University of Michigan Regents Katherine White (D) and Michael Behm (D) have been reelected to the Board of Regents, according to early results from Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.
The Democratic incumbents took down Republican nominees Lena Epstein and Sevag Vartanian. White received 25.17% of the total vote while Behm received 24.57% of the total vote. Epstein and Vartanian received 23.90% and 22.31%, respectively with all counties except Arenac and Clinton fully reporting.
White is the longest-serving member on the board, having first taken office in 1998, and will continue to serve through at least 2030. She currently works as a law professor at Wayne State University as well as a Brigadier General in the Army National Guard.
Behm has served on the board since 2014 and is the president and co-owner of the law firm Behm & Behm and chairperson of Business Forward Michigan. In previous interviews with The Daily, Behm said his main goals as regent have been increasing the minimum wage on campus and improving the University’s climate action plan.
Last year, Behm received criticism from the One University (1U) campaign for allegedly failing to meet the organization’s goals of increasing equity across all three U-M campuses. In an interview with The Daily this summer, Behm said he was surprised by 1U’s reaction.
“I think I’ve met with them more than any other board member,” Behm said. “So I’m not quite sure (why 1U declined to endorse the campaign). There obviously is some failure in communication here because I think I do stand for many, if not all, the things that they stand for. I was the first regent to meet with them when they formed. I advised them that they should seek student involvement in their group.”
The victory stabilizes the Board’s democratic majority at 6-2 with Regents Ron Weiser and Sarah Hubbard, vice chair, as the sole Republicans.
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