Republican Jack Bergman wins 1st Congressional

Nov 9, 2016

Republican Jack Bergman

Republican Jack Bergman has won in the sprawling 1st Congressional District. Bergman collected 55 percent of the vote. Bergman is a retired Marine Corps general who lives in the Upper Peninsula town of Watersmeet.

He says it was his status as a political outsider that pushed him to victory.

"I think what it means for the district is the fact that they truly do have an outsider's perspective ... which will bode well for them and for the next Congress," Bergman says.

Bergman’s opponent, Lon Johnson, conceded the race at an election party in Traverse City on Tuesday night. 

“I went out and told the voters what I believed and how I felt we could build that place where our families can stay and succeed,” Johnson says. “And the voters decided to go in another direction and we have to respect that.”

Democrat Lon Johnson speaks at an election night party.
Credit David Cassleman

Johnson — the former chair of the Michigan Democratic Party — had hoped to win back the 1st District for Democrats, who haven’t held the seat since Rep. Bart Stupak left office in 2011.

Republican incumbent Rep. Dan Benishek is retiring at the end of this term. 

Katie Clark of Traverse City was at Johnson's party.

She was a volunteer for the Johnson campaign, which she says was her first time getting involved in politics. 

“The reason that I wanted to support Lon is because he prioritized a lot of the things that I think are really important. Like the environment and Line 5."

Katie Clark, a Lon Johnson supporter.
Credit David Cassleman