Levin, Peters Drawn Together Under New Michigan Map

June 18, 2011

By Shira Toeplitz, Roll Call

Michigan Republicans played it safe in their proposed redraw of the state’s Congressional map, shoring up GOP Members in competitive districts in an attempt to retain nine House seats.

As expected, the proposed map released Friday also moves Democratic Reps. Gary Peters andSander Levin into the same district north of Detroit, setting up a potential matchup between two incumbents.

As a result of population loss in the state, Michigan is losing a seat, bringing the delegation down to 14 Members. The map proposed by GOP lawmakers, who control the redistricting process, mostly attempts to solidify the current districts and shifts territory among Democratic House Members in the Detroit region.

“My initial reaction is that I think the Republicans appear to be surprisingly generous in this map, compared to what they might have tried to do,” said Bill Ballenger, a non-partisan Michigan political analyst.

Veteran GOP Reps. Dave Camp, Fred Upton and Thaddeus McCotter, as well as recently returned Rep. Tim Walberg, all saw more Republican voters moved into their respective districts. Even more advantageous for Walberg is the removal of Calhoun County, which is the home and base of the incumbent he defeated in 2010, ex-Rep. Mark Schauer (D).

Republicans also moved more GOP voters into the district of freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R), who won an open seat last cycle after longtime Democratic Rep Bart Stupak (D) retired. Freshman Rep. Bill Huizenga‘s (R) solidly Republican western 2nd district remains pretty much intact under the proposed map, only acquiring the remainder of Allegan County.

The GOP’s odd man out appears to be freshman Rep. Justin Amash, whose 3rd district in central-Michigan now stretches south to include Calhoun County, becoming more competitive in the process.

To read more, visit: http://www.rollcall.com/news/levin-peters-drawn-together-under-new-michigan-map-206587-1.html?pos=hftxt


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