Some experts believe volatile national politics is inspiring people to get involved at the state and local level. The Detroit Free Press reported that more than a dozen women recently met in Ypsilanti to learn about fundraising and campaigning.
"I blame my generation, the 40- to 50-year-olds," said Bobbi Ebsen, a psychotherapist from Farmington Hills who attended. "We really went to sleep. We weren't active. We rode on all the hard work of the 1960s and '70s."
At least 68 people so far have filed papers to run for the House or Senate in 2018, the Free Press reported Monday. It will be a major political year in Michigan: All 38 seats in the Senate will be on the ballot, along with the 110 seats in the House and races for governor, attorney general and secretary of state.
"We're just less than a year out from the filing deadline. This year things are going to be a little wider open," said Chris Thomas, state elections director.
Brent Huddleston, a truck driver from Hudsonville in western Michigan, said he's running for the House.
"My palm-to-the-forehead moment came when I realized that people aren't talking to each other anymore," Huddleston, a Republican, said. "Over the last several years, I've noticed a huge divide and it stinks."
A Lansing insider has her eye on the Senate. Public-relations specialist Kelly Rossman-McKinney, a Democrat, said it's time for her to run after years of coaching others in public office.
"It's incumbent on me to walk the talk," she said.