Xiong wins, Dems take control of state House

By: Gena Johnson | Warren Weekly | Published April 19, 2024

 Mai Xiong

Mai Xiong


WARREN — Democratic Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong defeated Republican Ronald Singer in the April 16 special election to fill the District 13 seat in the Michigan House of Representatives left vacant when Lori Stone was elected Warren’s mayor in November.

“We worked really hard the past six months and I think the results really speak for themselves. My volunteers, supporters, friends, family, neighbors, everyone was really supportive of me running for state representative,” said Xiong. “And so, I’m just really grateful for this opportunity to represent everyone in the state Capitol.”

District 13 represents parts of Warren, in Macomb County, and Detroit, in Wayne County, which means both jurisdictions had elections and the results were combined.

In Macomb County, Xiong received 4,467 votes, or 60.2% of the total votes cast, and Singer received 2,949 votes, or 39.8%, according to the unofficial results. In Detroit, Xiong received 1,273 votes (95.14%) and Singer received 57 votes (4.26%), according to the city of Detroit’s unofficial election results. The results will not be official until the respective canvassing boards certify the results, leaving time for absentee ballots from military personnel stationed overseas to come in, according to Xiong.

Before the election, the Michigan House of Representatives had 54 Democrats and 54 Republicans, according to Xiong.  Once the results are certified, she looks forward to being sworn in and starting work in Lansing sometime next week.

“As part of the Democratic majority, I am looking forward to bringing resources back to Warren and Detroit,” Xiong said.

Xiong expounded on what this means to residents of Warren and Detroit.

“Right now, they’re in the budget process for the state. I certainly want to make sure we have the financial support there for Warren and Detroit,” Xiong said.  “And whatever we can do to lower costs for working families, that is something that I’m going to advocate for.”

Xiong said Michigan has been a beacon of hope for her and her family, and it has provided great opportunities. She said she wants the same opportunities for everyone in the state.

“I’ve been extremely grateful, and I’m honored to be able to give back to this community. I think there is still some work that we need to do to ensure that every family has the opportunity to advance, as well,” Xiong said.

Xiong joins Democrats Donavan McKinney and Nate Shannon who also represent areas of Warren in the Michigan House of Representatives.

There was also a special election for House District 25, which was vacated in November when Kevin Coleman was elected mayor of Westland. Democrat Peter Herzberg won the open seat. With wins by Xiong and Herzberg, Democrats have a 56-54 lead in the 110-member state House.


How we got here
In November, Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a call for a special election to fill the District 13 seat vacated by Stone and the District 25 seat vacated by Coleman amid objections from Republicans in Lansing.

In January, Whitmer endorsed Xiong for the District 13 seat.

In a letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Nov. 22, the governor cited the Michigan Constitution and Michigan election law to support her call for a special primary election on Jan. 30 and a special election on April 16.

“The Michigan Legislature had one of the most productive sessions in Michigan history thanks to Michiganders who elected leaders, like state representatives Coleman and Stone, to get things done on the issues that make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Whitmer in a November press release. “As we look ahead to 2024, these special elections will ensure that Michiganders in the 13th and 25th districts have representation in Lansing working for them as soon as possible. I look forward to working with the next representatives from these districts when voters elect them in the new year.”

Republican state Reps. Ann Bollin of Brighton Township and Mike Harris of Waterford categorized the Democratic governor’s call for a special election as “rushed, not prioritizing the people,” and as not following the same precedent when Republican seats are vacated.

“This move should raise some eyebrows, especially given the precedent of scheduling elections differently based on what way these districts swing along party lines. When three Republican House seats were vacant in late 2021, the governor scheduled those special elections for March and May of 2022. Why the sudden rush to fill the latest vacancies?” Bollin stated in a press release.

Harris expressed the additional toll it would take on the community.

“Far too often, politicians in Lansing disregard local viewpoints and undermine community needs,” Harris said in a press release. “Scheduling special elections on irregular dates will cost local governments in Metro Detroit, and the chaos of overlapping voting periods will heap burdens on local clerks, the area residents who work the polls, and voters.”

Harris added in the release, “The governor announced the special elections the day before the long Thanksgiving weekend, giving potential candidates only until Monday to file their paperwork.”