States & Candidates

States can change the direction of our country.

Michigan 2020

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

16 Democrats

22 Republicans

State House

52 Democrats

58 Republicans

Opportunity Assessment

Michigan is one of the three states that determined the 2016 election for Trump. After netting five seats in 2018, there is an even clearer path to winning a new legislative majority in the Michigan House: Just four seats would ensure that the state’s politics finally start working just for its citizens first and foremost.

The Stakes

Michigan’s politics show that a Democratic governor is not enough. The existing majority in the legislature still won’t play ball.  They used a lame duck session after the 2018 elections to undermine the will of voters at almost every turn—and they haven’t stopped.

  • Worked to undo minimum wage and paid sick leave proposals Michiganders were pursuing through ballot initiatives
  • Worked to undermine a 2018 ballot initiative creating an independent redistricting committee, that was passed with 70% of the vote.
  • Blocked efforts to remove corporate influence and increase transparency in the legislative process.
  • Taken every opportunity to resist efforts to improve K-12 schools, reduce student debt, and clean up polluted drinking water.

2020 Political Landscape

  • In 2020, the entire House is up for election and Democrats only need to net four out of 58 Republican seats to flip the chamber.
  • It seems exceedingly unlikely the state will be ignored by the Democratic presidential candidate again and a big effort would pay major dividends in this traditionally blue state.
  • In 2018:
    • With an additional 1,200 votes across three districts, Democrats would have broken the Republican majority.
    • Future Now Fund endorsed all six Democrats who flipped Republican-held House seats in addition to the next three closest finishers who came closest.
    • Even though the Michigan House is ruthlessly gerrymandered by Republicans, Governor Gretchen Whitmer won four Republican-held districts, providing a clear path to break the current majority in the House.

Meet the candidates

  • Laurie Pohutsky

    Raised by a nurse and a Teamster, the importance of public service and hard work was instilled in Laurie at a young age. After working in health care and toxicology, Laurie brought this commitment to a scientific perspective to the State Capitol in 2018.

  • Matt Koleszar

    Matt is a former public school teacher who ran for office after repeatedly seeing lawmakers pass bills that neglected schools and hard-working Michiganders. In Lansing, Matt is working hard to ensure schools are fully funded and his community is supported.

  • Kelly Breen

    Kelly is a lifelong resident of Michigan. She started as a local activist fighting to protect her neighborhood and ran to advocate for her state’s future and working families across Michigan.

  • Mari Manoogian

    Mari devoted her life to public service even before joining the State House at just 26, starting by interning with her local Congressman. She is now the assistant Minority Whip and is working tirelessly for gender equality, workers, and schools.

  • Padma Kuppa

    Padma is an engineer and community leader. In 2018, she took this leadership to the State Capitol, where she serves as assistant Democratic Whip, co-chairs an equal pay task force, and fiercely advocates for the environment, workers, and schools.

  • Christine Morse

    A former attorney, a wife of a Navy Veteran, and cancer survivor, Christine ran to use her experiences to build a better future for all working families in Michigan.

  • Jim Haadsma

    As the son of missionaries, the value of public service was instilled in Jim early. He served as a county commissioner before running for and winning a seat in the State House where he is fighting to revitalize and empower his community.

  • Angela Witwer

    Angela is a business owner who worked in healthcare for 22 years. A community leader and longtime advocate for strong public schools and better healthcare policy, Angela has been fighting for these causes from the State House since 2018.