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Democrats win both MSU Board of Trustees seats

Dennis Denno (L) and Renee Knake Jefferson (R) received the two highest vote totals.

Two Democrats, Dennis Denno and Renee Knake Jefferson, have won the general election race for the two seats available on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.

With all Michigan counties reporting, Denno and Jefferson received the two highest vote totals. That puts them ahead of Republican candidates Mike Balow and Travis Menge.

Jefferson is a current member of the board who was appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2019. She is a law professor who has championed Title IX reform and accountability following the Larry Nassar scandal at MSU.

Denno is a researcher and has served as a staffer in the Michigan legislature. One of his priorities is a $15 an hour minimum wage for MSU employees.

WKAR asked all four major-party candidates why they wanted to serve on Board of Trustees. The candidates embraced platforms of improving transparency and communication as well as improving the climate on campus.

Jefferson’s reelection and Denno’s victory will give Democrats six seats on the board and leave Republicans with two.

This election follows recent tensions between trustees and members of the campus community.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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