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Breen wins race for state House seat in battleground district

Christine MacDonald
The Detroit News

Democrat Kelly Breen won a tight primary race over Megan McAllister Tuesday for state House District 38, considered an Oakland County battleground going into the fall election. 

Kelly Breen, D-Novi

With 100% of precincts reporting in the primary, Breen had 7,051 votes for 50.5% to McAllister's 6,907 or 49.5% in unofficial final results of the race.

The district includes Novi, South Lyon, Lyon Township and Walled Lake. 

The winner in the November general election replaces term-limited state Rep. Kathy Crawford, R-Novi.

In other races, Farmington Hills City Council member Samantha Steckloff and Oak Park City Council member Regina Weiss each won separate Democratic primaries for state House seats in Oakland County. 

Regina Weiss

Also, Rochester Community Schools board member Barb Anness won the Democratic primary for the Rochester area state House District 45 in Oakland County.

Chase Turner of Northville won the Republican primary for state House District 38 and will face Breen in the fall. 

Steckloff of Farmington Hills won the primary for state House District 37 with 48.8% of the vote. Fellow Farmington Hills Council member Michael Bridges followed with 30.6% and Randy Bruce 20.7%, in unofficial election results with all precincts reporting.  

The three Democrats ran to replace House Minority Leader Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills, who is prevented by term limits from running for reelection. District 37 covers Farmington and Farmington Hills.

Samantha Steckloff

Steckloff will go up against Republican Mitch Swoboda of Farmington Hills, who was unopposed in his primary.

The Oakland County district was at one point considered a swing seat but has become reliably Democratic. Greig defeated Swoboda 67% to 33% in 2018.

Steckloff has been on the council for six years and is the daughter of former state Rep. Vicki Barnett, D-Farmington Hills, who used to represent the district. 

ELECTION RESULTS: Follow along as they come in

Weiss, an Oak Park Council member, won the Democratic primary for state House District 27 with 47.3% of the vote, followed by Kevin Kresch with 18%, and Crystal Bailey with 10.7%, in unofficial results with all precincts reporting.

The winner replaces the term-limited state Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Huntington Woods, now running for Oakland County treasurer. The district includes the cities of Berkley, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Oak Park and Pleasant Ridge as well as Royal Oak Township.

Elizabeth Goss of Pleasant Ridge ran unopposed for the Republican Party nomination. 

Running were Kresch of Hazel Park; Robert Lathrop of Berkley; Matt Stoel of Berkley, a school social worker; Dan Tuck of Hazel Park; Martin C. Tutwiler of Oak Park; Oak Park City Council member and teacher Weiss, 34, Oak Park; Kelli Williams of Oak Park; and Bailey of Oak Park. 

Barb Anness

Anness, in state House District 45, had 56.9% of the vote, followed by Brendan Johnson with 43.1%, with all precincts reporting. 

Johnson of Rochester was a national security analyst for U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly.

In November, the Democratic primary victor faces Republican Mark Tisdel of Rochester Hills, who ran unopposed.

The November general election winner would replace Republican Rep. Michael Webber of Rochester Hills, who is term-limited. 

The district covers the southwest part of Oakland Township, Rochester and Rochester Hills.

The 38th House District has turned into a new swing district in what was once reliably Republican territory in Oakland County. Crawford narrowly defeated Democrat Kelly Breen by a little more than a percentage point, 49.4% to 48.1%, in the 2018 campaign.

President Donald Trump has turned districts with highly educated voters into new battlegrounds.

Breen, an attorney and Novi City Council member, is running again for a chance to try to flip the district. McAllister is a small business owner in marketing and sales from Novi who is running for her first political office. 

Turner won the Republican primary for the House seat with 63.5% of the vote, according to Associated Press projections with 42% of precincts reporting.

Chase Turner

Turner of Northville ran a close race against Crawford in the 2018 primary, and works at his family-owned marketing company. Also running was Sreenivas Cherukuri of Novi, who is an engineer, and had 21.3% of the vote, and Krista Spencer of Novi, who is a nurse, followed with 15.2%.

cmacdonald@detroitnews.com