By David Fleet
A new look in congress for area residents is just months away.
Constitutes in Brandon, Groveland townships along with the Village of Ortonville will soon have a new representative in the U.S. Congress later this year and there’s a good chance the party affiliation will change from Democratic to the GOP.
The shift is due to a decision on Dec. 28, 2021 of the 13 person Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, composed of four Democrats, four Republicans and five independent affiliation who completed months of mapping out new political lines, seeking input statewide and interpretations of state and federal requirements. The task was grounded in 2018, when Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, a ballot initiative for “voters and not legislators,” to take responsibility for nonpartisan redistricting and created the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, the MICRC. The Voters Not Politicians proposal passed with about 61 percent of voters in favor and 39 percent opposed. The aim of the new system is intended to end political gerrymandering, an old tradition in Michigan by which both Republicans and Democrats would redraw political lines to benefit politicians running or help out their party as a whole.
Brandon and Groveland townships along with the Village of Ortonville will now be in the new District 9 where incumbent U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain, (R-Bruce Township) currently serves. McClain announced plans to run for re-election in the 9th District.
The new map is similar to her current district in Michigan’s Thumb region, but now includes a northern section of Oakland County. McClain was first elected in 2020.
All U.S. House districts, including the new local 7th, 8th and 9th Congressional Districts are holding elections in 2022. The general election is set for Nov. 8, 2022. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 2, 2022. The filing deadline is April 19 and as of press time no candidates have challenged McClain.
“I’m thrilled to be running for reelection in the new 9th Congressional district, which includes the majority of my current Congressional district and northern Oakland County,” said McClain in a statement to The Citizen on Wednesday.
“As your Congresswoman, I will be your voice in Washington and will continue fighting to protect the unborn, your Second Amendment Rights, decrease regulations, secure our border and push back against the Democrats’ unconstitutional mandates and outrageous spending. As your future Member of Congress, you’ll be my boss. I take that responsibility very seriously and will always listen to your input, feedback and opinions.”
Gone is the old Democratic held 8th Congressional District, a seat currently held by Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D) which included about 750,000 residents in Ingham, Livingston and North Oakland counties. Slotkin, who will now be in the 7th Congressional District, is a Holly resident was first elected in 2018 to Congress, although losing in Oakland County and all but one precinct in Brandon Township. She was reelected in 2020.
“It’s incredibly hard to think about leaving the portions of northern Oakland County that I currently represent,” said Slotkin. “Not only is my family farm there, but so many friends, family and volunteers who helped me flip this seat in 2018. To my northern Oakland County friends: I am your representative and your voice in Congress until January 2023, and you will remain my priority. Even as I move to run in the newly shaped district, I will never be far.”
“Serving the people of mid-Michigan has been the honor of my life, and I am committed to continuing to deliver independent, common-sense results that make life better for our communities, families, and workers.”