THREAT TO DEMOCRAT CONTROL
State lawmakers are facing a possible shift in control of the legislative balance come the end of this year – at least on a temporary basis – depending on how fall elections turn out in two local Michigan communities. Democrats now hold a 56-54 majority in the state House but two representatives have filed to run for mayoral positions in Westland and Warren. Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren) is seeking the top spot in the city of Warren which pays $195,925 in annual salary She is among seven candidates who filed for the post, including a county commissioner, member of the city council and a former member, as well as a city employee. Current mayor Jim Fouts was ruled by the state courts as ineligible to run again, thanks for term limits adopted by voters in 2020, so the field of contenders has been trimmed to six. Should Stone win the post she would take over as mayor in 2024. Over in Westland, state Rep. Kevin Coleman (D-Westland) is seeking to fill the post of mayor which pays $126,281 a year, in a field of six hopefuls. If successful, Coleman would assume the post immediately following the November vote because the city is operating now with an interim mayor after the post was vacated due to a resignation in January of 2023. Fear not, however, about the long-term balance of power in the House. Both legislative districts are considered Democrat strongholds, with Coleman having won his state legislative job with 63 percent of the vote while Stone took 67 percent of the vote when she ran in 2022. Special elections would be called to fill any vacancy in the state House.