Coleman and Stone advance in two SE Michigan mayoral races 

There are big implications for the Democratic House majority if they win their November elections

By: - August 9, 2023 9:20 am

Reps. Kevin Coleman (L) and Lori Stone (R) | Michigan House photos

Following Tuesday’s local primary elections, Democrats are one step closer to potentially losing, albeit temporarily, their slim majority in the Michigan House.

Two of the contests in Southeast Michigan featured Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Kevin Coleman (D-Westland) and Lori Stone (D-Warren), who advanced in mayoral races in their respective cities amid light voter turnout.

In Westland, unofficial results from the city clerk’s office show both Coleman and Interim Mayor Mike Londeau advanced from the six-candidate primary. Londeau garnered 44.5% of the vote, while Coleman had 41.1%. 

Jim Godbout had 8%, Ali G. Awadi received 4.4%, Anthony Jones had 1.4% and Sassak had .4%.

Londeau and Coleman will now face each other in the November general election to fill the final two years of former Mayor Bill Wild’s term after he resigned in January for a job in the private sector.

Westland, Warren mayoral primaries could hamper Michigan Dem House majority

Meanwhile, in Warren, Stone and city Human Resources Director George Dimas moved on to the November general election. According to unofficial results from the city clerk’s office, Dimas received the most votes, 33.7%, followed by Stone at 27.7% in the six-way race. 

Former state Rep. Patrick Green earned 26.4%, Michelle Nard had 5.3%, Scott Cameron Stevens had 4.2% and Alfonso King received 2.8%.

Dimas and Stone will now vye to replace outgoing Mayor Jim Fouts, who was barred from running for reelection by a voter-approved city statute creating term limits for local officials.  

Democrats currently hold a delicate 56-54 majority in the state House, which they have used effectively to pass a slate of policy priorities, including measures on gun violence prevention, abortion rights and the repeal of Michigan’s Right to Work law. 

Now that Stone and Coleman have advanced to the Nov. 7 general election, a chain reaction of contingency plans could be put into place for the possibility of two members of the Legislature needing to be replaced.

Although the House seats aren’t expected to flip — both lawmakers represent what are considered safe Democratic seats — they would still leave crucial seats vacant for a time.

In Coleman’s case, Londeau is set to resign before his term expires, raising questions of whether his replacement would take office immediately after the certification of the election in November or be inaugurated in January, as is customary.

Coleman previously said the significance of his role to the Democratic majority isn’t lost on him, and that he carefully considered whether or not to seek local office after three terms in the statehouse. 

“We just won the majority,” Coleman told the Advance last week. “So it’s important that we keep it, but the thing that I’ve reassured everybody is that I’m in a strong Dem seat [in Westland], so there’s no possibility of us losing it.” 

In Warren, Stone would take office in November if she were to win the general election, meaning that in the event both representatives prevail in their respective cities, Democrats could see their 56-54 majority slim down to a 54-54 tie until special elections could be held. 

The last time there was a tie in the House was during the 1993-94 session when Democrat Curtis Hertel Sr. and Republican Paul Hillegonds were co-speakers.

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King is the Senior Reporter for the Michigan Advance and has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2022 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell.