The 2016 presidential election transformed Michigan from a state with traditional Democratic voting patterns into one of president-elect Donald Trump’s biggest swing-state victories. Michigan, which hasn’t cast its electoral votes for a Republican presidential nominee since 1988, turned to Trump, as lower voter turnout across key Democratic areas in Detroit and Flint helped propel him. Trump’s victory was unexpected, as a Fox News poll gave Democrat Hillary Clinton a four-point edge the day before the election, while the New York Times gave Clinton an 85 percent chance to win on election night. Overlooked in the hubbub of Trump’s odds-defying victory was that the U.S. House of Representatives maintained its “red” majority. Michigan not only voted for Trump, but kept its nine-to-five Republican majority in the U.S. House among its 14 seats.
When Donald Trump was projected winner of Michigan in the 2016 presidential election, it was the first time a Republican presidential candidate won the state since 1988. Ingham County, one of just eight Michigan counties that voted for Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, favored her with a clear majority of 60.2 percent compared to Trump’s 32.8 percent. East Lansing City Clerk Marie Wicks was expecting her city and county to support Clinton. “Nothing about our results is surprising, but I was surprised by Michigan’s results,” Wicks said.
The Ingham County Commission remains largely Democratic after Tuesday’s election with 11 of 14 districts. Democrat Mark Grebner rejoined the commission in District 8 and Ryan Sebolt joined the commission in District 2.
East Lansing Police Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth leads Eric Trojanowicz in the race to be Ingham County sheriff. With 96.61 percent of precincts reporting, Wriggelsworth led 57.7 percent to 42.06 percent. Wriggelsworth is the son of Gene Wriggelsworth, who is retiring this year after serving as sheriff for 28 years. The younger Wriggelsworth was promoted to lieutenant in the East Lansing Police Department in 2012 and currently serves in administration. “I’m excited about being an ambassador in our community— trying to rebuild that trust of local law enforcement— and learning, professionally and personally, the men and women that work there, and imploring them that they should think big,” Scott Wriggelsworth said. “In 2016, we have to police our community differently than we did 23 years ago when I started.
Ingham County voters leaned heavily toward renewing a property tax to support Potter Park Zoo. With 81 percent of precincts reporting, 77 percent of voters elected to renew a 0.41 mill tax to support the Lansing zoo. For the owner of a $200,000 home, this tax costs $41 a year. Because it is a renewal, residents’ taxes did not go up. Potter Park and the Potter Park Zoo have been a staple of the Lansing community for more than 100 years, since 1915. The park and zoo were under control of the city of Lansing until 2006, when the cost of maintaining the zoo became too big a burden for the city.
Democratic incumbent state Rep. Tom Cochran, D-Mason, faces challenger Republican Leon Clark to represent the 67th District in the state House. With 60 percent of precincts reporting, Cochran leads Clark 56 percent to 44 percent. The 67th District spans much of southern Ingham County. Looking to win his third and final term in office, Cochran previously served on the Lansing Fire Department for over 29 years. Born and raised in Lansing, Cochran has been a mid-Michigan resident his entire life.