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Michigan lawmakers react to new US House, legislative maps

Peter Meijer
Posted at 4:39 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 16:04:21-05

MICHIGAN — Michigan lawmakers responded to the newly approved U.S. House and legislative maps, which were passed by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) in an eight-to-five vote Tuesday in favor of the 13-district plan.

The new maps are considered to be fairer to Democrats.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin says she will run for reelection in the new 7th district, which contains most of the constituents that she currently serves.

Representative Slotkin's full statement reads:

“Now that Michigan’s first citizen-led, independent redistricting process has officially concluded, I have decided that I will be seeking re-election to Congress in Michigan’s 7th congressional district. While we may see additional litigation in the coming months, the commission has taken their final vote, and I’m ready to hit the ground running in the new 7th district. 

“This new district contains nearly two-thirds of the population that I currently represent, my current congressional headquarters, and my campaign offices from 2018 and 2020.  After three years of representing this area of mid-Michigan in Congress, I understand the mandate that families here expect me to prioritize: making daily life more affordable by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and child care; rebuilding Michigan’s manufacturing capacity by creating good-paying American jobs that cannot be outsourced; and not letting China eat our lunch.  I look forward to making this case to voters in each and every community in Michigan’s new 7th district.

“On the flip side, it is incredibly hard to think about leaving the portions of northern Oakland County that I currently represent. 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.” 

Rep. Peter Meijer also announced his run for reelection shortly after the new maps were approved.

Representative Meijer tweeted:

Rep. Bill Huizenga also threw his hat in the ring for reelection.

Representative Huizenga's statement reads in part:

"I have exciting news! Yesterday, the Michigan Redistricting Commission approved the new congressional map for the next 10 years and I wanted to let you know that I am running in the newly created 4th Congressional District.

This district will include all of Allegan and Van Buren Counties, large portions of Ottawa and Kalamazoo Counties, the greater Battle Creek community, and the communities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph.

As someone who was born, raised, and now raising my family in Ottawa County, I am excited about this new opportunity to serve my community and my country.

While I am sure there will be legal challenges to the new maps at both the federal and state levels, Democrats in Washington are plowing ahead with their out-of-touch agenda and we can't let up!"

Rep. Fred Upton tweeted that he has been "encouraged" to run for reelection but stopped short of making any announcements.

Representative Upton's full tweet thread reads:

The Michigan Republican Party's Communications Director Gustavo Portela issued a brief statement denouncing the new maps, saying:

“We are evaluating all options to take steps necessary to defend the voices silenced by this commission."

Michigan Democratic Party Chari Lavora Barnes says the MDP will continue its efforts to fairly represent Michiganders.

Barnes's full statement reads:

“Under these new congressional and state legislative districts, the Michigan Democratic Party renews its commitment to fighting for equality, fair representation, and justice while celebrating Michigan’s diverse population."

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters says the new maps are an improvement over how district lines were previously drawn.

The league's Deputy Director Bob Allison writes:

“Michiganders of all political stripes were given the power to draw the lines and that remains a vast improvement over the blatant gerrymandering we saw in years past when politicians drew lines in closed-door, secret sessions.

“But today’s revelation that there were serious errors in a racially-polarized voting analysis raises concern about the poor performance of consultants and the compressed timeline that resulted due to the U.S. Census delays. There will no doubt be lawsuits filed and reforms later needed to ensure our democracy works for everyone.”

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says the citizen-led process strengthened Michigan's democracy and brought an end to gerrymandering in the state.

Benson's full statement reads:

"Today Michigan's first Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission voted across party lines to adopt new district maps for our state, completing the most open, independent and citizen-led redistricting process in Michigan history.

The new maps are the culmination of years of work, driven by millions of Michiganders from all walks of life. They advocated fiercely to give citizens the power to draw their own district lines and made their voices heard throughout the entire process.

Our democracy is stronger thanks to Michigan citizens' engagement, leadership and vision for a fair, inclusive and transparent process that puts voters above politics and ends gerrymandering in Michigan once and for all."

U.S. Attorney General and National Democratic Redistricting Committee Chairman Eric H. Holder Jr. applauded the MICRC for its efforts and for paving the way for Democrats so they may "compete in a fair system."

Holder's full statement reads:

“The citizens who served on the MICRC, and those who participated in public hearings, deserve praise for their service to the state of Michigan. The commission process can be messy – it requires scrutiny, public input, accountability from diverse communities seeking equal representation, and well-balanced debate. No one gets everything they want, and everyone has to compromise. But that is how a commission is supposed to work and, in turn, it is a reflection of how American democracy should function.

"The MICRC’s success demonstrates that independent commissions can execute a fair process and produce a fair result. This is the kind of result we would never see from the hyper-partisan, Republican-led state legislature. The final maps ensure that Michigan will be competitive for the next decade – and where Democrats can compete in a fair system, they can win.”

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