Michigan's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

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Michigan's 1st Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
August 5, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Dan Benishek Republican Party
Dan Benishek.JPG

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Lean R[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Lean R[2]

Michigan U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Michigan.png
The 1st Congressional District of Michigan will hold an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014. The 1st District is considered one of Ballotpedia's battleground districts in 2014. Incumbent Rep. Dan Benishek (R) won by only 1,881 votes in 2012. The district has seen recent changes in its electorate, with Obama narrowly winning the district in 2008, but Romney claiming victory in 2012. Both the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have taken notice of this district, adding both Benishek and Democratic challenger Jerry Cannon, a former sheriff, to their respective election programs.

There are growing concerns over the vulnerability of Benishek. He is considered an average voter in the Republican Party, meaning he will likely vote in party lines. In 2014, Benishek was named one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents due to the unpredictable voter outcome in his current district.[3]

Both candidates have added significant financial resources to their coffers with Cannon grossing over over $370,00 and Benishek standing just above $940,000. The NRCC recently spent $1 million for a airtime in the district hoping to further bolster the GOP's chances of keeping the seat.[4] Democrats have however cancelled airtime in the district, which could further help Benishek before the general election.

Benishek faced opposition in the Republican primary where he defeated challenger Alan Arcand by securing nearly 70 percent of the votes. Cannon ran unopposed in the Democratic primary to face off against Benishek and two other third party candidates in the general election. Green Party candidate Ellis Boal and Libertarian Party candidate Loel Gnadt will represent the third party candidates in the highly contested election.

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
April 22, 2014
August 5, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Michigan is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[5][6][7]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters must have registered by June 7, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 6, 2014.[8]

See also: Michigan elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent is Dan Benishek (R), who was first elected in 2010.

Michigan's 1st Congressional District is located in the far northern portion of the state and includes Keweenaw, Houghton, Ontonagon, Gogebie, Baraga, Iron, Dickinson, Marquette, Menominee, Delta, Alger, Schoolcraft, Luce, Chippewa, Mackinac, Presque Isle, Cheboyan, Emmett, Charlevcix, Antrim, Leelanau, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Manistee, Mason, Kalkaska, Crawford, Oscoda, Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Otsego counties.[9]


General election candidates

August 5, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Primary results

U.S. House, Michigan District 1 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDan Benishek Incumbent 69.7% 49,540
Alan Arcand 30.3% 21,497
Total Votes 71,037
Source: Michigan Secretary of State

Race background

The 2012 House race in Michigan's 1st District was close, with Representative Dan Benishek securing his seat by a mere half of a percent. The district was targeted by both the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program[12] and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,[13] the PACs responsible for helping Republican and Democratic congressional contenders respectively. Benishek was able to outspend his opponent, and was largely aided in that respect by a large influx of PAC contributions, which were almost singlehandedly responsible for the spending gap.[14] Most of the major issues that arose during the race were economic ones, with the two main candidates largely in agreement about other topics.[15]

Campaign contributions

Jerry Cannon

Jerry Cannon (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[16]October 15, 2013$0.00$130,389.96$(25,894.63)$104,495.33
Year-End[17]January 31, 2014$104,495.33$162,242.58$(71,805.36)$194,932.55
April Quarterly[18]April 15, 2014$194,932.55$145,670.89$(70,124.03)$270,479.41
July QuarterlyJuly 15, 2014$270,479.00$202,378.00$(100,716.00)$372,910.00
Running totals

Dan Benishek

Dan Benishek (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]April 15, 2013$88,651.76$163,051.18$(121,938.73)$129,764.21
July Quarterly[20]July 15, 2013$129,764.21$204,683.35$(74,578.38)$259,869.22
October Quarterly[21]October 15, 2013$259,869.22$332,060.68$(91,766.04)$500,163.86
Year-End[22]January 31, 2014$500,163.86$131,132.89$(55,463.50)$575,833.25
April Quarterly[23]April 15, 2014$575,833.25$145,417$(66,766.26)$654,483.99
July QuarterlyJuly 15, 2014$654,483.00$476,009.00$(199,616.00)$942,194.00
Running totals

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
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On November 6, 2012, Dan Benishek (R) won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Gary McDowell, Emily Salvette and Ellis Boal in the general election.

U.S. House, Michigan District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Gary McDowell 47.6% 165,179
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Benishek Incumbent 48.1% 167,060
     Libertarian Emily Salvette 3.1% 10,630
     Green Ellis Boal 1.2% 4,168
Total Votes 347,037
Source: Michigan Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


On November 2, 2010, Dan Benishek won election to the United States House. He defeated Gary McDowell (D), Glenn Wilson (I), Patrick Lambert (U.S. Taxpayers), Keith Shelton (L) and Ellis Boal (G) in the general election.[24]

U.S. House, Michigan District 1 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Benishek 51.9% 120,523
     Democratic Gary McDowell 40.9% 94,824
     Independent Glenn A. Wilson 3.4% 7,847
     U.S. Taxpayers Patrick Lambert 1.8% 4,200
     Libertarian Keith Shelton 1.1% 2,571
     Green Ellis Boal 0.9% 2,072
Total Votes 232,037

See also

External links


  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR JULY 26, 2014," accessed July 31, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed July 31, 2014
  3. "House Democrats Face Long Odds in 2014," accessed October 8, 2014
  4. Roll Call, "NRCC Makes $1 Million Ad Buy to Defend GOP Incumbent," accessed October 8, 2014
  5. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  6. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  7. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  8. Michigan Department of State Website, "Registering to Vote: Step 2," accessed January 3, 2014
  9. Michigan Redistricting Map "Map" accessed August 31, 2012
  10. Arcand for Congress, "Alan Arcand," accessed January 14, 2014
  11. The Washington Post, "DCCC adds nine names to program for top recruits," September 9, 2013
  12. NRCC "Patriot Program 2012"
  13. http://www.freep.com/article/20120118/NEWS15/120118041/Red-to-blue-Democrats-target-one-Michigan-soon-to-be-district "Red to blue? Democrats target one Michigan soon-to-be district" March 2013]
  14. Open Secrets, "2012 Race: Michigan District 01" accessed March 2013
  15. ThePoliticalGuide, "2012 Michigan House Race for District 1 - Candidates, Debates and Primary Results
  16. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon October Quarterly," accessed October 30, 2013
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon Year-End," accessed February 11, 2014
  18. Federal Election Commission, "Jerry Cannon April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  19. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek April Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek July Quarterly," accessed July 26, 2013
  21. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek October Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2013
  22. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek Year-End," accessed February 10, 2014
  23. Federal Election Commission, "Dan Benishek April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013