McCormack, Welch claim victory in Supreme Court race

generic michigan supreme court  generic Michigan Justice Center generic Michigan Hall of Justice_1533094379755.jpg.jpg

The Michigan Hall of Justice, which houses the state Supreme Court and Court of Claims. (File)

DETROIT (AP) — Chief Justice Bridget McCormack was coasting to reelection Wednesday to the Michigan Supreme Court, and another Democratic nominee was ahead in the race for a second seat.

McCormack felt comfortable enough to welcome Elizabeth Welch to the court, saying the Grand Rapids-area lawyer will be a “fair, independent and accountable voice.”

If the results hold up, Democratic Party nominees will be in the majority, 4-3, for the first time since 2010.

McCormack had 32% of the vote, followed by Welch at roughly 20%, with 92% of precincts reporting.

The two top finishers win election to the state’s highest court.

Mary Kelly, a former prosecutor who was nominated by the Republican Party, was running third with 17.2%. Brock Swartzle, an appeals court judge and another GOP nominee, was fourth at 14%.

“My colleagues and I look forward to welcoming Justice Welch to the bench and hope that will be in person,” McCormack said, referring to the use of video conferencing during the coronavirus pandemic.

McCormack and Welch ran as a team, appearing in TV ads and on billboards.

Supreme Court candidates don’t have party designations next to their name, but McCormack had the advantage of being listed as a current justice. She also has been praised for leading the statewide court system as chief justice through the pandemic.

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