Zoo millage, interesting races highlight Aug 2 primary results

Tuesday's state primary featured interesting races aplenty and a millage on the Detroit Zoo.

Forty-two of the 110 seats in the Michigan House are opening because of term limits, a departure and the recent death of a lawmaker.

One of the other big issues tonight is the Detroit Zoo millage, which is a renewal for 10 years that brings $11 million a year from people in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

In Wayne County: "yes" won by a large margin with 70 percent to 29 percent for "no" with all 999 precincts reporting. 

In Oakland County: "yes" to the zoo vote was winning handily with 74.5 percent to 25 percent voting "no" with all 520 districts reporting.

In Macomb County: "yes" to the zoo was winning 58.8 percent to 41.2 percent for "no" with all 337 districts reporting.

Other races to keep an eye on are the seats of former state representatives Virgil Smith and the late Julie Plawecki.

Virgil Smith resigned after he was sentenced to 10 months in jail for shooting at his ex-wife's car. A special election for Smith's old seat will be held in November. The leading candidate based off early returns, is Ian Conyers, the great-nephew of U.S. Rep. John Conyers. He was leading Fred Durhal III, a former state rep, by 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

(UPDATE 7:15 a.m. - With all precincts reporting, Democrat Ian Conyers won with 35 percent of the vote. He'll face republican Keigh Franklin in November, who ran unopposed in the primary. The winner of that election will finish the remaining two years of Smith's term.)

Embattled State Rep Brian Banks (D-Harper Woods) was seeking a third term in the state House despite facing criminal charges that he provided false loan application information in 2010.

Banks captured 42 percent of the vote with 2,831 votes, narrowly defeating Pamela Sossi, who had 38.4 percent or 1,614 votes with 98 percent of districts reporting.

Turnout throughout Michigan has been poor Tuesday, reports M.L. Elrick and not many voters came to the poll in Detroit.

Former Wayne County executive Bob Ficano is running for circuit court judge with an endorsement from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

In Warren residents are voting on whether to allow longer terms to the mayor and future mayors. The proposed change would allow mayors five year terms for 20 years from the current three terms for 12 years.

Click for results by county:

Wayne County

Macomb County

Oakland County

St. Clair County

Livingston County

Washtenaw County

Lapeer County

Monroe County

Because of gerrymandered districts, some primary voters will essentially elect their next representative on Aug. 2. Results in swing districts will be closely monitored, because some winners will be seen as bettering or worsening the parties' chances in November. House Republicans, who took control in 2011, currently have a 63-45 edge.