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Republicans, Democrats rally for unity after primary day in Michigan

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at GOP unity rally in Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Both Republicans and Democrats are calling for unity 24 hours after primary day in Michigan turned into a slugfest in many key races.

The first of likely several political guest stars in Michigan was Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke Wednesday at a Republican unity rally in Grand Rapids.

Pence rallied the GOP supporters in Grand Rapids, while Democrats held a unity event in Detroit earlier in the day.

"Michigan is on a roll and the Republican Party is leading the way," Pence said.

Pence appealed for unity after some tough primaries.

Attorney General Bill Schuette and John James carried the day, but Brian Calley and Sandy Pensler made the scene Wednesday night.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wasn't at the event. It's still unclear if he will support Schuette's campaign going forward.

"The real question is: Are we going to go backwards or are we going to go forward?" Schuette said.

The rally was less chilly on the Democratic side, with Gretchen Whitmer's chief rival Abdul El-Sayed vowing to help her in the fall.

"I was really grateful that both my opponents called me," Whitmer said. "We've got a lot of work yet to do."

Republicans are running at a disadvantage in terms of numbers if all the Democrats who voted in the primary return in the fall, so there will likely be political heavyweights from both parties duking it out in Michigan. A visit from President Donald Trump to support Schuette and James is likely, as he endorsed both candidates.

Both parties are expecting a huge turnout in November. On primary day, nearly 2.2 million Michiganders cast ballots, which is the highest number in a Michigan primary since 1978.


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