Democratic incumbent Debbie Dingell wins reelection to U.S. House in 12th District

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - 8:18am

Rep. Debbie Dingell speaks with supporters to kick off the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus at the Pretzel Bell in February.

Rep. Debbie Dingell speaks with supporters to kick off the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus at the Pretzel Bell in February. Buy this photo
Dominick Sokotoff/Daily

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., won reelection over Republican challenger Jeff Jones. 

The Associated Press called the race early Wednesday morning.

With all precincts in the county fully counted as of a little after 3 a.m. Wednesday, Dingell won 118,478 votes to Jones’s 25,962, beating him 80.35% to 17.61% in Washtenaw. The district also includes portions of Wayne County. As of 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, Dingell was ahead there too, up by more than 20,000 votes with nearly 60% of precincts reporting.

Dingell was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2014, succeeding her husband, John Dingell Jr., who was the longest-serving member of Congress. He passed away in 2019 at age 92. His father John Dingell Sr. served before him.

In a statement Wednesday morning, Dingell said cautioned voters to wait while for final results from across the state to come in.

“Many have complicated feelings. We have to count all of the votes. They all matter,” Dingell wrote. “Each and everyone and democracy is stronger because so many people participated from all sides and communities. We cannot draw conclusions or assume anything. We need the actual vote count. And go from there.”

State and local officials have repeatedly warned voters not to expect final results on the day of the election, as completing the count could take a few days.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson reminded people that counting mail-in ballots will be a time-intensive process. 

“No matter how long it takes, Michigan citizens can be certain that their ballots will be counted,” Benson wrote.

On Tuesday, after a media report indicated that ballots might be processed sooner than anticipated, spokesperson Kelly Rossman-McKinney called the expectation overenthusiastic. In a tweet Tuesday night, she wrote that Benson “told the reporter there might be SOME counts completed. Definitely not ALL.”

When contacted for clarification, Tracy Wimmer, director of media relations for the Secretary of State’s Office, also said the timeline for counting all ballots would extend past Tuesday night.

“While there has been an incredible number returned, we know that the thousands of clerks and poll workers processing and tabulating these ballots have been hard at work across the state today,” Wimmer said on Tuesday night. “While that may enable certain jurisdictions to complete their counts later this evening or during the early morning hours tomorrow, we still do not believe we will have full unofficial results tonight, as we have been consistently saying for weeks.”

Dingell was endorsed by a variety of local and national political players including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. and Jason Morgan, chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. She also received endorsements from several progressive organizations including Moms Demand Action, Planned Parenthood and the Michigan Education Association.

In her statement, she noted the anxiety many voters are feeling, especially as COVID-19 cases are on the rise around the country.

“No matter who you supported, we have to figure out how we make our voices heard, treat each other with dignity, find common ground, fight for the common good, disagree with civility and respect, recognize many are struggling and our moral responsibility to them,” Dingell wrote. 

She ended her message with a call for residents to follow COVID-19 guidelines and adhere to public health protocols, including social distancing and wearing a mask.

 

She ended her message with a call for residents to follow COVID-19 guidelines and adhere to public health protocols, including social distancing and wearing a mask. 

“And having no sleep in two days, I am going to leave it at that,” Dingell wrote.

Managing News Editor Leah Graham can be reached at leahgra@umich.edu. Daily Staff Reporter Sarah Payne can be reached at paynesm@umich.edu.


The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown challenges at all of us — including The Michigan Daily — but that hasn’t stopped our staff. We’re committed to reporting on the issues that matter most to the community where we live, learn and work. Your donations keep our journalism free and independent. You can support our work here.

For a weekly roundup of the best stories from The Michigan Daily, sign up for our newsletter here.