It's Primary Election Day in metro Detroit — here are key races

August 03, 2020, 10:00 PM

It's Primary Day in Michigan, meaning its more or less general Election Day in the politically homogenous and/or gerrymandered districts of metro Detroit, where today's winners are all but certain to fend off challengers from the opposing party in November. 

A spike in mail-in voting could delay results, particularly in close races. If you're among the few still heading to the polls, know where to go.

Races to watch include: 

♦ Wayne County Prosecutor, which pits Kym Worthy, in office since 2004, against insurgent progressive Victoria Burton-Harris, a criminal defense attorney who wants to stop punishing punitive crimes and end cash bail, among a slew of ambitious reforms. But that's not to say Worthy is a hard-liner — she does at times go after police, created a conviction integrity unit, and doesn't seek cash bail for low-level crimes. Worthy has said it's "not a time for experimenting with untested leadership.”

♦ Michigan's 13th Congressional District. Brenda Jones enters the ring for round three against Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Jones, who is Detroit City Council president, won the race in 2018 to fill the balance of John Conyers' term, while Tlaib, who served in the state Legislature, won the full two years. Tlaib's outspoken critiques of Donald Trump have made her a household name, but she's also a champion for progressive causes, authoring legislation that would guarantee low-income people $3,000 per year. Jones has laid out no specific policy proposals, but has endorsements from the remaining four challengers in the 2018 primary and a bevy of Detroit pastors and city councilmembers. The district is majority-Black.

♦ Michigan's 3rd State House District, where Shri's back for a wide-open race. Thanedar moved to the district after winning Detroit in the 2018 gubernatorial primary and has reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars spamming the district with elaborate mailers. He faces seven opponents including longtime political operative Al Williams, former labor organizer and Detroit City Council staffer China Cochran, and Keith McMurtry, a Cass Technical High School teacher who says he wants to fight inequality.

♦ Michigan's 4th State House District. This wide-open race seeks a replacement for the late Isaac Robinson, who died of a suspected case of Covid-19 this spring. A packed field includes progressives Michele Oberholtzer, an activist who leads tax-foreclosure prevention efforts at the United Community Housing Coalition in Detroit, and Abraham Aiyash, a political organizer who created mentoring and literacy programs.

♦ The Oakland County Executive, where Executive Dave Coulter, the former Ferndale mayor appointed to the office last year following the death of L. Brooks Patterson, faces a challenge from Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner. Coulter has the support of labor and business. Meisner has been running attack ads.

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