Republican challenger John James on Wednesday lost to incumbent Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, in a back-and-forth Senate race.
The 88,000-vote margin is the narrowest in decades, with Republicans last winning a Michigan Senate race in 1994. Michigan Farm Bureau’s AgriPac endorsed James, citing his willingness to help Michigan agriculture through burdensome regulations and taxes, including the Death Tax.
James visited multiple Michigan farms leading up to Election Day.
“The extremely close results in this election prove the point that one single vote does have value,” said Matt Kapp, elections expert for the MFB. “Someone said to me before the election that we don’t have to focus on certain counties because we already know those counites will vote for our endorsed candidates. When I heard that, I wanted to bang my head against the wall. When a county goes 80% compared to the usual 70% for a candidate that makes a difference. One of the reasons why Trump won in 2016 is because his support in rural areas that typically already vote Republican had higher-than-average vote numbers for one candidate.
“My point being is that margin of victory does matter, and rural Michigan needs to get out in droves so we can offset what happens in more urban and suburban areas.”
Pat O'Keefe (R) and Rema Ella Vassar (D) also won elections to become trustees of Michigan State University. They will serve 8-year terms. AgriPac endorsed O’Keefe.
Former Vice President Joe Biden currently leads the incumbent President Donald Trump in the electoral college vote, 253-214, as of press time. Biden won the presidential election in Michigan with 50.6% of the vote.
Election updates will be made when available.
Michigan Farm News highlighted early election results Wednesday, which can be found here.
Many AgriPac-backed candidates won their elections, including Peter Meijer (R) and Lisa McClain (R) in the 3rd and 11th U.S. House districts, and incumbents Reps. Jack Bergman (R), Bill Huizenga (R), John Moolenaar (R), Dan Kildee (D), Fred Upton (R), Tim Walberg (R), and Brenda Lawrence (D).
Entering the 2021-22 session, House Republicans will retain a 58-52 majority.
“I want to thank Farm Bureau members and county Farm Bureaus for their involvement in evaluating and supporting AgriPac-endorsed candidates,” Kapp said. “Rural Michigan and agriculture need to be involved in elections so farm and rural interests are represented. AgriPac and our county Farm Bureau candidate evaluations committees provide the mechanism for agriculture to be involved and influence elections.”
Elsewhere, Rep. David Scott of Georgia is first in seniority to succeed chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota on the House Agriculture Committee. Peterson lost to Republican Michelle Fischbach.
If Scott doesn’t succeed Peterson — which is likely — then it could be between Reps. Jim Costa of California and Marcia Fudge of Ohio. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas is in line to chair the Senate panel.
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow is the senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Currently, the Senate is not finalized. If GOP wins, it could be Boozman to lead the Senate panel, while Stabenow could chair it if Democrats flip the Senate.