Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, will be returning to Lansing for a second term as voters overwhelmingly showed their support on Tuesday.
Glenn, who was facing first time political candidate Geoff Malicoat won by an approximately 60 - 40 percent margin for the district that encompasses: the Bay County townships of Beaver, Fraser, Garfield, Gibson, Mount Forest, Pinconning and Williams. It also covers Homer, Jerome, Larkin, Lee, Lincoln and Midland townships in Midland County along with the cities of Auburn, Midland and Pinconning.
"I'm gratified by the support that Midland County and Bay County voters have proffered tonight and their faith in me. I hope to continue to focus on things that will bring more jobs to mid Michigan," Glenn said.
In Midland County, Glenn was more dominant than his first victory in 2014. This time, he only lost two precincts, both in the City of Midland: Ward 1, Precinct 6; and Ward 2, Precinct 2. In 2014, he lost eight precincts, all in the City of Midland.
"This is the high water Democrat year. It seems like there is a Republican wave across the state," he said referring to the strong support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the surprising victory of Donald Trump for president.
Overall, Glenn unofficially won 60.15 percent of the vote, or 25,669, while Malicoat took 39.85 percent, or 17,004. Midland County saw Glenn earn 19,337 votes, or 59.4 percent, to 13,177, or 40.4 percent, for Malicoat.
Historically, a Democratic area, Bay County was even more friendly for Glenn as he earned 62.13 percent of the vote, or 6,332, against 37.55 percent, or 3,827 votes for Malicoat.
Glenn can now set his sights on his second term where he hopes to continue his quest for cheaper electricity in the state. His first term saw him as vice chairman of the House Energy Committee, but he hopes to have a more important role in the energy arena this term.
"I believe one of the most critical things that we need is to have cheaper electricity. There is a strong possibility that I may serve as chairman of the committee. So it would be even more of a focus for me," he said.
A bout with cancer during the past year made campaigning more difficult for Glenn.
"I started four months later than 2014 and I could only do two hours a day instead of 8-10 hours a day," he said, when comparing the two campaigns. But, his supporters took up the slack with a letter writing campaign.
"I've been in politics for almost 40 years now and I've never seen a letter-to-the-editor disparity that was the case in this race," he said. "On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Daily News ran 40 letters to the editor supporting my reelection and only one supporting my Democratic opponent. That was very gratifying."