Michigan Secretary of State election, 2010

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Secretary of State 2010 elections
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Candidates for Secretary of State, 2010


Polls, 2010 Secretary of State elections

2010 Election information
Primary election dates
Statewide elections, 2010
November 2nd General Election results

National Association of Secretaries of State


Secretary of State Project

State Executive Official news headlines
The Michigan Secretary of State election of 2010 was held on November 2, 2010. Term limit laws prevented incumbent Republican Terri Lynn Land from seeking a third term in office, and there were several candidates eager to take her place.

Democrat Jocelyn Benson and Republican Ruth Johnson were both nominated by their respective parties at their fall state conventions. The two were joined by in the general election by three third-party candidates: John LaPietra (Green Party), Robert Gale (U.S. Taxpayers party), and Scotty Boman (Libertarian). Ultimately, Johnson won the seat with 50.7% of the vote.

Background

With Michigan state term limit laws preventing her from running for Secretary of State for a third term, incumbent Terri Lynn Land announced in February 2009 that she was forming an exploratory committee to run for Governor of Michigan in 2010.[1] Four months later, Land bowed out of the race and threw her support behind Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.[2] In September, Bouchard named her as his running mate.[3]

Race tracking

Ballotpedia declared the race for Michigan's Secretary of State to be a toss up.

2010 Ballotpedia Race Rankings for Michigan Secretary of State
Race Tracker Race Rating
Ballotpedia Toss-up
Overall Call Toss-up

General election

Results

2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election[4]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Ruth Johnson 50.7%
     Democratic Party Jocelyn Benson 45.2%
     Libertarian Party Scotty Boman 1.8%
     U.S. Taxpayers Robert Gale 1.3%
     Green Party John A. La Pietra 1.0%
Total Votes 3,173,248

Endorsements

Jocelyn Benson

Ruth Johnson

  • Adrian Daily Telegram, local newspaper[17]
  • Citizens for Traditional Values (CTV)[18]
  • Detroit News, local newspaper[19]
  • Independence Caucus[20]
  • Lansing State Journal, local newspaper[21]
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce[22]
  • Michigan Farm Bureau[23]
  • Midland Daily News, local newspaper[24]
  • Oakland Press, local newspaper[25]
  • Right to Life Michigan[26]

Debate

October 8th - WKAR-TV

Tim Skubick, 6 News Capitol Correspondent and host of public television's "Off the Record" program, moderated the first (and quite possibly only) debate between the two major party candidates in the secretary of state contest - Democrat Jocelyn Benson and Republican Ruth Johnson - located at the WKAR TV station in East Lansing on Friday, October 8th.

Click here to view the entire debate

Polling

Glengariff Group Poll

Glengariff Group Inc., a strategic planning and marketing research company based out of Chicago, surveyed 600 likely voters from across Michigan between September 7 and 8, 2010. The polling data indicated that both major party candidates suffer from lack of name recognition among state voters. Among those likely voters interviewed, Ruth Johnson has 27.2 name identification while Jocelyn Benson, her Democratic opponent, has slightly less with twenty-one percent. When it comes to independents, Johnson beats out Benson 38.8% - 21.6%, although 37.7% remain uncommitted to either candidate at this point.[27]

Glengariff Group Poll - September 7 – 8, 2010[28]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 43.5%
Jocelyn Benson (D) 31.3%
Undecided 24.2%
Total voters 600

Public Policy Poll

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic Party-affiliated polling firm based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, surveyed 497 likely Michigan voters from across the state between September 17 and 19, 2010. The polling data shows very little difference from the Glengariff survey conducted less than two weeks earlier. The only slight difference that can be noted is that the percentage of unaffiliated voters who remain undecided increased to 44% from 37.7% from the last poll.[29]

Public Policy Poll - September 17 – 19, 2010[30]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 39%
Jocelyn Benson (D) 30%
Undecided 31%
Total voters 497

FMWA Poll

Foster McCollum White and Associates and Baydoun Consulting released a new poll on Thursday October 14th. Foster McCollum White has offices in Troy and Detroit, Baydoun Consulting has offices in Dearborn. The survey of 2,282 likely voters was conducted by telephone on October 7th. The survey found "Democrat Jocelyn Benson in a dead heat with Republican Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson."[31]

FMWA Poll - October 7, 2010[32]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ruth Johnson (R) 52.9%
Jocelyn Benson (D) 46.7%
Total voters 2,282

Conventions

Michigan does not hold primary elections for the office of secretary of state. Instead, the two main political parties hold conventions during which they nominate candidates for the general election.

Donkey symbol.png Democratic party

Candidate

  • Full time Assistant Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School Jocelyn Benson[33]

Finances

According to the Michigan Department of State, as of August 18, 2010, here is the breakdown of campaign finances for Benson:

Jocelyn Benson Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [34] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - August 13, 2010[35] August 18, 2010 $207,306.08 $311,331.27 $8,298.48 $0.00 $106,505.01 $412,132.34
January 1 - December 31, 2009[36] February 1, 2010 $0.00 $227,758.60 $22,482.73 $0.00 $20,452.52 $207,306.08

Gop logo2.jpg Republican party

Candidates

Endorsements

Cameron Brown

Finances

According to the Michigan Department of State, as of August 17, 2010, here is the breakdown of campaign finances for each of the candidates:

Cameron Brown Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [34] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - August 12, 2010[45] August 17, 2010 $67,568.55 $129,111.56 $1,180.00 $0.00 $77,089.30 $119,590.81
January 1 - December 31, 2009[46] February 1, 2010 $0.00 $98,799.50 $12.49 $0.00 $31,230.95 $67,568.55
December 1 - December 31, 2008[47] February 1, 2009 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Ruth Johnson Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [34] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
November 8, 2006 - August 12, 2010[48] August 16, 2010 $0.00 $174,213.32 $11,917.79 $0.00 $26,253.61 $147,959.71
Michelle McManus Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [34] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - August 12, 2010[49] August 17, 2010 $43,449.87 $96,645.00 $0.00 $0.00 $82,006.33 $58,088.54
January 1 - December 31, 2009[50] February 1, 2010 $0.00 $100,295.50 $1,895.20 $0.00 $56,845.63 $43,449.87
Anne Norlander Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [34] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - August 12, 2010[51] August 17, 2010 $69,871.50 $95,581.41 $15,953.74 $0.00 $55,162.08 $110,290.83
January 1 - December 31, 2009[52] February 1, 2010 $2,562.80 $124,732.63 $40,471.72 $0.00 $57,423.93 $69,871.50
February 29 - December 31, 2008[53] January 23, 2009 $0.00 $3,250.80 $1,145.76 $0.00 $688.00 $2,562.80
Paul Scott Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [34] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - August 12, 2010[54] August 17, 2010 $0.00 $103,164.78 $0.00 $0.00 $60,650.71 $42,514.07

Polling

Glengariff Group Poll

Glengariff Group Inc., a strategic planning and marketing research company based out of Chicago, surveyed 500 likely Republican primary voters from across the state between July 12 and 13, 2010. Though the nominee for secretary of state is selected during the state party convention, polling data showed that if left to the voters to decide, State Senator Michelle McManus would have a slight advantage over her primary opponents.

Glengariff Group Poll - July 12 – 13, 2010[55]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Michelle McManus (R) 9.4%
Cameron Brown (R) 7.6%
Paul Scott (R) 5.2%
Ruth Johnson (R) 4.4%
Anne Norlander (R) 2.2%
Undecided 71.2%
Total voters 500

Other candidates

Controversies

False Tea Party

Conservatives and Libertarians throughout Michigan have accused a newly formed political party of donning the title "TEA Party," the name given to recent conservative/libertarian political activists, under false pretenses. Critics argue that "the actual tea party movement isn't a real political party. It's a loose-knit group of conservative and libertarian activists who are irate at the spending, taxes, TARP, and other big government leftism that has gone on for the past six years."[56] Furthermore, a number of the twenty-three candidates the party has nominated for various races in November 2010 have "donated to either democratic candidates/causes or to union PACs;" none of their contributions have been to Republican/conservative candidates or causes.[57] Conservative commentators contend that this is an attempt by liberal activists to confuse voters and siphon off two or three percent of the ballots cast in order to keep Democratic candidates in office.

Secretary of State Project

See also: Secretary of State Project

Benson has received both the endorsement and financial assistance of the Secretary of State Project (SOS Project), a below-the-radar 527 political organization whose purpose is "wrestling control of the country from the Republican Party" through the process of "removing their political operatives from deciding who can vote and whose votes will count," namely the office of Secretary of State in many cases.[58][59] The SOS Project receives funding from the George Soros-backed Democracy Alliance.[60]

Transgender driver licenses

State Representative Paul Scott's announcement that he was entering the race for secretary of state drew controversy when in the midst of his announcement letter he promised to making ensuring "transgender individuals will not be allowed to change the sex on their driver’s license in any circumstance" a top priority should he be elected to the statewide office.[61] This immediately drew the ire of local LGBT/transgender rights advocates from across the state.[62][63][64]

The American Family Association of Michigan (AFAM) was quick to come to Scott's defense, however, noting that the state representative simply did not pick this issue out of thin air. For years the ACLU had pressured Michigan's Secretary of State "to officially certify a “transgender” male who has not had so-called “sex change” surgery as “female.”"[65] It had been a long-standing policy of the office not to allow the change on the license "unless the individual had first undergone gender reassignment surgery."[66] Finally, in 2005, Republican Terri Lynn Land relented and adopted the policy change, only to reverse her decision three weeks later.

External links

Michigan

General Election candidates

Former candidates

References

  1. WILX "Land to Run for Governor" 19 Feb. 2009
  2. Daily Tribune, "Land bows out of governor’s race; throws support to Bouchard" 25 June, 2009
  3. WZZM 13 "Bouchard names Land running mate in Gov. race" 16 Sept. 2009
  4. Michigan Department of State - 2010 General Election Results
  5. Communication Workers of America - Endorsements
  6. Michigan Liberal, "Democracy for America is backing Jocelyn Benson!" 24 Feb. 2010
  7. The Detroit Free Press, "Editorial: Jocelyn Benson for secretary of state" 17 Oct. 2010
  8. The Blog Prof, "Detroit Free Press endorses Jocelyn Benson (D-ACORN, SEIU) to steal Michigan elections for Democrats" 17 Oct. 2010
  9. Grand Rapids Press, "Editorial: Why to vote for Bill Schuette for attorney general, Jocelyn Benson for secretary of state" 24 Oct. 2010
  10. Michigan Liberal, "WHOA - Grand Rapids Press endorses Jocelyn Benson!" 24 Oct. 2010
  11. Justice 4 Michigan - Jocelyn Benson Endorsed for Secretary of State
  12. Michigan Democratic Party LGBT Caucus, "LGBT Caucus Endorses Jocelyn Benson for 2010 Secretary of State Race" 10 June, 2010 (timed out)
  13. AFL-CIO - 2010 Endorsements
  14. Michigan League of Conservation Voters, "Jocelyn Benson is our First Endorsement for Michigan Sec. of State" 25 Oct. 2010
  15. The Detroit News, "Michigan NOW PAC backs Bernero, Benson, urges 'no' on con-con" 28 Sept. 2010 (dead link)
  16. Secretary of State Project - 2010 races
  17. Adrian Daily Telegram, "Our View: Ruth Johnson is well suited to be next secretary of state" 25 Oct. 2010
  18. Citizens for Traditional Values - 2010 General Endorsements
  19. The Detroit News, "Editorial: Elect Ruth Johnson for secretary of state" 8 Oct. 2010
  20. Right Michigan, "BREAKING: Independence Caucus Endorsement for Michigan S.O.S." 25 Aug. 2010
  21. Lansing State Journal, "Johnson touted for secretary of state" 18 Oct. 2010
  22. Michigan Chamber of Commerce - 2010 Candidate Endorsements
  23. Michigan Farm Bureau - 2010 General Election Endorsements
  24. Midland Daily News, "Our view: Johnson picked for secretary of state post" 26 Oct. 2010
  25. The Oakland Press, "Editorial: No doubt Johnson and Schuette are best" 6 Oct. 2010
  26. Life News, "Michigan Pro-Life Group Backs Attorney General, Secretary of State Candidates" 13 Sept. 2010
  27. The Michigan Messenger, "Poll: GOP leads key state races" 10 Sept. 2010
  28. Glengariff Group, Inc. "Michigan September 2010 General Election Survey" 9 Sept. 2010 (dead link)
  29. The Detroit News, "Polls show wide gap between Snyder, Bernero" 22 Sept. 2010
  30. Public Policy Polling, "Snyder Headed to Blowout Over Bernero for MI Gov." 21 Sept. 2010
  31. The Detroit News, "Poll: Snyder leading by double digits; SOS race a dead heat" 15 Oct. 2010
  32. The Detroit News, "Poll: Snyder leading by double digits; SOS race a dead heat" 15 Oct. 2010
  33. The Detroit News, "WSU professor to run for Secretary of State" 5 Oct. 2009
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 34.5 As these are not cash contributions, they are not reflected in the reported ending balance.
  35. Michigan Department of State - Jocelyn Benson Pre-Convention Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  36. Michigan Department of State - Jocelyn Benson 2009 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  37. MLive, "State Sen. Cameron Brown announces bid for secretary of state" 11 Feb. 2009
  38. The Michigan Messenger, "Calhoun County Clerk and Register of Deeds is in the running for Secretary of State" 8 Jan. 2009
  39. The Michigan Messenger, "McManus makes run for secretary of state official" 22 July, 2009 (dead link)
  40. WLAJ Channel 3 "MI Rep. Paul Scott wants secretary of state nod" 18 Jan. 2010
  41. Crain's Detroit Business, "Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson joins secretary of state field" 23 April, 2010
  42. Flint Journal, "Paul Scott loses secretary of state nomination, says he's focusing on state House campaign" 28 Aug. 2010
  43. Right Michigan, "RightMichigan Exclusive: An Interview with 2010 Secretary of State Candidate Michelle McManus " 16 Jan. 2009
  44. Detroit Free Press, "Land endorses Brown for Michigan secretary of state" 23 Aug. 2010
  45. Michigan Department of State - Cameron Brown Pre-Convention Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  46. Michigan Department of State - Cameron Brown 2009 Annual Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  47. Michigan Department of State - Cameron Brown 2008 Annual Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  48. Michigan Department of State - Ruth Johnson Pre-Convention Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  49. Michigan Department of State - Michelle McManus Pre-Convention Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  50. Michigan Department of State - Michelle McManus 2009 Annual Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  51. Michigan Department of State - Anne Norlander Pre-Convention Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  52. Michigan Department of State - Anne Norlander 2009 Annual Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  53. Michigan Department of State - Anne Norlander 2008 Annual Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  54. Michigan Department of State - Paul Scott Pre-Convention Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  55. The Detroit News, "Support split for GOP AG hopefuls" 19 July, 2010
  56. Republican Michigander, "The Bullsh-t "Tea Party" (BSTP) releases their candidate list. Several are open democrats" 27 July, 2010
  57. Right Michigan, "Beware of artificial ingredients!" 27 July, 2010
  58. Secretary of State Project - 2010 Races
  59. San Francisco Chronicle, "Kerry reignites 2004 battle over Ohio" 1 Sep. 2006
  60. Discover the Networks - Democracy Alliance
  61. The Michigan Messenger, "Paul Scott targets transgendered people in race for Secretary of State" 21 Jan. 2010 (dead link)
  62. eTransgender, "Paul Scott plans to make Michigan a transsexual's hell" 21 Jan. 2010
  63. The Bilerico Project, "Rep Paul Scott Blows Smoke on Transgender Michigan" 22 Jan. 2010
  64. Michigan Liberal, "Paul Scott's nutty idea" 16 Feb. 2010
  65. American Family Association of Michigan, "Rep. Scott didn’t pull transgender statement out of thin air; ACLU has campaigned for official IDs" 17 Feb. 2010
  66. The Grand Rapids Press, "Secretary of State candidate Paul Scott campaigns against changes on ID for transgender individuals" 21 Jan. 2010