Yeah, I feel pretty confident when I say that Jeff Irwin is going to win

[above: State Rep Yousef Rabhi and Jeff Irwin’s daughter conduct an impromptu shadow puppet battle over a photo of the man I expect to be our next State Senator.]

I suppose something unexpected might happen, but, when I left Jeff Irwin’s party just a few minutes ago at the Aut Bar in Ann Arbor, he was leading his primary challenger, Michelle Deatrick, by about 200 votes, with almost every precinct having reported in. So, while I’m a little wary about jinxing it, I think it’s probably safe to say, after double checking the most recent vote counts, that he’s going to be the next State Senator representing Michigan’s 18th district… assuming, of course, that he wins the general election come November, which is pretty much a given for the Democratic candidate in a district that spans the liberal enclaves of Ann Arbor and Ypsi. And, given what I know about Jeff, I am incredibly happy about that. We needed an experienced fighter for progressive causes in Lansing, and, I’m pleased to report, it looks as though that’s what we’re going to get. It’s rare that I endorse in local elections, but I felt really strongly that Jeff was the best candidate in this race, and I’m glad that he won what turned out to be an extremely close race against very well-funded candidates… I’d like to say more, but it’s late, and the gin and tonics at the Aut Bar are strong.

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24 Comments

  1. karen
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    After thrity-six years, a man has finally taken back this position. It’s about fucking time.

    #MenToo

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Had everything been equal between candidates, I would have supported the non white male in every race this year. All things were not equal though. Irwin was by far the best candidate to fight for us in Lansing.

  3. Jeff Irwin on Facebook
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    With all precincts reporting, I am honored to announce that I have secured the Democratic Party nomination for the 18th district state senate seat.

    Thank you to the voters of Washtenaw County for putting your trust in me to serve our community.

    The race was extremely close, and I congratulate my competitors for running excellent campaigns.

  4. Shallow State
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    If this is the “karen” I think it is, she’s not a Dem and has supported men in other races. I’m pretty sure this is just her way of shitting on Jeff’s victory because she doesn’t like his politics.

  5. iRobert
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    He’s so dreamy.

  6. The History Channel
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Deatrick spent a reported $185,000 of her own money on the race.

  7. C.J.
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I wanted to vote for Deatrick. When I heard that Irwin was the only candidate that sent his kids to public school I changed sides. I didn’t know that she had self-funded her campaign to that extent. If I had it would have been another mark against her. I don’t like it when wealth puts one candidate on unequal footing.

  8. Catherine Daligga
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I’m very glad that Jeff won this incredibly close race. Why wouldn’t we want to send our very best candidate to Lansing, this year of all years?

    For Deatrick to have self-funded to that extent? 88% of her total contributions, an amount more than her expenditures? Not good. Not good at all. If we talk about candidates being accountable to their funders, that tells a story right there.

  9. TeacherPatti
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    iRobert beat me to it. He’s like RFK and Hugh Grant had a baby. A dreamy, dreamy baby. And also–cool because dead guy and live guy had a baby!

    Seriously, congrats to Jeff! I am really happy to hear that the having kids in public school thing made a difference. I was going to vote for him anyway but if I had been conflicted, that would have swung me.

  10. Lynne
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I just really liked him. Every single time someone asked him a hard question, he seemed to come up with a good answer. I found it very interesting to watch him on social media just saying the right things so often. I feel that he really is our best person to send to Lansing for this role. My real hope is that it is less of a minority role and more of a majority one.

  11. John Brown
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Also glad Jeff Irwin won his race. Talking to him, it was clear that he is genuinely committed to doing the best job of representing his constituents as possible. Otherwise mixed reviews on the Dems performance.

    – Abdul did a major service to the parties general prospects by bringing more Ds to the polls.
    – Low information voters that cant tell the difference between the 2 brown guys do, in fact, vote in primaries.
    – Colbeck got only 24% as many votes as the brown guys, womp womp.

    But can Gretchen break out of her “safe choice” identity and become dynamic enough to get the progressives and independents inspired to help do the work to get her elected? It seems like all she has so far is “fear Schuette” when I though the national party was saying we can’t run just on the resistance.

  12. Oliva
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I hope we lose some of the feel-good branding of this very tough historical moment, e.g., “authentic”—part of a terribly damaging fight whose costs to too many are unbearable.

  13. Lynne
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Re:”Can Gretchen break out of her “safe choice” identity”

    You mean the false identity put on her by Bernie Bro types in an attempt to get their guy elected and which plays to the same biases that have plagued so many other female candidates? I guess it depends on them. Her record is very progressive actually. I don’t know what it will take to overcome this false image if her good record hasn’t already. Perhaps a fact sheet or something? I am watching El-Sayed on this. Is he going to do like Bernie Sanders and not get behind the nominee sufficiently or is he going to campaign hard for her? As far as I can tell, he is going to do the latter and hopefully if he paints her accurately as the progressive she is, his supporters will come around. This will also help him in any future races in which he might be a candidate.

  14. Concerned Michiganian
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I do not think that El-Sayed is at all like Sanders.

    I am so excited about this race! Go Democrats in Michigan!

  15. wobblie
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Jeff knocked on my door and asked me for my vote. He got it. That is what campaigning is about.

  16. wobblie
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Lynne, I see you have already decided who you are going to scap goat if she losses.

  17. John Brown
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Lynne, I didn’t mean to suggest that I personally think of her as anything but an ultra accomplished professional. But I was referring to the media narrative that always resurfaces in this particular ideological debate within the Dems. I support her and have zero doubts in her ability and relevant experience.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    One can deduce from yesterday’s election results, in which the anti-growth block was voted into a substantial majority, but the transit millage passed, that Ann Arbor is very much in support of more affordable and workforce housing… in Ypsi.

  19. jcp2
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I went to El-Sayed’s Ypsi rally and was pretty impressed with his charisma. Also, wanted to see Ocasio-Cortez (she would represent my mother in law’s district). However, I ended up voting for Whitmer on the advice of my wife, who also voted for Whitmer on the basis of experience. My hope is that El-Sayed’s support influences Whitmer, although their positions are not objectively that different compared to the status quo.

  20. Lynne
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    It isn’t scape goating if it is deserved criticism. I am hoping this loss might have the Sanders wing of the party adopting a less obnoxious strategy so I will have nothing to criticize if she loses. I am hoping even more that she won’t lose because maybe, just maybe, we can all realize that it is really important that Whitmer wins. Real people’s lives and rights are at stake.

  21. Lynne
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    John, that is good. I am still a salty about so many portraying Whitmer as a centrist when she is actually pretty progressive. I am mostly glad that strategy did not pan out so I hope it will finally be abandoned.

    The more I think about it too the more I think El-Sayad would be the best choice for Lt Gov. I really think he is the best person to get the message out that Whitmer is actually more progressive than centrist

  22. JM
    Posted August 8, 2018 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, Syed had no chance with Shri’s mass spending/marketing appeal and splitting the alternative choice and/or more progressive vote. Those negative Shri stories and Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez needed to come a month earlier to have given him any shot at really contending with Whitmer.

  23. wobblie
    Posted August 16, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    The lack of a real press is so apparent. Did not hear a thing about this in any local or regional press–not even a Free Press article.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/08/09/matt-morgan-jack-bergman-michigan-1st-congressional-district/

    This district can be flipped, so send Morgan a buck of two

  24. iRobert
    Posted September 23, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Since Irwin is a shoo-in for his race, maybe he can do something to keep the GOP from shorting ballots to Democratic precincts in Oakland County, and from ensure power isn’t cut-off to polling locations in Detroit on Election Day.

    They did it in August, and the Democrats joined the Republicans in pretending it wasn’t intentional vote suppression.

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