Amid a volatile election cycle, many of Michigan Farm Bureau’s AgriPac-endorsed Friends of Agriculture proved victorious in their Nov. 3 general election races — including several hard-fought and highly contested races.
“While some results remain unofficial, and the presidential and Michigan’s U.S. Senate race undetermined, there are numerous bright spots to report for the farm-friendly candidates our county Farm Bureaus and Michigan Farm Bureau organization worked hard to support,” said MFB elections expert, Matt Kapp. “It’s certainly been a memorable election for agriculture, with candidates and their supporters spending a lot of time on farms to understand the needs of farmers and rural communities.
“We’re pleased to see many Friends of Agriculture being newly elected or reelected to Congress, the state legislature and beyond.”
AgriPac-backed newcomers Peter Meijer (R) and Lisa McClain (R) are poised to join Michigan’s Congressional Delegation in the 3rd and 11th U.S. House districts.
Also successful were incumbent Friends of Agriculture Reps. Jack Bergman (R), Bill Huizenga (R), John Moolenaar (R), Dan Kildee (D), Fred Upton (R), Tim Walberg (R) and Brenda Lawrence (D).
Based on pre-election polls, Upton — who’s maintained a 100% voting record with Farm Bureau — was expected to have a tight race with former state Rep. Jon Hoadley. However, Upton handily pulled ahead, securing nearly 60% of votes.
Michigan House races
Entering the 2021-22 session House Republicans will retain majority, 58-52. Friends of Agriculture coming out on top in notably arduous and tight races were:
Joining the ever-growing list of agriculturalists serving in the Legislature, fourth-generation farmer Bryan Posthumus (R) was successful in his bid for the 73rd House District, representing the city of East Grand Rapids and the townships of Cannon, Courtland, Nelson, Oakfield, Plainfield, Spencer and Grand Rapids Charter Township. Posthumus is a managing partner of West Michigan Hopyards and is the son of former Lt. Governor Dick Posthumus and the brother of former state representative Lisa Posthumus-Lyons.
Additionally, several incumbent candidates with strong farm ties will return to the Michigan House.
AgriPac-endorsed Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack secured a second term on the state's top court, coming out more than 700,000 votes ahead of the other candidates.
Michigan Farm Bureau supported Proposal 1, which received 80% voter approval with more than 80% of precincts reporting. Proposal 1 changes how revenue in the state's park-related funds can be spent, including making projects to renovate recreational facilities eligible for grants, allowing the parks endowment fund to be spent on park operations and maintenance, and removing the cap on the size of the Natural Resources Trust Fund.