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81 Friends of Agriculture prevail in midterm election

The state’s political makeup shifted significantly overnight. For the first time in more than 40 years Michigan has a Democratic trifecta with the party controlling the legislature, governor’s administration, and attorney general and secretary of state offices.
Date Posted: November 9, 2022

In the Nov. 8 midterm election, 81 of Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) AgriPac-endorsed Friends of Agriculture were successful in their races. Celebrating their wins, MFB President Carl Bednarski shared the organization’s post-election outlook.

“We’re proud to have so many Friends of Agriculture prominently serving in state and federal government this upcoming 2023-24 session,” Bednarski said. “The well-being of our farm families, businesses and rural communities depends on it.

“We’ll lean on and support them to help their peers understand why a viable and healthy food and agriculture industry is essential to the state’s economy and the ability to produce food, fiber and fuel.”

The state’s political makeup shifted significantly overnight. For the first time in more than 40 years Michigan has a Democratic trifecta with the party controlling the legislature, governor’s administration, and attorney general and secretary of state offices.

When the 102nd Legislature convenes in the new year, Democrats will have a 20-18 Senate majority and 56-54 House majority.

Bednarski said Michigan Farm Bureau is ready to get to work with the new and returning elected officials.

“As farmers we can’t control the weather, market prices, or input prices – but we can control how we plan for, react and adapt to change,” he said. “Using our member-developed policy, we’re ready to work alongside our state representatives, senators, Congress and others on common-sense and science-based policy.”

State-level races

Several candidates with farm ties were among the successful Friends of Agriculture in Michigan House and Senate races.

  • Isabella County Farm Bureau leader and first-time candidate Jerry Neyer will represent the 92nd House District (Isabella County and a portion of Gratiot County).
  • Sen. Kevin Daley, Senate Agriculture Committee chair and Lapeer County Farm Bureau member, returns to represent the 26th Senate District (portions of Lapeer, Genesee, Saginaw, and Tuscola counties).
  • St. Clair County Farm Bureau member Sen. Dan Lauwers was reelected to the 25th Senate District (St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron and portions of Tuscola, Bay, Saginaw, and Midland counties).
  • Sen. Ed McBroom, Natural Resources Committee chair and Iron Range Farm Bureau member, returns to the 38th Senate District (the Upper Peninsula, excluding eastern portions of Mackinac and Chippewa counties).
  • Sen. Roger Victory, Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee chair and Ottawa County Farm Bureau member, returns to the 31st Senate District (portions of Ottawa and Allegan counties).
  • Jackson County Farm Bureau member Rep. Sarah Lightner returns to represent the 45th House District (portions of Calhoun and Jackson counties). 
  • Ottawa County Farm Bureau member Rep. Luke Meerman returns to represent the 89th House District (portions of Ottawa and Muskegon counties).
  • Rep. Bryan Posthumus, a Kent County hops farmer, returns to represent the 90th House District (portions of Kent County).

Michigan Congressional races

John James was successful in his bid to join the Michigan Congressional delegation representing the 10th District. Also victorious were Friends of Agriculture and incumbents Reps. Jack Bergman, John Moolenaar, Bill Huizenga, Tim Walberg, Debbie Dingell, Dan Kildee, and Lisa McLain.

Michigan Supreme Court

On the nonpartisan section of the ballot, Friend of Agriculture and Justice Brian Zahra will serve another eight years on the Michigan Supreme Court.

Proposal 1

With two-thirds of Michigan voters supporting its passage, Proposal 1 creates more flexibility in term limits for state legislators, allowing an individual to serve up to 12 years, regardless of whether their time is spent in the House, Senate, or a combination of the two.

MFB supported a yes vote on Proposal 1.

“Our members believe term limits serve an important purpose,” said MFB Government Relations Specialist Matt Kapp. “But they also recognize we must balance that by giving elected officials the ability to amass more experience and build a stronger bank of knowledge on issues facing consumers, businesses and industries like agriculture and Michigan farm families.”

Editor’s note: Information presented is based on preliminary election results available at the time of publishing.  

Media Contacts
Matt Kapp headshot

Matt Kapp

Government Relations Specialist
517-679-5338 [email protected]
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