OPINION: The big winner in Tuesday’s 8th Congressional District GOP primary wasn’t a Republican

The big winner in Tuesday’s hard-fought Republican primary for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District wasn’t Paul Junge, the Republican who won it.

The big winner in Tuesday’s Republican primary was U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who got a lot of votes in an impressive showing that should give Republicans some pause for the Democratic energy it portends for November.

You see, across Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, Slotkin received more votes in her uncontested Democratic primary than the four Republicans running for the chance to unseat her got COMBINED. There were 90,462 votes cast across the district for the unopposed Slotkin, while the four Republicans divvied up 86,737.

Granted, those vote totals are for the entire 8th Congressional District, which in addition to Livingston County, includes Ingham County, and northern Oakland County.

In Livingston County, Slotkin’s vote total continued her primary-winning streak if you look at it on a one-to-one basis. Slotkin pulled 18,083 votes out of Livingston County, while the total for the Republicans individually ran behind: Mike Detmer received 12,396 votes to win the county but lose the district; Junge came in second with 10,109 votes to lose the county but win the district; and Kristina Lyke and Alan Hoover received 8,899 and 2,594 votes respectively.

If you add together the Livingston County votes for the four Republicans, they received more combined — 33,998 — than Slotkin did alone.

But I maintain Slotkin was the big winner in the Republican primary, and she will be challenged in November by Junge, who sent out a message the day after his victorious primary railing against … Rashida Tlaib.

Rashida Tlaib?

In the message — which gives the Republican general election campaign in a nutshell — Junge writes: “Rashida Tlaib and her left-wing liberal policies continue to gain power in the Democratic party with her big government socialist agenda. We can’t let America fall under Tlaib’s worldview — it’s up to us to stand together and protect our conservative values from the far-Left’s divisive class warfare.”

The problem is that Junge isn’t running against Tlaib, who represents Michigan’s 13th Congressional district, which is located entirely within Wayne County and includes portions of Detroit and some of its suburbs.

So I have to wonder why Junge’s first campaign message was focused on someone he isn’t running against.

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