The Michigan Daily’s 2020 state and federal election guide
The Michigan Daily has put together a 2020 general election guide to help Ann Arbor voters understand what is on their ballot. Look below to see what options you have from the two major parties in federal and state races this November. For our local election guide, click here.
Federal and State Elections
President and Vice President of the United States
Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris (D)
Biden is the Democratic presidential nominee. The former Vice President served in the White House during the Obama Administration and previously served as a U.S. Senator from 1973-2009.
Biden’s campaign “Build Back Better” plan focuses on creating a strong economic response to the pandemic, improving racial equality, providing the infrastructure needed for clean energy and reforming the country’s immigration laws.
Harris is the Democratic vice presidential nominee. She ended her personal presidential bid late in 2019 to endorse Biden and was named as his running mate in August. As a U.S. Senator for California, she is on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Committee on the Judiciary, among others.
She previously served as an assistant district attorney and later became the Attorney General of California.
Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence (R)
Trump is the Republican presidential nominee and 45th president of the United States. A businessman, Trump is the first president to be elected without prior military or government experience.
Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign is focusing on building a strong economy and lowering taxes. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, however, the economy has suffered as small businesses around the country have closed and millions of people have lost their jobs. Trump recently contracted COVID-19 himself but has since recovered.
The Trump campaign has also been vocal about introducing harsher immigration policies, particularly on the southern border.
Pence is the Republican Presidential nominee and is the 48th vice president of the United States. He previously represented Indiana in the House of Representatives from 2001-2013 and was the Governor of Indiana from 2013-2017.
Gary Peters (D)
Peters is a lifetime Michigan resident seeking reelection to the Senate. He is finishing his first term in the Senate where he was ranked the fourth most effective of all Democratic Senators.
Peters previously served in the U.S. House for three terms. After serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve for more than a decade, Peters is the ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and also sits on the Armed Services Committee. Peters is focused on strengthening the Michigan economy, protecting the Great Lakes and national security.
In an interview with The Daily this summer, Peters said that protecting the Affordable Care Act, promoting affordable higher education, tackling racial inequality and a public-health informed COVID-19 response are at the top of his agenda.
John James (R)
A University of Michigan alum, veteran and business owner, John James will be challenging Peters in November, facing a Democratic incumbent for the second time after challenging current U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in the 2018 election.
James’ campaign is unique, as he is the only Black Republican running for a seat in the Senate in this election cycle and he has received national recognition for his tremendous fundraising campaign. He has faced criticism for his support for the president, but has declined to disavow Trump. James is focused on building an innovation-driven economy by cutting regulation, securing borders to protect national security and utilizing incentives for private corporations to limit pollution and protect the environment.
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D)
Dingell is seeking reelection to the United States House of Representatives. The Dingell family has held office in Michigan’s 12th congressional district for more than 80 years. She was preceded by her late husband John Dingell Jr. and his father John Dingell Sr.
Dingell serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Natural Resources. She has long been an advocate for liberal causes from accessible health care to the environment.
Jeff Jones (R)
Jones is challenging Dingell as a Republican. Jones currently serves as a pastor and works in financial services at MassMutual. Jones has challenged Dingell in the past three election cycles and is focused on reforming the health care system, improving veterans affairs and senior care this election cycle and, if elected, wants to break from the status-quo of politics to transform policy to work more effectively for 12th district residents.
Michigan House of Representatives, 53rd State Representative
Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D)
Rabhi is the Democratic Floor Leader in the Michigan House of Representatives and is currently serving his second term representing the 53rd State House district. He has been a consistent progressive voice in Lansing, advocating for single-payer universal healthcare, enacting Green New Deal policies at the state level and reversing cuts to funding for public schools and universities.
Jean Holland (R)
Rabhi’s challenger Holland works professionally in IT consulting and as a software developer and engineer. Holland is a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights and supporting the growth of businesses across the state.
Michigan Supreme Court
While candidates for the state Supreme Court are nominated by parties, they run in nonpartisan races in the general election.
Bridget Mary McCormack
McCormack was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in 2012 and currently serves as the Chief Justice. McCormack has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell and many other democratic local and state elected officials. McCormack previously served as a professor and associate dean at the University of Michigan Law School. McCormack currently teaches at the Law School and sits on the Board of Washtenaw County Families Against Narcotics, working to address the opioid crisis.
Welch is a Michigan attorney serving individuals, nonprofits and small businesses. Welch is a long-time East Grand Rapids School Board Trustee and is the former president of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. Welch has been endorsed by the Detroit Free Press and numerous prominent Democrats, including U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. and Dan Kildee, D-Mich. Welch plans to bring her diverse set of experiences to the court if elected and is focused on and passionate about the fight for equity in public education.
Kelly is a graduate of Michigan State University and received her law degree from the Detroit College of Law. Kelly previously served as a prosecutor in St. Clair County, as an attorney and as a general practitioner in private practice with an emphasis on domestic cases, civil litigation and criminal matters. Kelly’s platform said she is focused on holding individuals accountable for their actions if elected to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Swartzle has been endorsed by more than 85 local officials and the Farm Bureau AgriPac, Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Realtors. Sawrtzle plans to put politics aside and focus on the law if elected, particularly to respect the federal governing bodies but legislate for Michigan as a separate sovereign.
University of Michigan Board of Regents
Mark Bernstein (D)
Bernstein has been on the board of regents since 2012 and is a University of Michigan alum. He supports providing accessible public education while promoting diversity and protecting labor and the environment. Over the summer Berstein voted in favor of a tuition increase in this year’s budget and has expressed his support in aligning the University with Ann Arbor’s carbon neutrality goals.
Shauna Ryder Diggs (D)
Diggs also graduated from the University of Michigan as an undergraduate and has served on the board of regents for the last eight years. She supports efforts to make college more affordable and to provide more equitable funding across the University’s three campuses. Diggs voted against the budget this summer that included a tuition increase and has been receptive to the Climate Action Movement and One University’s criticism of the Board’s response to climate change.
Carl Meyers (R)
Meyers, also a University alum, has previously run for the Board of Regents numerous times. He supports resuming athletics and returning to in-person activities, in addition to calling for a tuition freeze. Meyers has also said he would prioritize protecting civil liberties and free speech on campus.
Sarah Hubbard (R)
Like Meyers, Hubbard is an alum who wants to fight increases in tuition and backs returning students to in-person classes. Hubbard is also a vocal supporter of the Second Amendment and pro-life movement, claiming that these voices need to be heard more at the University.
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