Michigan: Tenth District|
Rep. Candice Miller (R)
Last Updated July 25, 2003
Rep. Candice Miller (R)
May 7, 1954,
Macomb Cnty. Community Col., 1973-74, Northwood U.
Trustee, Harrison Twnshp. Bd., 1979-80; Harrison Twnshp. Supervisor, 1980-92; Macomb Cnty. Treasurer, 1992-94; MI Secy. of State, 1994-02.
Secy.-Treas., D.B. Snider Inc. marina, 1972-79
Recent Articles ·
|More On Michigan
At A Glance ·
Macomb County, Michigan, on the billiard-table-flat shore of Lake St. Clair just northeast of Detroit, has been one of the nation's most closely watched political battlegrounds, a place where it seemed the electoral fate of Michigan and even the entire country might be determined. But its reputation as blue collar suburbia is no longer quite accurate: more people hold white-collar jobs than blue-collar these days and far fewer work in auto plants than in earlier generations; there are plenty of affluent subdivisions now, and boat ownership is close to the highest in the country. Macomb County is the product of the post-World War II boom: With just over 107,000 people in 1940, many in the old sulphur-water spa town of Mount Clemens, Macomb passed the 400,000 mark in 1960 and 600,000 by 1970; in 2000, it reached 788,000. Many people came here from Detroit: These new suburbanites were heavily Catholic, often blue-collar, at least modestly affluent and ancestrally Democratic. They accepted the New Deal as part of their natural heritage but resented the efforts of Detroit politicians to tax them to pay for welfare, and they were fearful of the high crime rates in Detroit's black neighborhoods.
In 1960, Macomb County was the most Democratic major suburban county in the United States, voting 63% for America's first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy. For three decades afterwards Macomb moved away from the national Democrats--in 1962 because they would let Detroit tax suburbanites, in 1972 because they didn't vehemently oppose a metropolitan school busing plan. From 1976 through 1992, no Democratic presidential candidate got more than 40% of the vote here. In 1996, after great effort and with the advice of pollster Stan Greenberg, who has studied Macomb closely, Bill Clinton carried Macomb County by a 49%-39% margin; in 2000 Al Gore carried it by 50%-48%, nearly the national average. But those gains seem to have been temporary. In 2002 Macomb County voted 52%-47% for Republican governor candidate Dick Posthumus, even as he was losing statewide, and it elected more Republican state legislators than Democrats. Central and northern Macomb County have been filling up with expensive subdivisions not much different or less pricey than those in adjacent Oakland County; these have been growing rapidly--some by more than 40% in the 1990s--and are not as culturally liberal as affluent parts of Oakland County.
The 10th Congressional District includes the northern two-thirds geographically of Macomb County, with nearly half of its voters. It also includes fast-growing Lapeer County, north of Macomb and Oakland and east of Flint, St. Clair County, with Port Huron and its Blue Water Bridge to Canada, and two rural counties in Michigan's Thumb (people really call it that). Northern Macomb has become increasingly Republican, Lapeer and St. Clair have long been pretty Republican and the Thumb has long been very Republican. Overall this is a comfortably Republican district--53% for George W. Bush in 2000. It was created by Republican legislators to elect a Republican--and to end the congressional career of David Bonior, who had been elected from Macomb and Macomb-St. Clair districts since 1976 and had risen to become Democratic party whip in 1989. The plan worked. Bonior decided to run for governor rather than reelection, and finished second to Jennifer Granholm in the Democratic primary.
The congresswoman from the 10th District is Candice Miller, a Republican elected in 2002. Miller grew up in Macomb County. In 1979, at 25, she was elected Harrison Township Trustee. A year later, she was elected as the youngest and first female Supervisor in the township. In 1986 she ran against Bonior and lost 66%-34%. In 1992, she won an upset bid to become Macomb County Treasurer. In 1994, she defeated 24-year incumbent Richard Austin and was elected Michigan secretary of state. In 1998 she carried all of Michigan's counties and set a state record for total votes. In 2000 Governor John Engler urged her to run against Bonior, but she decided not to. As secretary of state, she was credited with sharply increasing participation in the state's organ donation registry, creating fraud-proof driver's licenses and introducing technology into a hidebound agency. In its editorial endorsement, the Detroit Free-Press called her performance in that job "innovative, progressive and popular."
Everyone in Michigan sees the secretary of state's name when they renew license plates. Armed with that name recognition but prevented from running for reelection by term limits, Miller entered the House race as the favorite. Democrats hoped that Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga would be a strong candidate; he had held office 20 years and had been mentioned several times as a candidate for statewide office. But he could not keep pace with her fundraising and wasn't able to do much to increase his name recognition north of Macomb. He called himself a "Hubert Humphrey Democrat"--not a big advantage in this district. Miller called herself a "George W. Bush Republican." She opposed abortion and supported NAFTA, trade promotion authority and favored making the Bush tax cuts permanent--all positions opposite to Marlinga. Both candidates supported gun rights. Citing the fact that her daughter is a member of the United Auto Workers member, Miller reached out to unions, and was endorsed by the Teamsters (but not the AFL-CIO). While Miller was benefiting from years of favorable publicity, Marlinga was hurt by allegations that he accepted campaign contributions from supporters of a convicted rapist who benefited from the prosecutor's handling of his case.
Miller won by a huge 63%-36% margin; she carried Macomb County 61%-37%. Conservatives have been speculating about Miller running in 2006 against either Governor Jennifer Granholm or Senator Debbie Stabenow.
Recent News Coverage
Search the CongressDaily, Hotline, House Race Hotline, National Journal and Technology Daily archives using the form below:
202-225-4136; Fax: 202-225-1169; Web site: www.house.gov/candicemiller
- Armed Services (30th of 33 R): Readiness; Total Force.
- Government Reform (19th of 24 R): Energy Policy, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs; Government Efficiency & Financial Management; Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations & Census (Vice Chmn.).
||Candice Miller (R)
|Carl Marlinga (D)
||Candice Miller (R)
||David E. Bonior (D)
|Tom Turner (R)
For 1992 and 1996 presidential results in the Tenth District, please see the Almanac 2000 online. Please note that these older returns reflect district lines as they existed prior to 2002 redistricting.
- Cook Partisan Voting Index: R + 5
- District Size: 3,663 square miles
- Population in 2000: 662,562; 66.0% urban; 34.0% rural
- Median Household Income: $52,690; 6.0% are below the poverty line
- Occupation: 31.5% blue collar; 55.2% white collar; 13.4% gray collar; 12.6% military veterans
- Race/Ethnic Origin:
0.3% Amer. Indian,
1.2% Two+ races,
2.1% Hispanic origin
- Click here for statewide demographic data.
National Journal Group offers both print and electronic reprint services, as well as permissions for academic use, photocopying and republication. Click here to order, or call us at 877-394-7350.