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Senator Peters’ Projected Victory, Bipartisan Results in MI’s Congressional Delegation

Senator Peters’ Projected Victory, Bipartisan Results in Michigan’s Congressional Delegation

With most major media outlets declaring that Sen. Gary Peters has won a narrow victory over challenger John James, Michigan’s next congressional delegation is taking shape. It has a unique opportunity to set the standard for bipartisanship at a time when the nation needs to unite to overcome COVID-19.

Across the board, Michigan voters opted to return the biggest champions of its signature industry back to Washington, regardless of party, while adding a few new faces that will bring their business perspectives to the group. The results demonstrate that Michigan is again establishing a delegation with clout and the ability to support and advance the automotive industry with a willingness to work across the aisle.

With our top priority overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating Michigan’s economy, these Chamber-endorsed candidates give business, our leading industry, and the entire state a strong voice in Washington.

Michigan Delegation Winners Have Strong Automotive, Bipartisan Chops

While James has not conceded the race, if Sen. Peters’ victory holds, he can be expected to continue to advance Michigan’s leadership in next-generation mobility and accelerate the state’s role as the global innovator for automotive and advanced manufacturing industries. His previous advocacy for the industry and commitment to bipartisanship were major factors in the Chamber PAC endorsing him.

Sen. Peters’ willingness to work across the aisle earned him a 2020 Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship from the U.S. Chamber, alongside another incumbent who earned a victory Tuesday, West Michigan Republican Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph). Upton’s win is a boon for bipartisanship given his vice chairmanship of the Problem Solvers Caucus, an independent group of U.S. representatives from across the country committed to finding common ground on key issues.

Two incoming freshman Representatives – Pete Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) and Lisa McClain (R-Bruce Township) are also poised to bring strong business perspectives to Michigan’s delegation representing communities in West Michigan and Macomb County, respectively. The Chamber looks forward to working with them as they enter Congress.

Two other members of the Problem Solvers Caucus also won re-election, Congresswomen Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly). Dingell’s staunch advocacy for the automotive industry pairs nicely with Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills) heading back to Congress given her work during her first term and previous experience in support of the industry under the previous president.

Run-offs in Georgia? A Wildcard for Michigan’s Clout in the Senate

Senators Stabenow and Peters have represented Michigan well on key committees (Agriculture and Homeland Security come to mind) and next year will be in line to serve as committee chairs or ranking members depending on the final results of the remaining U.S. Senate races. That influence could become even greater if Democrats were to flip the U.S. Senate.

That’s something to watch as results come in from Georgia where both Senate seats are up for election. If candidates don’t receive 50% of the vote or greater, it would lead to run-off elections in the coming months. That would put the Senate in play, and Senators Stabenow and Peters’ clout would grow exponentially with a Democratic majority.

While James’ effort to unseat Sen. Peters appears to have ultimately fallen short, the country again saw one of the most compelling candidates on the ballot anywhere. Many will take interest in what his future holds after running strong campaigns against two incumbent Senators in three years.

Chamber PAC Goes 14 for 14 in Congressional Endorsements

The Chamber’s PAC batted 1000% on its bipartisan congressional endorsements with all the candidates it backed securing victories. When grouping the Peters’ projected victory with the U.S. House races, the Chamber endorsed seven Republicans and seven Democrats. To see a full list of the PAC’s endorsements, click here.

Chamber Does Not Make Presidential Endorsements, Will Work with Executive Leadership of Either Party

Historically, the Chamber has not and does not make presidential endorsements, and that is true again this year in the tight race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Regardless of who is victorious, the Chamber will work alongside regional and national partners to engage the executive branch on key issues no matter which party leads it.

In Case You Missed It: Insiders’ View on Michigan’s Election Outcomes

Watch as Zach Gorchow, executive editor and publisher of Gongwer News Service Michigan, and Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber, breakdown where Michigan stands in counting votes, the outcomes of key state and national races, and what issues they believe may be considered during a 2020 “lame duck” legislative session.