Recall fever swept the legislature in 1983 after it went along with newly elected Gov. James Blanchard’s call for a 38-percent increase in the state income tax. Only one Republican — Sen. Harry DeMaso of Battle Creek — voted for the controversial measure.
Numerous recall efforts were launched against lawmakers who voted for the tax hike. Two were successful.
On November 22, 1983, Sen. Phil Mastin (D-Pontiac) was recalled by voters in his district. Eight days later, Sen. David Serotkin (D-Mt. Clemens) met the same fate. Both men had been in office for less than a year and had won by the narrowest of margins.
They would be replaced by Republicans, switching Senate control to the GOP — a majority it has not relinquished. It also elevated John Engler to Senate majority leader, where he laid the groundwork to unseat heavily favored Gov. Blanchard in 1990.
Charlie Cain, “Reporters Notes”, Dome, July 16, 2009.