Governor: Appointed Governor Mark Parkinson (D) not running again
- Democrats had only one candidate file, state senator Tom Holland.
- Senator Sam Brownback (R) has been the frontrunner for this seat since then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) joined the Obama Cabinet. Although the state party still has divisions, he’s come as close as anyone to the unifying hero
- Democrats are given no chance to be competitive in the general, yet there were five candidates who filed for the primary. College professor Lisa Johnston was nominated with 31%.
- Two Republican House members fought the epic battle down to the wire. After midnight, Representative Jerry Moran (R-1) held his lead, 49% to 45%, over Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-4) with 90% counted and about 11,000 votes separating them. Moran had the state farm bureau endorsement along with several of his Senate colleagues, including some who normally picked the more conservative contenders in other contests. Sarah Palin endorsed Tiahrt, as did Karl Rove. In the parlance of this cycle, Tiahrt was the one who should have earned the insurgent label, but Moran was adaptive to the script required to win intra-party contests in 2010. His supporters pointed out throughout the campaign that his expansive rural district was the key to victory, and Wichita-based Tiahrt would not capture this territory, no matter who was for him
- KS-1: Representative Jerry Moran (R-1) pushed turnout here for his Senate campaign, and the ensemble cast of Republicans in this safe seat landed all over the lot. State senator Tim Huelskamp finished double digits ahead of the rest of the field, taking about 36%. He aligned his campaign with the conservative evangelical wing of the party, and he had the backing of Ron Paul, but geography also played a part. All of his legislative seat is inside this district. State senator/physician Jim Barnett, who spent close to a million dollars, and real estate broker Tracey Mann were next in line.
- KS-3: Representative Dennis Moore (D) isn’t running again, but his wife Stephanie is stepping in to take this role. Mrs. Miller is a nurse and has made health care part of her platform. Republicans had nine candidates, with state representative Kevin Yoder emerging from the list. He had about 45% of the vote, with former legislator Patricia Lightner coming in second with 37%. Yoder is considered a moderate who appeals to the Johnson County suburbanites who often crossed party lines to vote for Moore. Lightner is the grassroots conservative.
- KS-4: Drama, fireworks, adversaries hurling insults at each other — that was the Republican primary to replace Representative Todd Tiahrt (R). Businessman/RNC member Mike Pompeo won the nomination by stumbling over the finish line in this horror show. No bromance here. His fight with businessman Wink Hartman gave an opening to state senator Jean Kurtis Schodorf, but she had a photo finish with Hartman yet couldn’t catch Pompeo. Democrats think they have a chance to win this district, especially with Tiahrt out of the picture and the Republican catfight so brutal. State legislator Raj Goyle, son of Indian-American physician parents, has proven himself in two local races.
Governor: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) not running again
- Democrats nominated Lansing mayor Virg Bernero, a former state legislator who had labor support. He had almost 60% against state house speaker Andy Dillon. Neither was expected to run when the race began, but Granholm’s ratings sank with the state’s economy, forcing her lt. governor to opt out of replacing her.
- Republicans nominated Rick Snyder, a newcomer who ended up being the scene stealer in the field of stars. Snyder was a late entrant, spending large sums of personal money to tout job creation. An Ann Arbor businessman and venture capitalist, he aimed his message at the mainstream non-ideologues, looking for crossovers and independents. He had under 40%, but finished about ten points ahead of Representative Peter Hoekstra (R-MI 2) and attorney general Mike Cox. Cox had the establishment organized business support and the state’s grassroots right to life operatives yet finished third.
- MI-1: After midnight with 99% counted, there was no official call on the Republican primary in the seat vacated by Representative Bart Stupak (D). Surgeon Dan Benishek was 102 votes ahead of state senator Jason Allen. Benishek was an early critic of the health care plan which Stupak ultimately backed. State representative Gary McDowell was the only Democrat to stay in the primary. A pro-choice anti-Stupak Democrat dropped out, taking a swat at what she said was a party determined to pick a pro-life vote (McDowell).
- MI-2: After midnight with 97% counted, the Republican primary to replace Representative Peter Hoekstra (R) was also unofficial. Former state legislator Bill Huizenga was ahead of former NFL player/social conservative-backed Jay Riemersma by 880 votes with 97% counted. This seven-person primary resembled a courtroom drama, with candidates threatening to sue each other over whatever they bickered over as the contest entered the final chapter. Riemersma wasn’t that far ahead of state senator Wayne Kuipers, but third place can’t climb into first.
- MI-3: The seat vacated by Representative Vern Ehlers (R) was another of the complicated primaries for Republican viewers. State representative Justin Amash, endorsed by Ron Paul and the Club for Growth, won with 40%. Ehlers endorsed Steve Heacock, a former county board chair, had 26%, followed closely by a state senator.
- MI-7: One of a handful of sequels, this rematch was set when defeated 2008/former Representative Tim Walberg took 58%. Freshman Mark Schauer (D) is considered vulnerable.
- MI-9: Freshman Representative Gary Peters (D) beat a veteran Republican incumbent in 2008. This time he faces Rocky, a military officer/former legislator/former U. S. Senate nominee, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin. He had 42%, comfortably ahead of the three others, including the former incumbent’s chief of staff.
- MI-13: Representative Carolyn Kilpatrick (D) suffered for the sins of her son, the ousted Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. She lost to state senator Hansen Clarke, a long-time Detroit political figure. Clarke had 47%, Kilpatrick 41%. She sits on Appropriations.
Senate: Senator Kit Bond (R) not running again
- No suspense here, Representative Roy Blunt (R-7) won the 11-way primary with 71%. The build up about the tea party opponent, state senator Chuck Purgason, was just a distraction. He had only 13%.
- There was also no surprise in the Democratic primary. Secretary of state Robin Carnahan won with 84%.
- Big box office on GOP side; Blunt had over 400,000 votes, with Carnahan’s totals about 150,000 less.
- MO-4: Representative Ike Skelton (D-4) will face Vicky Hartzler, a former state legislator who is best known as a defender of traditional marriage. The fervor of her grassroots social activists put her in first place with 40% in a ten-person Republican primary. State senator Bill Stouffer, who was a more mainstream party choice, finished second with 30%. Everyone else faded into the backdrop.
- MO-7: The seat vacated by Senate hopeful Blunt attracted nine Republicans to a safe seat once the primary was settled. The candidate with the most ‘character appeal’ finished first, auctioneer/radio personality Billy Long who had 37%. State senator Jack Goodman, labeled the establishment candidate, was second with 29%. Everyone else was an afterthought.
- MO-8: Republicans aren’t supposed to be in trouble, but Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R) was held to 66% in a two-way primary. Her Democratic opponent has approached the million dollar mark and turned heads for his ‘boots on the ground’ military precision operation. Tommy Sowers is an Army veteran who did two tours in Iraq.