The Latest: Democrats concede Michigan House to GOP

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DETROIT (AP) - The Latest on the midterm election in Michigan (all times local):

3 a.m.

Democrats concede that Republicans will keep control of the Michigan House of Representatives, continuing their eight-year run leading the chamber.

The GOP lost seats in Tuesday's election but will have at least 56 needed for a majority. Republicans won control during the 2010 midterm elections.

Democrats had hoped to flip the chamber despite facing a gerrymandered map that the GOP-Legislature drew to Republicans' advantage earlier this decade.

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2:20 a.m.

Rep. Tim Walberg has won a sixth House term, dispatching Democrat Gretchen Driskell and keeping the southern Michigan seat in Republican hands.

Walberg was expected to win his largely Republican 7th district on Tuesday, but it was a seat that Democrats had hoped to flip.

Walberg was first elected to Congress in 2006. He lost in 2008 but regained his seat in 2010 and has held it since.

Driskell is a former state representative and mayor of Saline, near Ann Arbor. She was among a number of women running this year in major Michigan and national races.

She also lost to Walberg in the 2016 election.

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2:15 a.m.

Former Obama auto bailout chief Haley Stevens has won an open U.S. House seat in suburban Detroit, flipping it for the Democrats.

The first-time Democratic candidate defeated ex-Trump Michigan campaign co-chair Lena Epstein, also a first-time candidate for public office, in Tuesday's midterm election. The seat had been held by retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Trott.

Trump barely won the district in 2016 in Detroit's affluent northwest suburbs, which traditionally has voted Republican. It was one of the Michigan races that Democrats wanted to flip.

Epstein co-owns a Detroit-area automotive oil company. Libertarian Leonard Schwartz and Cooper Nye, an Independent, also were on the ballot.

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2 p.m.

Democrat Elissa Slotkin says incumbent Republican Mike Bishop has conceded in a suburban Detroit U.S. House race.

Slotkin tells The Associated Press that Bishop congratulated her by phone early Wednesday.

The district covers parts of Ingham and Oakland counties - including several Detroit suburbs - and was one of several GOP-held seats Democrats hoped to flip in Tuesday's midterm election.

Libertarian Party candidate Brian Ellison and U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate David Lillis also ran for the seat.

Bishop had been seeking a third term in the House.

Slotkin worked as a CIA analyst under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She advocated during the campaign for public service and said that if elected, she would push for affordable health care.

The Associated Press has not called the race.

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1:45 a.m.

Michigan voters have legalized the sale and use of recreational marijuana, making their state the first in the Midwest and the 10th overall to do so.

The ballot measure approved Tuesday will allow people age 21 or older to buy, grow and use the drug. Businesses would need a state license to sell marijuana and local governments could bar such businesses from opening within their borders.

Michigan's legalization of marijuana could create tension with neighboring Indiana and Ohio, where voters soundly rejected a 2015 recreational marijuana measure.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Ron Galaviz said before Election Day that if the measure passed, he and his colleagues envisioned "dedicated patrols" to spot drivers coming from Michigan who might be high or have pot on them.

North Dakota voters are also deciding whether to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday.

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1:20 a.m.

Democrats are conceding that Republicans will control the Michigan Senate again, continuing their 34-year run leading the chamber.

The GOP lost seats and its supermajority in Tuesday's election but were on track to keep their majority in the chamber, which they won control of in 1984.

Democrats had hoped to flip the chamber despite facing a gerrymandered map that the GOP-Legislature drew to Republicans' advantage earlier this decade. But winning an additional eight or nine seats was seen as a longshot for the Democrats.

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12:40 a.m.

Longtime Republican Rep. Fred Upton has won a 17th House term, defeating Democrat Matt Longjohn in southwestern Michigan.

Upton defended his seat Tuesday after a campaign in which he stressed his bipartisanship at a time of divisiveness in Washington. He emphasized his contribution to a law that makes it easier to develop treatments and cures for diseases and his opposition to President Donald Trump's move to cut Great Lakes funding and to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

Longjohn left his job as national health officer for the YMCA to run. He attacked Upton for supporting legislation to repeal and replace the federal health care law.

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11:50 p.m.

The primary opposition group to Michigan's ballot initiative on whether to legalize recreational marijuana has conceded defeat.

Healthy and Productive Michigan said in a statement Tuesday night that "our side lost" the measure that if approved will make the state the first in the Midwest to legalize its sale and use. The group adds "the level of responsibility ... now rests on the shoulders of those who have voted Yes."

Opponents say legalizing marijuana would lead to increased use by children, drug abuse and car crashes. Supporters say it will raise roughly $130 million in additional tax revenue each year that will go toward road repairs, schools and local governments.

The Associated Press has not called the race.

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11:40 p.m.

Michigan voters have passed a constitutional amendment that will entrust the job of drawing the state's voting districts to an independent commission rather than the Legislature and governor.

The ballot measure that passed Tuesday could alter the balance of power in a state Republicans have controlled since 2010.

The measure's proponents say it will stop partisan gerrymandering, in which the party in power draws electoral maps to maintain or improve its position. Instead, it will entrust the once-a-decade process to a commission of citizens that will include four Democrats, four Republicans and five members who aren't affiliated with either party.

Opponents say the measure will take power away from those elected to represent the people and give it to an unelected panel.

An Associated Press statistical analysis of the 2016 election results found that Michigan's state House districts had one of the largest Republican tilts in the nation, trailing only South Dakota's.

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11:25 p.m.

Michigan voters have approved a wide-ranging constitutional amendment that will allow people to register and vote on the day on an election, request absentee ballots without having to give a reason and cast straight-ticket ballots.

The ballot measure approved Tuesday will also automatically register people to vote when they obtain or renew a driver's license or conduct some other type of business with the secretary of state's office, unless they opt out.

The measure's backers, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, the League of Women Voters and NAACP branches, say it will make voting more accessible and secure.

Its opponents, including some prominent Republicans, argued that some of the measure's provisions are duplicative and that it would add more bureaucracy and regulations.

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10:20 p.m.

Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan has a fourth term in the Senate, defeating Republican challenger John James.

Stabenow campaigned as a pragmatic lawmaker who forges bipartisan agreement despite the partisan rancor in Washington. She cited her work shaping farm legislation and pushing a new law that allows pharmacists to tell consumers when they can save on prescriptions by paying cash instead of using insurance.

The 68-year-old Stabenow, of Lansing, criticized Trump's attempt to slash federal funding for the Great Lakes. She said James would have been an unabashed enthusiast of President Donald Trump with no governing experience.

Trump won Michigan in 2016 and called James, a black combat veteran and business executive, "a star" candidate.

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11:10 p.m.

Republican Rep. Jack Bergman has been re-elected to the House, defeating fellow retired Marine Corps officer Democrat Matthew Morgan in their northern Michigan race.

Bergman won a second House term by dispatching Morgan in Tuesday's 1st District race. The mostly rural district covers all of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and a good chunk of the northern Lower Peninsula.

Bergman is a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general and businessman who touted his lack of political experience when he first ran in 2016.

The region had been in Democratic hands for about two decades until the tea party rise and Republican-led redistricting after the 2010 election. Michigan Democrats saw it as a longshot for the party to flip.

Morgan got on the ballot following a successful write-in campaign in the August primary.

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10:20 p.m.

A Muslim woman from Detroit has won the congressional seat long held by Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who stepped down amid sexual harassment claims by former staffers.

Democrat Rashida Tlaib was elected to represent Michigan's 13th House District on Tuesday, defeating three other candidates, including a write-in campaign by Detroit's City Council president, Brenda Jones.

No Republicans were on the ballot in the heavily Democratic district, which represents parts of Detroit and some suburbs.

The 42-year-old Tlaib is a Palestinian-American. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American Democrat who ran for the House in Minnesota, will join Tlaib in Congress. They are the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Democratic Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress. He was running Tuesday to be Minnesota attorney general.

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10 p.m.

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer has won the race for Michigan governor, defeating Bill Schuette and upending years of Republican control in the state.

Whitmer, a former legislative leader, will succeed term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder.

She ran on a platform of fixing problems such as deteriorating roads and aging drinking water infrastructure. She also emphasized her past vote to expand Medicaid to more than 600,000 lower-income adults under the federal health care law.

The 47-year-old Whitmer, of East Lansing, will become Michigan's second female governor when she takes office.

The conservative Schuette faced criticism for challenging the health law in court and defending the state's gay marriage ban against a lawsuit. He was backed by President Donald Trump in the state Trump won in 2016 - but not by the moderate Snyder.

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11:40 a.m.

Utility crews in Michigan are working to keep polling places running as high winds bring scattered power outages to the state.

DTE Energy spokeswoman RoNeisha Mullen says six polling places in southeastern Michigan lost electrical service Tuesday morning, but power was restored on average within 45 minutes.

She says affected polling places were mostly in suburban Detroit, including three in Highland Township, one in Canton Township and one in Grosse Pointe Park. She says a precinct in Ypsilanti also was affected.

Mullen says just over 5,000 homes and businesses were without power Tuesday morning. The potential for power outages had been expected and Detroit-based DTE said Monday that it mobilized employees to ensure polling places get quick attention.

Mullen says DTE also is in touch with city and county clerks.

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9:40 a.m.

Michigan voters are choosing the next governor to succeed Republican Rick Snyder and deciding if Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow should get a fourth term after hard-fought, expensive campaigns.

Mayla Lloyd, a 68-year-old retired maintenance supervisor from Lansing, says she voted for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer and Stabenow because "we need change" and leaders who will stand for the "good of all people." She says she always votes, but her displeasure with President Donald Trump motivated her to urge others to vote.

Others backing Whitmer in Tuesday's election cite her pledge to fix the roads.

But Jeff Burden, a 38-year-old writer from Westland, says he voted for Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette for governor because of his record, specifically how he investigated Flint's water crisis and Larry Nassar's sexual abuse. He calls Republican Senate candidate John James, an Iraq War veteran and businessman, the "perfect guy" for any elective office.

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7:10 a.m.

Polls are now open in most of Michigan where Democrats are trying to crack the Republican Party's hold on most statewide offices and congressional seats by fielding a slate of female candidates.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow is seeking a fourth term in Tuesday's election against Iraq War veteran John James. Gretchen Whitmer is pledging to fix the state's rickety roads and reverse a retirement tax if she's elected governor, while her opponent, Bill Schuette, hopes a solid economy will convince voters to stick with a Republican. GOP Gov. Rick Snyder couldn't run because of term limits.

Democrats also hope to cut into the state's GOP dominance in its U.S. House delegation, with women making strong challenges in at least two seats now held by Republicans.

There also are three statewide ballot questions, including whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

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11:45 p.m.

Michigan Democrats are trying to crack the Republican Party's hold on most statewide offices and congressional seats by fielding a slate of female candidates in Tuesday's election.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow is seeking a fourth term against Iraq War veteran John James. Gretchen Whitmer is pledging to fix the state's rickety roads and reverse a retirement tax if she's elected governor, while her opponent, Bill Schuette, hopes a solid economy will convince voters to stick with a Republican. GOP Gov. Rick Snyder couldn't run because of term limits.

Democrats also hope to cut into the state's GOP dominance in its U.S. House delegation, with women making strong challenges in at least two seats now held by Republicans.

There also are three statewide ballot questions, including whether to legalize recreational marijuana.



 
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