By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
The race for Michigan’s 46th State House District is shaping out to be one of the more interesting to watch this election, as Jody LaMacchia (D-Oxford) challenges incumbent John Reilly (R-Oakland Township). Rep. Reilly was first elected to the position in 2016.
The district includes Addison, Brandon, Orion, Oxford and a portion of Oakland Township. It is a reliable Republican stronghold. The last time a Democrat represented Oxford in the State House of Representatives was 1979-1980, by Alice Tomboulian.
However, LaMacchia’s campaign has raised more than twice as much money as Reilly’s. According to the post-primary campaign finance statement filed with the Michigan Secretary of State, LaMacchia had raised a total of $101,948.14 since launching her campaign in early 2019. As of Aug. 24, her total expenditures were $36,362.48, meaning her cash on hand heading into the general election was $65,585.66.
While Reilly had leftover funds from his last campaign, he had only raised $44,595 for this election cycle. As of Aug. 24, he had spent $20,804.10, leaving $43,655.15 in cash on hand.
Both candidates ran unopposed in their respective primaries. Reilly received 13,683 votes in the Aug. 4 Republican primary while LaMacchia had 8,934 votes on the Democratic ticket.
“I’m so grateful for the continued support, and I’m ready to finish what we started back in January of 2019,” LaMacchia said in a statement. “People in the 46th are tired of an absent representative who doesn’t stand up for our values, and it shows in the overwhelming community support I’m receiving in this race. Our campaign is actively engaged in issues that matter to the people in District 46. We show up for the people in our district and they are showing up in support of our campaign. Across party lines, Republicans and Democrats are reaching out to get involved because they are tired of extreme partisanship in government.
“I’m ready to continue showing up for north Oakland County, and fight for what hardworking people in our district want and deserve,” LaMacchia continued. “That includes safe drinking water, lower prescription drug prices, excellent public schools, and good jobs that pay enough to raise a family on. I spent my career standing up for families across Oakland County, and I’m ready to take that fight to Lansing and deliver real results for the 46th district.”
LaMacchia, 48, has nearly 18 years of experience as a family counselor and conciliator for Oakland County Friend of the Court. Her previous experience includes working as an investigator at the Office of Children’s Ombudsman, a substance abuse counselor at a methadone clinic, and a case manager at a program for troubled teens. LaMacchia lives in Oxford with her wife, Samantha, and 16 year-old son, Cameron. She grew up in Holt, Michigan and has lived in the 46th District for 20 years.
A victory for LaMacchia would be historic. She would be the first Democrat to win the 46th District seat in its current configuration and the first openly gay woman in the Michigan State Legislature.