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Michigan Dems Win Special Elections    04/17 06:16


   LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Democrats won back a majority in the Michigan House 
and restored their party's full control of state government Tuesday thanks to 
victories in two special elections.

   Mai Xiong won the special election in the 13th District, which covers Warren 
and part of Detroit, while Peter Herzberg won in the 25th District, which 
contains the cities of Wayne and Westland. Both candidates were favorites in 
the heavily Democratic districts.

   The lower chamber has been tied 54-54 between Democratic and Republican 
lawmakers since November, when two Democratic representatives vacated their 
seats after winning mayoral races in their hometowns.

   Democrats flipped both chambers in the 2022 midterms while maintaining 
control of the governor's office to win a trifecta for the first time in 40 
years. They moved quickly to roll back decades of Republican measures and 
implement the party's agenda in their first year, including overhauling the 
state's gun laws.

   Since the House deadlocked, Republicans have pushed to pass legislation they 
say is bipartisan, such as a government transparency package, which would open 
the Legislature and governor's office up to public record requests.

   With each Democratic candidate winning Tuesday, the party will regain 
control through the end of the year, with every seat in the House up for 
reelection in November.

   Xiong is a Macomb County commissioner who was endorsed in the primary by 
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Herzberg is a Westland City Council member who defeated 
a Whitmer-endorsed candidate in the primary earlier this year.

   Lawmakers are now expected to turn their focus to a state budget with a 
self-imposed July 1 deadline. Whitmer in her annual State of the State speech 
in January called on lawmakers to pass a $80 billion budget that would provide 
free community college for all high school graduates and free preschool for 

   In recent months, Democrats have also deliberated on expanding the state's 
hate crime law and enacting a comprehensive school safety package of bills in 
the wake of the 2021 mass shooting at Oxford High School.

   Lawmakers will be working against the clock. They are set to take a summer 
break at the end of June and representatives will soon begin campaigning in 
their districts.

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