By Allison R. Donahue, Michigan Advance
Now that the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) approved final state and congressional maps, the contours of the 2022 election are becoming clearer for candidates.
The 13-member commission, which consists of four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents, approved the “Chestnut map” with eight commissioners voting in favor of this map.
The final congressional map eliminates the two majority-Black districts in the state, gives Democrats a slight advantage over Republicans and could pit incumbents against each other this year.
Races to watch in Michigan’s 13 congressional districts (so far)
3rd District (Grand Rapids and surrounding areas, Grand Haven and parts of Muskegon County):
Current U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) announced last week he will be running for reelection again in 2022. But the Republican congressman may have a difficult time winning over some Republican constituents after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump last year.
Expanding the district to include more left-leaning lakeshore communities, like Muskegon helps make Democratic candidates competitive in this district.
4th District (Kalamazoo, Holland, Battle Creek and Benton Harbor):
Two Republican incumbents, Reps. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) and Bill Huizenga of (R-Holland), would face-off in a GOP primary if Upton decides to run again.
Huizenga announced Tuesday on Twitter that he will be running in 2022, but Upton hasn’t made a decision yet.
6th District (Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Novi):
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) announced last week that she is running for the 6th District and will be moving out of Dearborn, which is not included in the new district.
“It has long been clear that Dearborn would be included in a voting rights district with communities in Detroit, and I have always believed that representation matters so I will not be running in a [Voting Rights Act] district,” Dingell said in her announcement.
Dingell announced Tuesday she plans to move from Dearborn, which is not part of the new district, into the new 6th and run in it. Dingell said she wants to respect the majority-minority district that includes Dearborn.”
7th District (Lansing area):
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) announced that she will be moving to the Lansing area after the new map separated the 8th, her current district, which includes northern Oakland County, Livingston County and Ingham County.
She will likely be up against current state Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) who announced in November that he is running for Congress. Paul Junge, a Republican who Slotkin defeated in 2020, is also expected to run in this district.
11th District (West Bloomfield, Pontiac and Farmington Hills)
Two Democratic incumbents, U.S. Reps. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester) and Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) both announced they are running for the 11th District after the final maps were revealed last week.
Both members of congress currently serve parts of the new 11th District.
13th District (Detroit, Hamtramck and Taylor)
If U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) chooses to run for reelection in the 13th District again, she likely will be up against state Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) in the Democratic primary.
Thanedar, who lost to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the 2018 gubernatorial race, announced Tuesday that he is running for the 13th District. Tlaib has not yet declared whether she is running again or not.
What to look out for in legislative elections
A number of incumbents in both the state House and Senate are looking at primary elections against each other after the new districts were approved.
The new state Senate map of 38 districts has 14 open seats and four districts where current incumbents will likely run against each other.
For instance, the new 8th Senate District, which includes parts of Oakland and Wayne counties, is the home of three current Senate Democrats — Sens. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills), Marshall Bullock (D-Detroit) and Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak).
The new state House map of 110 districts has 47 open seats and 10 districts where current incumbents may run against each other.
One potential case is state Reps. Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann) and John Roth (R-Traverse City) are two GOP incumbents who both live in what is now the 103rd District, which now includes more Democrat-leaning areas of Leelanau County.