Dems back Nessel for Michigan attorney general, Benson for secretary of state
DETROIT, Mich. - Michigan Democrats have endorsed Dana Nessel in a hotly contested race to be the party's state attorney general candidate.
Thousands of delegates made their choice Sunday at a convention in Detroit.
Nessel — a former assistant prosecutor in Wayne County who now is a private attorney — defeated Pat Miles, a former U.S. attorney for western Michigan. She is expected to be formally nominated at a convention in August, but the victory will give her a head start preparing for November's general election.
Jocelyn Benson is Michigan Democrats' choice to run for secretary of state in November's election.
It's Benson's second time seeking the office. The election law expert ran in 2010 but lost to Republican Ruth Johnson.
Democrats are counting on 2018 being a much better year at the ballot box after eight years of GOP control in Michigan and two years of Donald Trump as president.
Benson led the Wayne State University Law School for nearly four years and is currently CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality.
At Democrats' endorsement convention in Detroit on Sunday, Benson pledged to protect the right to vote, to ensure elections are secure and to make sure people can vote and do business at secretary of state branch offices in under 30 minutes.
Democrats endorsed lawyers Sam Bagenstos and Megan Cananagh to face Republican-appointed Justices Elizabeth Clement and Kurtis Wilder.
Republicans won't pick their candidates for statewide offices until August.
Thousands of Michigan Democrats are gathering for a convention at which they will choose whom to back in a hotly contested race for state attorney general.
Pat Miles, a former U.S. attorney from Grand Rapids, and Dana Nessel, an ex-prosecutor in the Detroit area who also challenged Michigan's gay marriage ban in court, are making last-minute pitches Sunday inside the Cobo Center in Detroit. Democrats will vote later in the afternoon to endorse one.
Barring a twist, the winner will be officially nominated at Democrats' convention in August. Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette is term-limited and is running for governor.
Nessel has garnered support from the party's progressive wing and from the Michigan Education Association. Niles has won the backing of influential unions such as the United Auto Workers.