In A2, Dems. capture state senate, rep. races

Jake Fromm/Daily
Democratic candidate for state senate Rebekah Warren and Jeff Irwin at their watch party at the Arbor Brewing Co. during Election Night on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. Buy this photo

BY KAITLIN WILLIAMS
Daily Staff Reporter
Published November 2, 2010

Democrats Rebekah Warren and Jeff Irwin, both University alumni, claimed victory in their respective races for the state Senate and state House of Representatives last night.

According to the Washtenaw County Clerk's office, with about 94 percent of precincts reporting, Warren had about 65 percent of the vote. Irwin led his opponent, Republican Chase Ingersoll, with about 80 percent of the vote, as of 4 a.m.

Irwin will represent Michigan's 53rd House District in the seat that Warren currently holds, and Warren will serve as state senator of Michigan's 18th Senate District. The 18th District state Senate seat is now occupied by Democrat Liz Brater, who was unable to run for the position again due to term limits.

Warren said at her watch party at the Arbor Brewing Company on East Washington Street last night that she is most excited to focus on job creation as state senator.

"We need to make sure we don't leave anyone behind," Warren said.

Warren ran against Republican candidate John Hochstetler of Manchester, Mich. The candidates differed in their plans for boosting Michigan's economy, with Warren supporting job creation through legislation and Hochstetler focusing on supporting local business.

Though Warren is a Democrat, she told The Michigan Daily in March that her work has crossed party lines.

“I’ve been able to work pretty successfully on some important bill packages that were done in a bipartisan way and were able to become law,” Warren said at the time.

Warren is a strong advocate for reproductive rights and environmental protection. While serving as chair of the House Great Lakes and the Environment Committee, Warren worked to pass the Great Lakes Compact, which aimed to protect the Great Lakes Basin water supply.

Irwin also advocates for environmental protection, and plans to focus on these issues as well as homelessness and budgeting problems in the state.

Warren endorsed Irwin's candidacy for state representative, and said tonight that it was "surprisingly more personal" than she thought it would be to watch him run this year.

Irwin said he has big shoes to fill in succeeding Warren.

Ingersoll told the Daily on Saturday that he expected Democrats to sweep the elections.

“I’ve already congratulated Mr. Irwin,” Ingersoll said.

— Mary Hannahan contributed to this report.