Wayne County commissioners support move of presidential primaries

Shawntay Lewis
The Detroit News

Wayne County commissioners are the latest Michigan Democratic leaders who are calling to move up the state's presidential primary election.

Commissioners are focused on having Michigan's 2024 presidential primary election before the March 5 Super Tuesday primaries, the predominantly Democratic commission said in a Tuesday news release. That way Michigan would be early in the selection process for the next president. 

Wayne County commissioners have joined the call to move up Michigan's presidential primary election.

Michigan's last presidential primary 2020 fell on March 10 with five other states. By then 19 states already had held primaries or party caucuses. 

Wayne County Commissioner Jonathan Kinloch said in a statement that moving the presidential primaries earlier is ideal for the state.

"With its racial and ethnic diversity as well as its status as a state that is heavily urban and heavily rural, Michigan is truly representative of America as a whole. As such, it's the perfect state to begin the process of selecting a president," said Kinloch, a Democrat.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Lansing, Rep. Debbie Dingell of Dearborn, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes presented the proposed change at a Thursday Democratic National Committee subcommittee hearing. 

Dingell proposed that Michigan is needed for a win for the Democrats in the 2024 presidential election. 

"For the last four decades, nearly every candidate who wins Michigan becomes president. ... It's undeniable that the earlier the Democratic Party can get started here, the better," Dingell said.

With Michigan's economic and racial diversity, Kinloch said the commission supports the change because Wayne County, the state's largest county by population, brings different voices to the table. It includes Detroit, the predominantly African-American city, and Dearborn, a city that officials say has a more than 40% Arab-American population.

"... Wayne County communities, and the state of Michigan, represent a diverse microcosm of America and leads the way in industry and investment in the issues that matter to voters. Michigan is also uniquely suited for candidates and campaigns of every variety," Kinloch said in a resolution statement. 

Michigan is one of 16 states and Puerto Rico asking the Democratic Party to make them one of the five states voting before Super Tuesday. Early-voting states are showered with campaign money and media attention as candidates stump for votes.

Riley Beggin of The Detroit News contributed.