In late December, following a 45-day public comment period, the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission approved maps for Michigan’s House, Senate and Congressional districts. These new districts — the result of a process approved by voters in 2018 — will be in effect for this upcoming election cycle, pending lawsuits challenging the new districts.
More Michigan districts are competitive than any time in recent memory, which should lead to higher turnout in November. Many seats likely to be decided by the winner of their August primary will have candidates rallying supporters throughout the summer. Races are bound to make the next six months heated between friends and family members, even those on the same side of the political aisle.
Here is what to know about the new districts:
Based on the 2020 census, Michigan is losing one of its 14 Congressional seats. The Redistricting Commission’s Chestnut map will bring some significant changes, pitting incumbents and friends against one another. Pundits continue to argue over which party will be favored to make up the majority of Michigan’s delegation to Congress.
Locally, voters should be aware of the following:
- District 6 now bundles Ann Arbor with portions of western Wayne County. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell plans to move from Dearborn to run in this district, which covers much of her current area.
- Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, who currently represents some of Oakland County along with Lansing and other areas, will be running in District 7, which now combines Ingham, Eaton, Livingston and Clinton Counties. She intends to move from Holly.
- District 10 will bring Rochester and Rochester Hills into a district with southern Macomb County. The two declared candidates in this competitive district are both first generation Americans: Huwaida Arraf (D) and Eric Esshaki (R), who lost to Haley Stevens in 2020.
- Arguably the biggest race for the Jewish community will be for District 11, which includes Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Pontiac and Farmington Hills. Representatives Stevens and Andy Levin will both be running for the seat in the primary and will likely favor Democrats.
- Representative Brenda Lawrence has decided not to run again in what will now be District 12. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib plans to run in this district, which will include Southfield, Dearborn and portions of Wayne County.
- The remainder of Detroit, and some Downriver communities, will make up District 13. State Representative Shri Thanedar, who previously ran for Governor, has announced his intention to run for this seat.
The Linden may give Democrats a better chance to make the Senate more balanced than it currently is. Overall, most of Oakland County is not affected by the redistricting. Some of Detroit’s new districts now include parts of south Oakland County. Ann Arbor, Lansing/East Lansing and Grand Rapids will have two districts each.
During the public comment period, the House maps created the most arguments. The adopted Hickory map leaves Oakland County largely unaffected. Detroit is split into districts that put neighborhoods together with suburban areas. Livonia is divided three ways and Ann Arbor into four districts.
Look for more news in the weeks ahead, as additional candidates, make sure to visit the Secretary of State’s Voter Information Center for information about districts, polling locations, absentee ballots and more.
Lauren Herrin is the associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council/American Jewish Committee.