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Democrats Xiong, Herzberg win state House special primary races in metro Detroit


Democrats Xiong, Herzberg win state House special primary races in metro Detroit

Jan 31, 2024 | 8:42 am ET
By Ken Coleman
Democrats Xiong, Herzberg win state House special primary races in metro Detroit
Mai Xiong (L) and Peter Herzberg (R) | Courtesy photos

Democrats Mai Xiong and Peter Herzberg have won state House special primary elections on Tuesday, according to unofficial results.  

Both metro Detroit seats are Democratic strongholds, so Xiong and Herzberg go into the April 16 special general election as favorites. If they prevail in the general election, Democrats will be back to a 56-54 majority in the House.

The 13th District includes Macomb and Wayne counties, as well as the city of Warren and a small part of Detroit. Former state Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren) represented the district until she won her election as Warren mayor in November.

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Xiong, a Macomb County commissioner who amassed many endorsements, including that of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, romped in the Democratic primary with 78.9%, according to unofficial returns.

State Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) congratulated Xiong on her victory.

“Congratulations, @MaiXiongMI on your victory!! What an amazing whirlwind 2 month campaign,” Chang wrote on social media. “I am excited to serve with you in the legislature and thrilled for our state to soon have its first Hmong American elected to the legislature!!”

LaMar Lemmons III, a former state House member from Detroit, had 14.9% and Suzanne Ostosh, executive director of Operations of Harvest Time Christian Fellowship Church in Warren, won 6.2% in the Democratic primary. 

In the Republican primary for the 13th District, engineering professional Ronald Singer won the race, securing 63.3% of the overall vote. He defeated Brandon Cumbee of Warren, who had 20.5%, and Rev. Curtiss Ostosh (Suzanne Oshtosh’s husband), who had 16.5%. 

The 25th District is in Wayne County and includes the cities of Wayne and Westland. Former state Rep. Kevin Coleman (D-Westland) resigned in November after winning his election as Westland mayor.

In the Democratic primary, Herzberg, a Westland city council member who had Coleman’s endorsement, secured a 35.7% victory.

He defeated Westland City Council President Pro Tem Andrea Rutkowski, who Whitmer endorsed and earned 29.9%. Layla Taha, the program director for U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), had 21.8%; Wayne-Westland Community Schools Trustee Melandie Hines earned 8.3%; and former Michigan League of Conservation Voters Director of Partnerships Shannon Rochon took 4.4%. 

Josh Powell of Westland ran unopposed in the GOP primary and advances to the April 16 special general election.

After Coleman and Stone stepped down last year, the Michigan House has been left with a 54-54 tie, although legislative rules allow the Democrats to retain control. However, the Legislature has been off to a slow start this year amid the gridlock.

Advance Editor Susan J. Demas contributed to this story.