Sen. Wozniak beats Rep. Mekoski in GOP Macomb state House primary

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Sen. Sen. Doug Wozniak won the state House District 59 Republican primary Tuesday and will face Democrat James Diaz in the fall.

Wozniak captured 52% compared with state Rep. Terrence Mekoski's 34% with all precincts reporting for the new 59th House District, which includes most of Shelby Township and northwest Macomb Township. Macomb Township trustee Frank Cusumano trailed with 14%.

Sen. Doug Wozniak

The primary will effectively determine the representative for the GOP-leaning new 59th House District, which includes most of Shelby Township and northwest Macomb Township.

Wozniak gave up the state House seat after he won a special election in August 2021 for a Senate seat vacated by now Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido. Mekoski won the special elections earlier this year to replace Wozniak.

Wozniak, 75, chose not to run for re-election in the Senate because he got drawn into a district with Republican Sen. Ruth Johnson, the former secretary of state.

A year ago, Wozniak defeated Mekoski and Rep. Pamela Hornberger, R-Chesterfield Township, in a Republican Senate primary to fill a seat vacated at the end of 2020 when Lucido was elected Macomb County prosecutor.

Terence Mekoski, Democrat, candidate for the 11th State House District

Wozniak, who has represented Shelby Township at the state and local level for 14 years, said the biggest issue facing Michigan residents is "runaway inflation."

Mekoski, 57, was elected on May 3 and ran to continue to represent the constituents of the new 59th District where he lives. The senior financial investigator said free and fair elections were the biggest issue in the election.

But health issues may have hampered Mekoski's campaigning. Mekoski told Gongwer News Service in mid-July that he underwent emergency surgeries on his knees, restricting his door-to-door campaigning. 

In a Democratic primary elsewhere in the county, a Harper Woods City Council member led eight other candidates for the 11th state House district in Macomb County, according to unofficial election results on Wednesday.

Veronica Paiz of Harper Woods narrowly was ahead in the Democratic-leaning 11th District state House seat in southern Macomb County with 99% of precincts reporting. Paiz had 19% of the vote, ahead of Ricardo White at 18%.

Veronica Paiz, Democrat, candidate for the 11th State House District

Paiz is a member of the Michigan Municipal League legislative committees for elections and municipal services and is a member of the Hispanic Latino Caucus of Michigan Democratic Party.

Mark T. Foster won the Republican primary over Christopher Jeffery.

Redistricting produced a new seat created from parts of Macomb and Wayne counties. The competitive Democratic district comprises parts of northeast Detroit, Harper Woods and St. Clair Shores. 

jchambers@detroitnews.com