Aaron Miller takes D59 seat

Published 1:25 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2018

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — An incumbent will be keeping his seat in the District 59 race for Michigan House representative.

Incumbent Aaron Miller (R) and challenger Dennis Smith (D) battled Tuesday to represent Michigan House District 59, which includes the entirety of St. Joseph County and parts of Cass County including the city of Dowagiac, and the townships of Calvin, Jefferson, La Grange, Marcellus, Mason, Newberg, Penn, Pokagon, Porter, Volinia and Wayne. According to unofficial election results, Miller emerged winner with 20,694 votes to Smith’s 10,484 votes.

Miller said he was grateful and relieved to be reelected for his third and final term.

“I’m grateful not only to the people who casted their vote for me, but I’m grateful to everyone in the district, because I have to serve everybody,” he said. “I’m grateful to serve another term and to my friends and family who made this possible because it is definitely not a one-man effort. I recognize that and am thankful for all those people who helped out.”

Going into his third term, Miller said an issue he plans to focus on is auto insurance reform, as Michigan’s no-fault insurance results in some of the highest insurance rates in the country. Last year, Miller voted for a bill to reform auto insurance that ultimately did not pass.

“The ground swell for auto insurance reform just grows each and every year,” he said. “A lot of it is staying on that note and realizing that is the biggest issue in our district even though we have failed before and it is a broken record of, ‘we keep coming up short in votes,’ we still recognize that is the most important issue in our district and something we need to work on.”

More broadly, Miller said he plans to continue the work he has been doing in the House and working with governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer.

“I will continue to see what I can do better, how I can serve my constituents better and use the knowledge I have gained over the last four years [in the House] to continue what good has been going on,” he said. “I’m just very grateful and humble to serve once more, and I recognize that this is not about me. It is about all the people in the district whom I serve. I’m glad to be doing that.”

Dennis Smith did not immediately respond for comment on this article.