State Rep. Warren keeps seat in decisive victory

BY MATT AARONSON
Daily Staff Reporter
Published November 4, 2008

Ann Arbor voters propelled Democrat Rebekah Warren to victory at the polls yesterday, giving her a second two-year term representing Michigan’s 53rd District in the State House of Representatives. With 41 out of 46 precincts reporting, Warren led with 78 percent of the vote, with Republican Christina Brewton taking 17 percent and Socialist Party/Green Party candidate Matt Erard receiving 5 percent.

Among the 29 groups to endorse Warren were unions such as the Michigan AFL-CIO and the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union, and environmental groups such as Clean Water Action and the Sierra Club.

Warren had a strong advantage in the race on paper, running as an incumbent in a heavily Democratic district.

Throughout her campaign, Warren touted her role as Chair of the Great Lakes and Environment Committee and, most recently, the success of the Great Lakes Compact signed into law by the president in September. The legislation prevents the diversion of fresh water from the Great Lakes to other parts of the country.

Warren, a University of Michigan graduate, lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, Washtenaw County Commissioner Conan Smith.

In an e-mail to the Daily last month, Brewton said she disagreed with John McCain’s decision to pull his campaign resources from Michigan, as it could discourage Republican voters.

“If you truly believe in the platform you campaign on, then you never stop fighting,” she said.

But Brewton did not actively campaign for the state House seat, skipping a televised debate that week sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Erard, a 23-year-old University graduate student and chair of the Socialist Party of Michigan, returned to the ballot after receiving 3 percent of the vote in 2006 as an LSA senior.