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Democrats won several tough state legislative election battles against Republican opponents in Wayne County.

In House District 20, Democrat Matt Koleszar of Plymouth beat Rep. Jeff Noble, R-Northville, a first-term lawmaker. Koleszar earned 52.7 percent of the vote to 47.3 percent for Noble with all precincts reporting unofficial results.

With the win, Koleszar said he wants to "be the champion of public education."

"I've been a teacher for 12 years, and my students have been a never-ending source of inspiration," he said. 

Noble, 54, is a Baptist pastor who touted himself as a fiscal conservative who wanted to keep taxes low. He has been taking care of his wife, who has an illness, limiting his campaigning. 

The House District 19 race saw Democrat Laurie Pohutsky win over Republican Brian Meakin 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent with all the votes counted.

"We worked really hard, and I think that's bound to pay off, although I don't want to get ahead of ourselves," Pohutsky said. "There are still some votes to be counted, so I don't want to take anything for granted."

In the Senate District 7 race, Democrat Dayna Polehanki of Livonia bested Republican Rep. Laura Cox of Livonia 51 percent to 46.9 percent with all the votes counted. 

Polehanki takes the seat held by term-limited state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton Township. The GOP currently has a 27-10 majority in the Michigan Senate.

 

In House District 17, a swing district, the race pitched back and forth Tuesday. In the end, Republican Rep. Joe Bellino Jr. of Monroe beat Democrat Michelle LaVoy of Monroe 55.7 percent to 44.3 percent with all precincts reporting unofficial results. 

In 2016, Bellino defeated LaVoy's husband, who was then the incumbent. The district covers portions of Wayne and Monroe counties and includes Monroe, Flat Rock, Rockwood and Sumpter Township. 

ghunter@detroitnews.com

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