Attorney General Dana Nessel addresses voters at the U of M Dems Rally on the Diag Friday evening. Anna Fuder/Daily. Buy this photo.

Incumbent Attorney General Dana Nessel, who ran as a Democrat, has defeated Republican challenger Matthew DePerno, per The Associated Press Wednesday morning. Nessel won 52.8% of the vote, and DePerno received 44.9%.

Nessel spoke at the Motor City Casino Hotel in Detroit Tuesday evening, emphasizing that this year’s election raises important issues that will affect all Michigan residents.

“I really believe that the results of this race that we’re going to see as the night comes in underscores the values that we hold sacred here in Michigan,” Nessel said. “Love over hate, hope over fear, unity over division, science over ignorance, equality over bigotry and racism, facts over lies and democracy over fascism.”

Nessel centered her campaign on protecting reproductive rights, expanding access to health care and addressing environmental issues. During her tenure as attorney general over the past four years, Nessel helped lead the investigation into the Flint water crisis. She also worked to fight PFAS contamination, child sexual abuse and the opioid crisis. Nessel created a Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) to investigate wrongful felony conviction claims.

“I’ve worked really hard to protect the rights of students where, in many cases, we’ve gone after student loan companies that have taken advantage of students,” Nessel told The Michigan Daily in a previous interview. “We’ve been very, very aggressive, and in many cases, we’ve had the debts of students completely forgiven as a result of that.”

DePerno announced Wednesday morning on Twitter that he “may be conceding” to Nessel and thanked his supporters.

“Thank you to all of the Patriots & supporters across Michigan! Although I may be conceding to Dana Nessel today, I refuse to concede that Michigan is a blue state,” DePerno wrote. “I will continue to fight like hell to restore Michigan to all it can be. Thank you to each and every one of you!”

Nessel will begin her second term on Jan. 1, 2023.

Daily Staff Reporter Samantha Rich can be reached at sammrich@umich.edu.

Daily Staff Reporter Irena Li contributed to the reporting of this article.