The Michigan Suburban Woman’s Guide to the Midterms

No matter where we point to “home” on our hand maps, Michigan women all care about protecting our freedoms – our reproductive freedom, our freedom to live in safe and welcoming communities, and our children’s freedom to learn.

Extremist politicians who want to maintain power and control in our state are threatening those freedoms, but we have the power to stop them.

What’s in the Guide?

Red Wine & Blue Ballot Lookup

Enter your address to research your ballot and find out where candidates stand on key issues.

 

Where do things stand on the issues Michigan women care about?

Here are the facts about some of the top issues Michigan women care about and how races on the ballot will influence them. 

Abortion

Michigan has a 1931 trigger ban on the books that holds zero exemptions for abortion access in the case of rape or incest. After Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer sued to have that law overturned, a  judge issued a temporary stay, meaning abortion continues to be legal in the state for now.

Red Wine & Blue and our partner Fems for Democracy proudly helped submit more voter signatures than any constitutional amendment in state history in order to put an initiative protecting the right to abortion in the Michigan constitution on the ballot in November.  

The Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative will restore Roe and protect our right to determine our own reproductive future — birth control, IVF, abortion and miscarriage management.

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HOW TO PROTECT MI REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ALL THE WAY DOWN THE BALLOT

Public Education

Michigan is facing challenges that we are seeing nationwide, like underfunded public schools and outside groups attacking education. Extremists are attempting to ban books, outlaw sex ed, target trans kids playing sports, and create a less safe learning environment for all children. They are purposefully sharing disinformation and scaring parents to score partisan points and gain political power. But we believe our kids are more important than politics. We must elect candidates who will support our kids, our teachers, and our schools. 

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Gun Safety

One of our own communities was devastated by a senseless act of gun violence in 2021 when four students were killed in a school shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford Township. None of us should have to endure a preventable tragedy like this in our schools or our communities, but Republicans in the state legislature refuse to pass any common-sense gun reforms. The most effective way we can influence change on this issue is to tell our current elected representatives how we feel, and to vote for state- and federal-level candidates who will support common sense gun safety laws.

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Ballot Initiatives

Huge Opportunities

Two ballot initiatives give us the chance to restore Roe and secure voting rights for Michiganders.

The Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative, aka Proposal 3

Michigan women banded together to take back our freedom to decide when and whether to grow our families, and collected more signatures than ever before in state history to put those freedoms on the ballot in November.

The Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative will protect our right to determine our own reproductive future — birth control, IVF, abortion and miscarriage management. Michigan families do not want the government controlling our pregnancies or a law from 1931 telling us what medical care we can receive.

Vote YES to restore Roe in MI!

The Promote the Vote ballot initiative, aka Proposal 2

This initiative gives voters the opportunity to expand voting access by adding nine days of early in-person voting and would allow voters to make one request for absentee ballots for all future elections, rather than having to make a new request every election.

Vote YES to secure and expand voting rights in MI!

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State Legislature

Huge Opportunity & Huge Threat 

Ending the Republican majority is a huge priority.

How it works: 

  • The Michigan State Senate has 38 members.
  • The Michigan State House has 110 members

Current Situation: 

  • Extreme Republicans currently control both chambers of the state legislature. 
  • The Michigan State Senate has 22 Republicans and 16 Democrats. All 38 seats are up for reelection and only three seats are needed to flip the State Senate. 
  • The Michigan House of Representatives has 56 Republicans, 53 Democrats, and 1 vacancy. All 110 seats are up for reelection and only four seats are needed to flip the State House.

 What’s at Stake?

  • If the current extreme Republican majority retains control, they will work to undermine Gov. Whitmer’s pro-reproductive health agenda at every turn.
  • 2022 is a key opportunity to end the Republican hold on the Michigan State Legislature and pass policies that support families – not an extreme agenda. 
  • Instead of protecting our kids from gun violence and protecting our reproductive rights, extreme Republicans have attempted to:
    • Restrict how schools can teach race and American history.
    • Withhold funding to districts requiring COVID public health measures.
    • Ban transgender kids from playing sports.

Candidates: 

We must elect State Senate and State House candidates who will protect reproductive rights, enact gun safety measures, and support all Michigan families. Use our Ballot Lookup to research your ballot and find out where candidates running to represent you stand.

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State Supreme Court

Huge Threat 

Retaining a pro-reproductive freedom majority is a top priority.  

How it works:

  • The state Supreme Court has final authority over how Michigan’s laws and the Michigan Constitution are interpreted. The Court could be the final word on abortion laws and our freedom to vote. 
  • Michigan’s Supreme Court has seven members who are elected for eight-year terms.

Current Situation:

  • The seats are currently held by 4 Democrats and 3 Republicans. 
  • The balance of power could go either way in November, with one Democrat and one Republican seat up this year. 
  • Additionally, Chief Justice Bridget McCormack has announced that she is resigning by the end of the year, but after the election. Whoever is elected Governor will appoint her successor.

What’s at stake:

  • The court has the power to: 
    • Protect reproductive freedom.
    • Set gun laws for schools and other places where families gather.
    • Decide what kind of education our kids receive.
  • There’s only one seat standing between Michigan families and the kinds of extreme right-wing rulings we’re seeing in neighboring states. If out-of-touch politicians gain power, they will overturn the popular will and enable extreme abortion bans.

Candidates:

Races are technically non-partisan.

  • We must re-elect Justice Richard Bernstein so that fundamental Michigan values are protected.
  • We must also add to the court majority by electing State Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden, a new mother, a Black woman from Southfield, and exactly the kind of voice we need in the room where these decisions are being made.

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Governor

Huge Threat 

Re-electing incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a big priority.

How it works:

  • The Governor of MI is elected every four years and is limited to two terms.
  • Governors have power over the state’s budget, judicial appointments, signing or vetoing laws, and commanding the state’s National Guard.  

Current situation

  • Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer is seeking re-election to her second term. 

 What’s at Stake:

  • The Governor’s powers over MI are too important to be in the hands of an extremist, who will attempt to severely restrict our reproductive decisions, chipping away at our rights and freedoms.
  • Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack recently announced her plans to resign after the election, but by the end of the year. The power to appoint the next Chief Justice will belong to whoever wins this election, and we do not want an extremist Governor making this decision. 

Candidates:

  • Incumbent Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer is seeking re-election, challenged by extremist Republican candidate Tudor Dixon. 

     

    • Tudor Dixon – Extremist Alert – is supported by the DeVos family (known nationally for undermining public schools) and has opposed public school investment. 
    • Dixon was endorsed by Donald Trump and has denied that President Joe Biden won Michigan. She embraces dangerous election conspiracy theories. 
    • On abortion rights, Tudor Dixon claimed that rape victims find “healing” through having a baby when asked if a 14-year-old rape victim should be allowed to get an abortion.

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Secretary of State

Huge Threat 

Preventing an election-denying extremist from managing our state’s elections and voter registrations is a big priority.

How it works:

  • The Secretary of State is in charge of managing elections, voter registration, and other key roles.

Current situation

  • Democrat Jocelyn Benson has been Secretary of State since 2018

 What’s at Stake:

  • With control over voting rights and elections, this is a key position that can either protect or destroy some of the very foundations of our democracy, depending on who is in power.

Candidates:

Incumbent Democrat Jocelyn Benson, who will continue to uphold democratic elections, is being challenged by extremist Republican Kristina Karamo, who would use Michigan’s election infrastructure to undermine the democratic will of the people.

  • Kristina Karamo – Extremist Alert – is a conspiracy theorist and election denier who would use Michigan’s election infrastructure to undermine the democratic will of the people.  
  • Karamo was part of a lawsuit that tried to get the Supreme Court to throw out Biden’s victories in Michigan and three other states. 
  • She has promoted false claims about Michigan’s 2020 election technology.

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Attorney General

Huge Threat 

Preventing an election-denying anti-abortion extremist from becoming our state’s top lawyer is a big priority. 

How it works:

  • The Attorney General is the state’s top lawyer.

Current situation

  • The current Attorney General, Dana Nessel, is running for reelection this year. 
  • AG Nessel is on the front lines of fighting for reproductive rights because of the ongoing lawsuit against a 1931 law that would ban abortion. She is challenging the law in court, but a new Attorney General could abandon the fight. Dana Nessel has also said that she won’t force prosecutors to go after women who have abortions.

 What’s at Stake:

  • The Attorney General plays a key role in the fight to protect abortion rights in MI. 
  • Attorneys General can challenge their state’s election results, a huge threat to our democracy when in the hands of extremists who are denying the results of free and fair elections. 
  • The challenger in this election, Matt DePerno, is a criminally-accused election denier who will police our right to grow our families if he takes this office. 

Candidates:

Incumbent Democrat Attorney General Dana Nessel is being challenged by extremist Republican Matt DePerno.

  • Matt DePerno Extremist Alerthas been accused of a criminal plot to seize and tamper with 2020 Michigan election voting machines to discredit President Biden winning Michigan.
  • He said he would uphold the contested 1931 abortion law, which would ban abortion and allow felony manslaughter charges against providers.

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U.S. Congress

Huge Threat 

A Republican majority would likely pass a federal abortion ban and block any further progress on gun safety laws.

How it works:

  • The U.S. Congress is both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
  • In the U.S. House of Representatives, each state’s number of representatives is based on their population. There are a total of 435 representatives, up for election every 2 years. 
  • In the U.S. Senate, 2 Senators represent every state and they serve for 6 years.

Current situation

U.S. House of Representatives 

  • Democrats now have an overall slim majority 220 – 211 in the House (with 4 vacancies). 
  • Michigan has 14 members (7 Republicans and 7 Democrats). 

U.S. Senate

  • There are 48 Democrats with 2 Independents who vote with the Democrats, and 50 Republicans.
  • The Senate is split 50-50, but Democrats have a slight majority now because Vice President Kamala Harris (D) can offer a tie-breaking vote. 
  • Our current Senators are Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, who both fight for our rights and families. Neither are up for re-election this cycle. 

 What’s at Stake:

Congressional Republicans have recently voted against:

  • Lowering the price of insulin for Americans. 
  • Protecting birth control. 
  • Marriage equality and interracial marriage.

If they win a majority of seats, Congressional Republicans have vowed to pass a federal ban on abortion.

Candidates:

U.S. House of Representatives

We must elect U.S. House candidates who will protect reproductive rights, enact gun safety laws, and support all Michigan families. Use our Ballot Lookup to research your ballot and find out where candidates running to represent you stand.

 

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School Boards

Huge Threat 

Preventing extremists from gaining seats on School Boards is a top priority.

How it works:

  • Most local school boards have seven members who are elected for 4- or 6-year terms, depending on each school district’s bylaws. Elections are held every other year and terms are staggered so entire boards are not up for election at the same time. There are more than 1,000 school board seats up for election this year. 
  • The role of local school boards is to oversee students’ education and school operations. This includes setting curriculum, managing facilities, budgeting, human resources, and providing for the safety and welfare of students.
  • Races are technically nonpartisan, so it can be hard to tell where candidates stand. Extremists try to hide their extreme views with language that sounds innocuous.
  •  

Current situation

  • Culture war attacks against public education are spreading like wildfire. 
  • School districts in Michigan have been under some of the heaviest assault from national right-wing extremists. 
  • At least 41 books in total have been banned in 4 Michigan school districts.

 What’s at Stake:

  • If extremists gain seats on our School Boards, they will attempt to ban books, outlaw sex ed, target trans kids playing sports, and create a less safe learning environment for all children.
  • Voting for local candidates who put kids over politics is our chance to keep extremists from being elected to school boards and attacking public education directly. 

Candidates:

We must elect School Board candidates who will stand up to extremists. Our kids deserve an honest and accurate education. Use our Ballot Lookup to research your ballot and find out where candidates running to represent you stand.

 

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ELECTION SCHEDULE

  • OCTOBER 24: Voter registration must be completed if registering online, but you can register in-person up until November 8th.

  • UP TO 5 p.m. on Friday, November 4: Last day to request an absentee ballot online or by mail. To avoid mailing delays, it is strongly recommended to request an absentee ballot no later then Monday, Oct. 17th.

  • Through Monday, November 7 at 4 p.m. Early voting can only be done through an absentee ballot.
    • NOVEMBER 8: Election day! In-person voting. Absentee ballots must be received by the election office by 8 pm. Mail them early!

    The Great Troublemaker Turnout 

     

    A lot of what is at stake in the midterms can be protected by voters preventing extremists from gaining seats.  We know that suburban women are a powerful group who can shift election outcomes when we turnout to vote. And we know how to make that happen through Relational Organizing. Become a Troublemaker with us and you’ll learn how to turnout the suburban vote in your community.

    CONNECT WITH RED WINE & BLUE IN MICHIGAN

    GREATER LANSING

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    KALAMAZOO/SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

    Jodie Vandenheede
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    MACOMB

    Jessica Romanosky
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    NORTH OAKLAND

    Kathy Nitz
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    OTTOWA

    Trish Harrison
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    SE OAKLAND

    Danielle Kassab
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    WEST OAKLAND

    Tammy Warren
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    WAYNE

    Tammy Warren
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    Fems with Red Wine and Blue Michigan Group