GOP House primaries in Michigan remain too close to call

The Republican primary races in Michigan's 1st and 2nd congressional districts remained too close to call on Wednesday morning.

A handful of votes separate the GOP front-runners in the 1st district, while several hundred votes separate the top challengers in the 2nd.

Republican physician Dan Benishek leads state Sen. Jason Allen (R) by a total of 12 votes, virtually ensuring a recount.

Meanwhile, in the 2nd district, 660 votes separate former state Rep. Bill Huizenga and former football player Jay Riemersma.

Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-Mich.) retirement from his 1st district seat in April gave Republicans hope of picking up his long-held seat.

But, in the end, the crowded field trailed Benishek and Allen. Benishek raised over $440,000, much of it during the healthcare debate that featured Stupak front and center. Stupak announced his retirement after supporting the landmark reform legislation.

In the GOP primary, Allen perceived Benishek was vulnerable for his support of the Fair Tax and spent the last week of the campaign hitting him on the proposal as well as on social issues.

Don Hopper, meanwhile, bled into Benishek’s support from the Tea Party groups. The winner faces state Rep. Gary McDowell (D), who ran unopposed on the Democratic side. It’s expected to be a difficult race for both parties.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra's (R-Mich.) campaign for governor prompted a run of conservative candidates into the 2nd district primary. Riemersma, a former NFL and University of Michigan tight end, was considered the front-runner during the primary.

State Sen. Wayne Kuipers (R), Huizenga (R) and businessman Bill Cooper (R) rounded out the top of the field. But Riemersma considerably outraised his opponents in addition to dropping more than $200,000 of his own fortune into his campaign.

On the Democratic side, it was a two-way race between college Professor Fred Johnson and Lake County Commissioner Nicolete McClure.

The GOP campaign turned heated when Huizenga filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging Riemersma illegally coordinated strategy with a federally regulated political action committee (PAC) run by former GOP national committeeman Charles Yob and his son, political operative John Yob.

The PAC paid for radio ads attacking Huizenga and Kuipers, according to the complaint.

Riemersma denied the charge.