Michigan State Senate District 4

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Michigan State Senate District 4
Current incumbentVirgil Smith Democratic Party
Gender52.7% Female, 47.3% Male
Race74.6% Black, 14.6% White, 7.3% Other, 2.6% Two or More Races, 0.4% Asian, 0.5% Native American
Ethnicity84.1% Non-Hispanic, 15.9% Hispanic
Next electionNovember 6, 2018
Michigan's fourth state senate district is held by Democratic Senator Virgil Smith.

As of the 2010 census, a total of 188,440 civilians reside within Michigan's fourth state senate district.[1] Michigan state senators represent an average of 260,096 residents.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 261,538 residents.[3]

About the office

Members of the Michigan State Senate serve four-year terms with term limits.[4] Senators are elected at the same time as the governor and serve four-year terms concurrent with the governor's term of office. Senate elections are offset by two years from U.S. Presidential elections (e.g., Presidential elections were in 2000 and 2004, senate elections were in 2002 and 2006). Michigan legislators assume office the at noon on first day of January.


Section 7 of Article 4 of the Michigan Constitution states, "Each senator and representative must be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years of age, and an elector of the district he represents. The removal of his domicile from the district shall be deemed a vacation of the office. No person who has been convicted of subversion or who has within the preceding 20 years been convicted of a felony involving a breach of public trust shall be eligible for either house of the legislature."


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Michigan Legislature are paid $71,685/year. Legislators can use up to $10,800/year for expenses.[5]

Term limits

See also: State legislatures with term limits

The Michigan legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Michigan Term Limits Act in 1992. That initiative said that Michigan senators are subject to term limits of no more than two four-year terms, or a total of eight years. Senators who have not served more than half of someone else's Senate term are eligible for two full terms (i.e. - eight years). Michigan legislators assume office the at noon on first day of January.[4]

The first year that the term limits enacted in 1992 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2002.


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures

Whenever a vacancy occurs in the senate, it is up to the Governor to call for a special election. A special election must be held during the next scheduled general election.[6] If the vacancy happened after the statewide primary, leaders of the respective party organizations within the Senate district can submit a list of nominees to be voted on by party leadership. A vote must be held no later than 21 days after the vacancy.[7]



See also: Michigan State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Michigan State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election was held on August 5, 2014, and a general election took place on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was April 22, 2014. Incumbent Virgil Smith defeated Rashida Tlaib and Howard Worthy in the Democratic primary. Keith Franklin was unopposed in the Republican primary. Smith defeated Franklin in the general election.[8][9][10][11]

Michigan State Senate, District 4 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngVirgil Smith Incumbent 81.9% 49,970
     Republican Keith Franklin 18.1% 11,047
     Write-in Howard Worthy 0% 1
Total Votes 61,018


See also: Michigan State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Michigan State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 3, 2010 and a general election on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for major party candidates wishing to run in this election was May 11, 2010. The deadline for independent candidates was July 15, 2010.[12] Virgil Smith (D) defeated Frederick Robinson II (R), D. Wilcoxon (L) and Raymond Warner (I) in the general election. Smith defeated George Cushingberry, Michael Garrett and Carron Pinkins in the Democratic primary. The other party candidates were unopposed in the August 3 primary elections.[13][14]

Michigan State Senate, District 4, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngVirgil Smith 94.5% 42,722
     Republican Frederick Robinson II 2.7% 1,241
     Independent D. Wilcoxon 2.1% 931
     Libertarian Raymond Warner 0.7% 329
Total Votes 45,223

Campaign contributions

Since 2002, candidates for Michigan State Senate District 4 have raised a total of $368,771. Candidates who raised money in contributions earned $46,096 on average. All figures come from Follow the Money.

Campaign contributions, Michigan State Senate District 4
Year Amount Candidates Average
2010 $88,221 4 $22,055
2006 $133,781 2 $66,891
2002 $146,769 2 $73,385
Total $368,771 8 $46,096

See also

External links