Advance Notice: Briefs

Huizenga, Wozniak win special state Senate GOP primaries

By: - August 4, 2021 8:27 am

Reps. Mark Huizenga (left) and Doug Wozniak (right) | House GOP photos

State Reps. Mark Huizenga (R-Walker) and Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Twp.) won their respective special state Senate GOP primaries on Tuesday and are likely on their way to joining the upper chamber in November.

Republicans currently hold a 20-16 majority.

In a tight race for the 28th District in the Grand Rapids area of West Michigan, Huizenga took 9,531 votes, topping both Algoma Township Supervisor Kevin Green, who had 9,357 votes, and Rep. Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming), who earned 9,272 votes, according to unofficial returns.

The heavily Republican 28th District is open after former Sen. Peter MacGregor stepped down when he won the Kent County treasurer race in November 2020.

On the Democratic side, former Kent County Commissioner Keith Courtade defeated Gidget Groendyk of Rockford, 6,413 to 4,101 votes. Coutrade and Huizenga will square off on Nov. for the special general election on Nov. 2.

For the 8th District in Macomb County on the other side of the state, Wozniak defeated six other candidates, earning  9,510 votes, per unofficial returns. Coming in second was fellow Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp.), who had 7,861 votes.

That seat, which also skews Republican, is open because former Sen. Pete Lucido resigned after winning the Macomb County prosecutor race in November 2022.

For the Democratic primary, Martin Genter of Harrison Township beat John Bill of Rochester Hills, 9,562 to 3,999 votes. Genter and Wozniak will face each other in November.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ+ people, the state budget, the economy and more. She previously served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 90 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 5,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 80 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two kids along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.