Congressmen Tim Walberg and Mike Bishop both say they will be returning to Washington.
Walberg declared victory just after 10:30 p.m., saying voters in the 7th District, which includes Jackson and parts of Eaton County, had re-elected him. It’s the fifth time he’s won election to the House. He won in 2006, lost in 2008, took back the seat in 2010, and has held on to it in each election since.
He beat State Representative Gretchen Driskell and Libertarian candidate Ken Proctor.
He faced stiff competition from Driskell, a former mayor of Saline who got in the race early and who ran numerous TV commercials against the man she labeled “Trade Deal Tim”.
In a concession statement Driskell thanked her supporters and said she was “more proud than ever of our strong campaign, our many supporters, and our message on behalf of the families of Michigan.”
According to records filed with the Federal Election Commission, both candidates raised more than $2 million.
While the district leans Republican, it was targeted by Democrats who thought it might be up for grabs.
The Democrats “Red to Blue” campaign also targeted Mike Bishop.
About an hour earlier Bishop claimed that voters in the 8th District, which includes Ingham and Livingston counties, had picked him in his first bid for re-election. He won his first race for Congress two years ago after former Representative Mike Rogers gave up the seat.
Rogers originally faced actress Melissa Gilbert. But Gilbert, citing health issues, left the race. Democrats nominated Suzanna Shkreli, a Macomb County assistant prosecutor, to take Gilbert’s place.
Like Driskell, Shkreli waged a TV ad war on Bishop, although records show she only raised about $500,000 to Bishop’s $1.5 million.
Bishop also beat Libertarian Jeff Wood, Green Party candidate Maria Green, and Natural Law Party candidate Jeremy Burgess.