Stories indexed with the term ‘state house District 53’

Local Democrats Win State House Seats

Four districts in the Michigan House of Representatives cover parts of Washtenaw County, and all will be represented by Democrats following the Nov. 6 election. District 53, which covers most of Ann Arbor, is represented by Democrat Jeff Irwin – he won another two-year term by defeating Republican John Spizak. Irwin drew 32,569 votes (80.48%) over 7,670 votes (18.95%) for Spizak.

In District 52, incumbent Republican Mark Ouimet was defeated by Democrat Gretchen Driskell, who currently serves as mayor of Saline, by a vote of 26,646 (52.86%) for Driskell to 23,609 (46.83%) for Ouimet. The district covers western, northern and parts of southern Washtenaw County.

Winning re-election was Democrat incumbent David Rutledge of District 54, representing the eastern portion of Washtenaw County, including Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti … [Full Story]

State Legislative Candidates Share Views

Three Democratic candidates for the Michigan House of Representatives fielded questions on Monday evening that covered a mix of topics – from education and public transit to term limits, failing infrastructure, environmental quality and retirement benefits for public employees.

Tom Partridge, Jeff Irwin, Adam Zemke

From left: Democrats Thomas Partridge, Jeff Irwin, and Adam Zemke. Partridge is challenging Irwin, the incumbent, in the Democratic primary for District 53 in the Michigan House of Representatives, covering most of Ann Arbor. Zemke is running against Andrea Brown-Harrison for the new District 55, which includes the northern portion of Ann Arbor and several other communities in Washtenaw County. Brown-Harrison did not attend the July 9 candidate forum. (Photos by the writer.)

In District 53, covering most of Ann Arbor, incumbent Jeff Irwin faces Thomas Partridge in the Aug. 7 primary. Irwin, a former Washtenaw County commissioner, was first elected to the House in 2010 and is seeking a second two-year term. Partridge, a frequent speaker during public commentary at various local government meetings, most recently ran an unsuccessful campaign for state Senate (District 18) in 2010. Both candidates are residents of Ann Arbor. In the Nov. 6 general election, the winner of the Democratic primary will compete against Republican John Spisak, who is unopposed in the Republican primary.

In the new District 55 – created during the state’s reapportionment process after the 2010 Census – Democrats Adam Zemke of Ann Arbor and Andrea Brown-Harrison of Ypsilanti are competing in the Aug. 7 primary. The winner will face Republican Owen Diaz, the former mayor of Milan, in November. Diaz is unopposed in the Republican primary. The district covers parts of northern Ann Arbor, the townships of Ann Arbor, Augusta, Pittsfield and York, and a northern part of the city of Milan.

Brown-Harrison did not attend the July 9 candidate forum, which was moderated by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area. League member Judy Mich reported that Brown-Harrison did not respond to repeated requests made by phone, email and regular mail to attend the forum. Zemke answered the same set of questions that were posed to Irwin and Partridge.

The forum was held at the studios of Community Television Network, and will be available online via CTN’s video-on-demand service. The format included opening statements, seven questions, and closing statements. Though the format did not promote interaction between candidates, each candidate was given an optional one-minute rebuttal to use once during the forum.

League moderators noted that July 9 was the last day to register for the Tuesday, Aug. 7 primary. The last day to register to vote for the Tuesday, Nov. 6 general election is Oct. 9. Information on voter registration can be found on the Washtenaw County clerk’s elections division website. To see a sample ballot for your precinct, visit the Secretary of State’s website. [Full Story]

Lansing View: Concrete Talk With Jeff Irwin

Editor’s note: After 11 years of service on the Washtenaw County board of commissioners, Democrat Jeff Irwin was elected by voters of District 53 to serve as their representative in the Michigan House of Representatives. The district covers most of Ann Arbor, plus parts of Scio, Pittsfield and Ann Arbor townships.

Jeff Irwin

Jeff Irwin, representative for District 53 of the Michigan state House of Representatives, met with constituents at Espresso Royale in downtown Ann Arbor last Saturday. (Photos by the writer.)

In each of the first two months of his term, Irwin has held meetings for constituents in local Ann Arbor coffee houses – Cafe Verde and Espresso Royale. On Saturday, Feb. 26, The Chronicle caught up with Irwin after his talk with constituents and spoke with him for about an hour. The conversation included a discussion of Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget overview. [.pdf of budget overview]

In presenting the interview below, The Chronicle’s conversation with Irwin has been reorganized and edited in some places to achieve greater coherence and focus.

Last Saturday, Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-53rd District) entertained questions and concerns from constituents on a variety of topics, including local interest in the future use of the top of the underground parking structure, which is under construction on the city-owned Library Lot between Fifth and Division streets.

Three blocks east from Irwin’s conversation with constituents, a constant parade of concrete mixers on Division Street headed south across Liberty to the east edge of the Library Lot construction site. They dumped their loads into a pump, and through the course of the day, workers poured around 6,300 cubic yards of concrete. Coincidentally, in his subsequent conversation with The Chronicle, Irwin introduced images involving concrete and construction – he was drawing an analogy between teacher contracts and construction contracts.

We’ve chronicled this conversation in a Q&A format, divided into seven sections: (1) a budget bright spot in Medicaid; (2) education as an area of concern; (3) a lack of sufficient, specific goals associated with the budget; (4) labor relations in general; (5) labor relations in Washtenaw County; (6) Irwin’s relationship with former fellow county commissioner Mark Ouimet, a Republican who’s also now a state rep; and (7) a partisan imbalance in committee appointments. [Full Story]

State Representative Race: District 53

In the race for the state House of Representatives District 53, which covers the majority of the city of Ann Arbor, and parts of Scio and Pittsfield townships, Republican Chase Ingersoll is running against Democrat Jeff Irwin.

Chase Ingersoll

Chase Ingersoll, Republican candidate for District 53 Michigan state representative, at the Sept. 28 League of Women Voters forum. Jeff Irwin, the Democratic candidate, did not attend. (Photo by the writer.)

At the Sept. 28 League of Women Voters forum, however, Ingersoll was the only candidate to appear, and after waiting 10 minutes past the scheduled start time, organizers decided to carry on without Irwin.

“We hope nothing untoward has happened,” said Sue Smith, League president. She noted that in Irwin’s absence, they’d be following the “empty chair” format, meaning that the timing for each question would be the same, and the forum would simply be half as long. It lasted 15 minutes.

Questions were selected by a committee from a pool of questions submitted by community members. The forum, held at the studios of Community Television Network, was moderated by Judy Mich. The event was recorded and is available online through CTN’s video-on-demand service.

Irwin later emailed The Chronicle saying he had apologized to the League – he had thought the forum was on the following night. Irwin’s views on some statewide issues can be found in a Chronicle report of a June 2010 candidate forum during the Democratic primary between Irwin and Ned Staebler. [Full Story]

Warren, Irwin Win State Races

In two tight races, Rebekah Warren and Jeff Irwin are winners of the Democratic primary for state legislative seats in districts representing Ann Arbor.

Warren outpolled rivals Pam Byrnes and Thomas Partridge with 55.58%  – or 13,113 votes – in the race for state Senate District 18. Byrnes came in with 40.43% (9,539 votes), with Partridge at 3.85% (908 votes). The district covers the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and the townships of Ann Arbor, Augusta, Dexter, Freedom, Lima, Lyndon, Northfield, Salem, Scio, Sharon, Superior, Sylvan, Webster and Ypsilanti. It’s currently represented by Liz Brater, who is term-limited.

Irwin’s race was even closer – he won his race against Ned Staebler with just 51% of the votes cast and, if elected in November, will be representing District 53 in the state House. Irwin brought in 5,051 votes compared to Staebler’s 4,845. The district, currently represented by Warren, takes in Ann Arbor and parts of Ann Arbor, Pittsfield and Scio townships.

In the governor’s race, Rick Snyder of Ann Arbor – who carried the field statewide for the Republican nomination – did well in Washtenaw County, getting 49% of the votes in the GOP primary. Democrat Virg Bernero beat Andy Dillon with 65% of the votes in Washtenaw County – he won the statewide nomination as well.

In November, Warren will face the winner of the state Senate Republican primary, John Hochstetler, who beat rival Gary Wellings with 59% of the votes (7,973). For the state House race in District 53, Irwin will go up against Republican Chase Ingersoll, who was unopposed in the primary. [Full Story]