Early election returns in Metro Detroit early Wednesday showed Democratic incumbents and newcomers leading in the statewide races to elect two members each to the governing boards of the state’s three largest universities.

Outstate, GOP candidates were leading the races as the counting of votes continued in an expected record voter turnout in Michigan.

Voters were electing six members to the boards of Michigan State University, Wayne State University and University of Michigan to serve for eight years as higher education grapples with COVID-19, sexual misconduct scandals and college affordability and other issues.

The ballot counts ranged from 55 percent in Wayne County to 80 percent in Oakland and Macomb counties at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Leading the race in Metro Detroit for MSU Board of Trustees were incumbent Brian Mosallam, with 838,908 votes, and newcomer Rema Vassar, an Eastern Michigan University assistant