Democrats flip west Michigan district in Congress; Elissa Slotkin victorious in competitive District 7 race
(FOX 2) - It was a good night for incumbents in Michigan Congressional races with both Democrats and Republicans holding firm on seats in both Southeast Michigan and in more rural districts.
Only the District 8 race between Democrat Rep. Dan Kildee and Republican Challenger Paul Junge had yet to be called in a race featuring an incumbent.
The other race that had yet to be declared is between John James and Carl Marlinga, who are running for the open 10th District seat.
West Michigan seat flips blue
Democrats picked up a win in west Michigan after Hilary Scholten became the newest face of Michigan's congressional delegation, beating John Gibbs in the Grand Rapids-centric district. The seat was held by Republican Peter Meijer, who lost in the August primary.
A pinned tweet at the top of Scholten's Twitter featured an image of the candidate with a message thanking the district. Gibbs pushed back on the declaration, calling it premature.
Slotkin holds on in 7th District
The race for 7th District seat was among the most expensive and closely-watched in the country. Democrat Elissa Slotkin who had twice won a district believed to have a conservative tilt won a third straight term in office after beating Republican Tom Barrett.
Barrett's lead started out strong before Slotkin chipped away at the gap as votes from blue Ingham County came in. The secretary of state made multiple references of high turnout during the election day, pointing to long lines in college towns like East Lansing as contributing to the surge.
Barrett conceded to Slotkin in the early hours Wednesday.
Balance of power in Congress
After a closer-than-expected election at the national level, the status of the U.S. House remains in question whether Republicans or Democrats will hold a majority.
Backed by historical precedent that midterms go against the party in power at the White House, it was both tradition and polling that Republicans believed showed them running away with a House majority. However, fortunes appear to have been with Democrats who won many of their toss-up races.
That includes key races in Michigan like the 7th District and the 3rd District - the former protects a seat that the GOP eyed as a possible pickup while the latter is an additional seat Democrats didn't have before.