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Elissa Slotkin wins Michigan's 8th Congressional District

November 7, 2018
Elissa Slotkin talks to the audience during Michigan Congressional candidate Elissa Slotkin's watch party on Nov. 6, 2018 at the Deer Lake Athletic Club in Clarkston.
Elissa Slotkin talks to the audience during Michigan Congressional candidate Elissa Slotkin's watch party on Nov. 6, 2018 at the Deer Lake Athletic Club in Clarkston.

Democratic candidate Elissa Slotkin will be the next representative for Michigan's 8th Congressional District after defeating two-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. 

Slotkin had 172,878 votes and 50.61 percent compared to Bishop's 159,804 votes, with 46.71 percent with all precincts in the district reporting, according to the Secretary of State.

"I couldn't be more proud to be the next Congresswoman for the 8th Congressional District," Slotkin said at her watch party at the Deer Lake Athletic Club in Clarkston.

Slotkin thanked her campaign's volunteers, saying she couldn't have defeated Bishop if not for them.

"Thank you for the work, and the sweat, and the walking in the heat and the walking in the rain," she said. "This campaign team turned an unwinnable race into a victory."

Susan Anzicek is a Brighton resident who decided to volunteer with Slotkin's campaign after she heard Slotkin speak about losing her mother to breast cancer.

"I'm a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed two different times," Anzicek said. "I know how much my bills were and I can't fathom somebody trying to go through what I did."

Anzicek said Slotkin's campaign was the first she ever worked on. She said she walked for hours and met many people she plans on keeping relationships with.

"I am just completely blown away by her level of organization and finding extremely capable people who were totally on board and did everything possible that they could to make (Slotkin's victory) a reality," Anzicek said. "We did a lot of work as volunteers."

Anzicek said she is "very happy" and confident in Slotkin's ability to serve the community.

"I believe Elissa will be bringing a new spirit of mission and focus, and she is a problem-solver," she said. "I expect her to do great things because she's worked with both Democrats and Republicans and that's what we need." 

Carol Mason has been a Rochester Hills resident since 1973. She taught at West Middle School in Rochester Hills, where Bishop went to school. 

"He was a student at the school where I taught — many, many years ago — and so I have always wanted someone to beat him because I never liked the way he addresses things," Mason said. 

Mason started volunteering with Elissa Slotkin's campaign in May, canvassing, phoning and going door-to-door with Slotkin's staff in Rochester Hills. She was also a donor to Slotkin's campaign. 

"She has a terrific background," Mason said. "She's been in service to our country her whole life; she's worked for both the Republicans and the Democrats very successfully. Her issues are my issues."

Mason said even if Slotkin hadn't won the race, the environment at the watch party and during the entire campaign was "so positive."

"Democratic women are really going to make a big impact on this whole country," she said.

Carolyn and David Solomon have been Ingham County residents since 1970 and said they started working with Slotkin's campaign about a year ago.

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They phone banked, delivered campaign signs, attended rallies and press conferences, wrote letters to the editor to different news outlets and provided cookies for the other volunteers. Carolyn said the volunteers made a strong effort to campaign on MSU's campus. 

"It's a more Democratic-leaning county, overall," Carolyn Solomon said. "They canvassed really hard. (The MSU College Democrats) had a bus the other night that went to the Joe Biden-Elissa Slotkin rally, and they had a van driving students to the polling places."

Kelsey Vinson is a 19-year-old student at Oakland Community College and a resident of Rochester Hills. She voted for the first time in the midterm elections and said she did a lot of canvassing and phone banking for Slotkin's campaign.

"With the political climate, I felt like it was very important," Vinson said. "I'm not usually this involved in campaigns; I've done a lot volunteering this time around. It felt a lot more important than past years."

Vinson said she decided to volunteer with Slotkin's campaign because she felt it was important to make sure people are voting — and talking to people over the phone and face-to-face seemed like the best method to get that message across. 

"I feel like a lot of us maybe aren't into politics. Even though we're young now, it's going to affect us for the rest of our lives," Vinson said. "Politics affects most aspects of our lives even if we aren't interested or don't realize it."

MSU political science senior Jaron Green said he started campaigning for Elissa Slotkin in the spring. Like Mason and Vinson, he canvassed, phone banked and more. He said he wanted to campaign for Slotkin for many reasons, namely her values, background and goals of serving the community.

"I'm a veteran, like her," Green said. "Her campaign's about pure representation. She wants to be a representative for the community; she's not doing this for herself."

He said he thinks it's important for young people to vote because younger voices need to be represented in politics.

"It's incredibly important for young voters to turn out — this was part of the reason why I really started getting involved in politics," he said. "When you look at demographics of who's in Congress; who is in the Senate; who's in the House; who makes the laws for the country, our states, our cities and our townships — these people are 30 years older than me."

At the end of Slotkin's watch party, many volunteers and members of her campaign celebrated with one another. Many said they were excited about not only Slotkin's victory, but the Democratic takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives and other positions as well.

"Washington has no idea what's coming for them," Slotkin said.

After news organizations started to call the race for Slotkin, incumbent Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Michigan) took to the podium at his watch party in Rochester Hills to make a concession speech. 

For the few who remained in the audience well past midnight, Bishop thanked them for their endless support. He also thanked his family and his staff for what he called a team effort.

“I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to (be a Congressperson); to serve my country and my community,” Bishop said. “That’s the first thing on my mind, that I am honored.”

After sharing his thanks, Bishop noted the election process had been taxing on him, with all of the “lies and deception” said about him during the campaigning process. He said he blames the tens of millions of dollars spent on this election for weaponizing these attacks.

“There is just too much of this anger out there right now, and we have got to figure out how we step away from that and forgive each other for what's going on," Bishop said.

Bishop closed his speech by saying  our governmental system has significant flaws, but even with those flaws it is the greatest governmental system on the planet.

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