Mayoral elections in Westland, Warren could upend Democratic control in Michigan

There are no elections for governor or Congress this August, but two smaller races for mayor could still have big implications for Michigan.

That's because separate races in Westland and Warren include Democratic representatives in the legislature - which could have big implications for the state government. If either win, it could tip balance in the Michigan House away from Democrats who maintain a slim majority in the chamber.

Those two races are among 19 elections taking place in Metro Detroit for the Aug. 8 election. There are also races for mayor and city council in Eastpointe, Milan, Dearborn Heights, Melvindale, and Riverview.

The race for mayor in Warren has already been in the news due to outgoing executive Jim Fouts' protests over not being included on the ballot. Last week, he said he planned to sue the city council over the issue.

But also on the ballot Michigan Democratic control of the legislature. Rep. Lori Stone, a Democrat serving in her third term for the 13th District is one of six candidates for mayor. The other officials running include: George Dimas, Patrick Green, Alfonso King, Michelle Nard, and Scott Cameron Stevens.

In Westland, state Rep. Kevin Coleman, also in his third term representing the city in the House is running for mayor. All running for the seat is Ali G. Awadi, Jim Godbout, Anthony Jones, Michael P. Londeau, and Ronald J. Sassak.

See a list of every election in Michigan on Aug. 8 here.

Currently, Democrats have a 55-54 majority in the House, which have enabled the governor and progressive lawmakers to push through gun safety legislation while repealing Right to Work laws. 

But if either Stone or Coleman were to succeed in their respective elections, the seat they hold in the legislature would be left vacant. The loss in Democratic representation would bring the party's slim majority to a tie since the open seat wouldn't be filled until the following year.

That could make it harder for the party to pass legislation without support from Republicans across the aisle.

Both seats are considered heavily Democratic, which means the party could expect to hold the respective seats in following elections - but that wouldn't happen for several months.