NE Michigan breaks with state, backs Bill Schuette for governor

ALPENA — For the first time in at least the last three elections, Northeast Michigan voters broke with their counterparts statewide when casting ballots for governor.

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer will be Michigan’s next governor on Jan. 1, besting Republican Bill Schuette 50 percent to 47 percent, according to the Secretary of State.

Voters in Alpena, Presque Isle, Montmorency and Alcona counties, however, wanted Schuette in office.

Schuette, the current state attorney general, earned 7,031 votes in Alpena County, 3,750 votes in Presque Isle County, 2,976 votes in Montmorency County, and 3,409 votes in Alcona County, for a total of 59 percent of all votes in the four counties.

Whitmer, a former state lawmaker, had 5,595 votes in Alpena County, 2,704 votes in Presque Isle County, 1,508 votes in Montmorency County, and 1,982 votes in Alcona County, for about 41 percent of all votes across the four counties, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

That’s the first time that’s happened since at least 2006, according to archived results available from the state — and it’s not just because voters here trend more conservative.

Northeast Michigan voters joined their fellow Michiganders in sending Republican Rick Snyder to the governor’s office in 2010 and 2014, the results show. But voters here also joined their fellow Michiganders in sending Democrat Jennifer Granholm to the governor’s office in 2006, the results show.

Schuette and his running mate, Lisa Posthumous-Lyons, were in Alpena just last week.

Whitmer hasn’t appeared in the region for several months.

Justin A. Hinkley can be reached at 989-358-5686 or jhinkley@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinHinkley.