobsen||11,670||49.2|
|Republican||Timothy Kachinski (write-in)||10||0.1|
|Democratic||John D. Dingell (incumbent)||216,884||67.9|
Roll Call rates the race as "Safe Democratic".
Democrat Hansen Clarke, who was first elected to represent the 13th district in 2010, is instead running in the 14th district.State Senator Glenn S. Anderson,Wayne-Westland school board member John Goci,state Representative Shanelle Jackson, and state Senator Bert Johnson, are challenging Conyers for the Democratic nomination. Godfrey Dillard, an attorney, had also been seeking the Democratic nomination but was removed from the primary ballot after filing fewer than the 1,000 signatures needed to be eligible for the ballot.
|EPIC-MRA||July 28-29, 2012||800||± 3.5%||17%||57%||4%||7%||5%||10%|
|Democratic||John Conyers, Jr. (incumbent)||38,371||55.4|
Harry Sawicki was unopposed for the Republican nomination.
|Democratic||John Conyers, Jr. (incumbent)||235,336||82.8|
|Republican||Harry T. Sawicki||38,769||13.6|
The new 14th district crosses the traditional boundary of the 8 Mile Road (separating Detroit from Oakland County) in order to continue to have a majority of minority voters. A large part of the district is now outside of Detroit (it comprises approximately 40 percent Detroit, 40 percent Oakland County, and 20 percent out lying Wayne County).
Leonard Schwartz, Lawyer and Perennial candidate from Oak Park, who most recently challenged Sandy Levin for US House District 12 in 2010, is the Libertarian Nominee.Douglas Campbell, an engineer from Ferndale, is the Green Party Candidate. Roll Call rates the race as "Safe Democratic".
Democratic U.S. Representatives Gary Peters, who was elected to represent the 9th district in 2008, and Hansen Clarke, who was first elected to represent the 13th district in 2010, sought election in the new 14th district. Southfield mayor Brenda Lawrence; former state representative Mary Waters, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination in the 13th district in 2008, and Bob Costello also seek the Democratic nomination. Democrat John Conyers, who has represented the 14th district since 1993 and previously represented the 1st district from 1965 until 1993, will instead run in the 13th district.
|EPIC-MRA||July 28-29, 2012||800||± 3.5%||33%||1%||7%||52%||2%||5%|
|Democratic||Gary Peters (incumbent)||41,230||47.0|
|Democratic||Hansen Clarke (incumbent)||30,847||35.2|
The lone Republican candidate for the seat is John Hauler.
|Democratic||Gary Peters (incumbent)||270,450||82.3|
As the 15th district was eliminated, Democrat John Dingell, who has represented the district since 2003 and previously from 1955 until 1965, and previously represented the 16th district from 1965 until 2003, successfully sought re-election in the 12th district.