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State Senate Map Recap … Most Likely Scenarios

November 30, 2021

The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission has six Senate maps it can choose among when it gets together next month to make its final pick for 2021-2031.

However, the focus at this point should be on the “Linden” map. More so than the Congressional and state House map, the commissioners seemed to view each successive collaborative state Senate map they kicked out as an improvement on the older version.

The Linden map struck a compromise of sorts on what to do with Ann Arbor and Jackson County. Instead of packing Ann Arbor together (Cherry map) or splitting Washtenaw and Jackson counties east and west (Palm), the Linden map ropes all of Jackson in with the north half of Ann Arbor.

Otherwise, these three collaborative maps aren’t very different from each other. The only other possibility would be Commissioner Britni Kellom’s map, which keeps Detroit districts more within the city of Detroit and creates three majority Black districts.

The majority of the board is convinced that its legal counsel isn’t leading them astray with its contention that majority-minority districts aren’t needed to adhere to the U.S. Voting Rights Act. A judge or panel of judges will be the final authority on that.

Regardless, if everything goes according to plan, expect the Linden map to be adopted. If it holds up in court, it will mean the following:

District 1 – Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) gets out of running against a fellow caucus member, despite being drawn into the city of Detroit. She’ll still likely have several opponents in her Democratic primary. That’s just the way primaries in Detroit districts work.

District 2 – Throw a dart in the middle of this Detroit/Dearborn seat and that’s where Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) lives.

District 3 – Jefferson Chalmers and Eastern Market north to Madison Heights and parts of Warren is what this district looks like with Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) the sole incumbent.

District 4 – A brand new Downriver District was constructed that has the name of Rep. Darrin Camilleri(D-Brownstown Twp.) written all over it.

District 5 – It’s a great draw for Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) as her portion of Livonia is drawn in with Democratic-leaning Westland, Garden City and Canton.

District 6 – All in the name of partisan fairness, most of Livonia is drawn in with Detroit’s Brightmoor’s neighborhood, Redford Twp. and Farmington. There’s a community of interest in there somewhere. Whether she can name it or not, Sen. Betty Jean Alexander (D-Detroit) knows she’s the only incumbent within these borders and it’s a hard Democratic district.

District 7 – Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) would be a lock to run in this Southfield district that stretches north to Pontiac. The question is what happens to Sen. Rosemary BAYER (D-Beverly Hills). She lives a block to the east in District 8, but most of her existing district is in District 7. She can move a block and run against Moss or . . .

District 8 – This is a real mess for the Senate Democratic caucus. Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) lives smackdab in the suburban part of this district while Sen. Marshall Bullock (D-Detroit) lives in the Detroit section. Bayer lives right on the edge, making it three Senators in one district.

District 9 – Troy and Rochester get drawn into the western half of Sterling Heights in another 50/50 district without an incumbent. Former Rep. Mike Webber is in for the Republicans, while Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) would be a quality candidate for the Democrats as long as McMorrow doesn’t move into the district. Along with District 11 and 12, these districts may be where a majority is earned.

District 10 – It’s another tough break for the Democrats as Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) and Sen. Paul Wojno (D-Warren) find themselves in a Detroit v. suburb primary. Under the Kellom map, this isn’t a problem.

District 11 – This central Macomb County district may end up being one of the few true 50/50 districts in the state Senate, and one in which control may rest on. Sen. Michael D. MacDonald (R-Sterling Heights) who lives in this one, giving the Republicans a built-in incumbent. The Democrats don’t have an incumbent here, although Rep. William Sowerby (D-Clinton Twp.) lives here and former Rep. Marilyn Lane remains a possibility.

District 12 – This Lake St. Clair district could also be a competitive district, with Grosse Pointes being connected with Algonac along the lakeshore. This is a district the redistricting commission wanted from the get-go. The early favorites to get in here would be Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp.) for the Republicans and Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) for the Democrats.

District 13 – This is a brand new Oakland County district for Democrats that puts Novi, Farmington Hills, Plymouth and West Bloomfield together. It should draw interest from some non-term limited House members. Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth Township), Rep. Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) and Kelly Breen (D-Novi) are early possibilities.

District 14 – Here, most of Jackson County is pulled in with northern Washtenaw County and north Ann Arbor in the name of partisan fairness. We’ll see if Trump-endorsed Jonathan Lindsey is interested in rolling the dice in this lean-Dem district that House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) certainly has to consider. Term-limited Rep. Julie Alexander (R-Hanover) could run, too, but this map may not be to her liking.

District 15 – Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) should be OK in this southern Washtenaw County district, a safe one for the Democrats.

District 16 – A Battle Royale is brewing in Monroe and Lenawee counties with Reps. TC Clements (R-Bedford Twp.) and Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian) having already announced and Rep. Joseph Bellino (R-Monroe) not far behind. This could be the most competitive Republican primary in the state.

District 17 – Southern Berrien County is stretched along the Indiana border to darn near Hillsdale and up to Adrian. Sen. Kim LaSata (R-St. Joseph) doesn’t live in the district, yet, but it’s a safe bet she will soon enough. Most of her current district is in this one. It’s a safe Republican district and it’s free of an incumbent.

District 18 – If Sen. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek) isn’t politically damaged by claims of inappropriate conduct with a nurse, he’d be set in this district that goes up into Barry County, west into Allegan County and north into Lowell. Rep. Thomas Albert(R-Lowell) could run here, as could Rep. Steven Johnson (R-Wayland Twp.).

District 19 – Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo) retains much of his Kalamazoo district, but Mattawan was drawn into this one, meaning Rep. Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan) could always give the first-termer a run, if she wants.

District 20 – Nobody could possibly hope to unseat Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) in this northern Berrien County district that runs through most of Allegan County and into Byron Center and Gaines Township.

District 21 – Eaton County was pulled into a district with much of the city and Lansing and southern Ingham County, leaving Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) so disinterested in his general election chances that he’s running for Congress. As of now, it’s Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) all day in this one.

District 22 – Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) gets a primary from Trump Republican Mike Detmer in this Livingston County district over her vote to support the Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) report on the 2020 election that found no evidence of any systematic fraud. Theis spent dozens of hours trying to find some proof behind evidence of widespread election fraud at the polls. Not sure if Detmer did or not.

District 23 – If the Redistricting Commission gets a Christmas card this year, it’ll be from Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake). He’s gone from having to fight for his political life in 2018, to having a solidly Republican district from which to run in 2022 with Lyon Township, Wixom, White Lake, Highland Township and Clarkston all in one district.

District 24 – A bad draw for Republicans as Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Holly) and Sen. Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Township) get put in together in a safe Republican northern Macomb/Oakland county district. It’s hard to imagine either moving, so if both run for re-election, they would be up against each other.

District 25 – Sen. Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway) basically gets his old district back with the same district number and everything.

District 26 – Sen. Kevin Daley (R-Lum) will need to introduce himself to rural Genesee and Saginaw counties to stay in the Senate, but there are worse outcomes for the first-termer.

District 27 – Rep. John Cherry (D-Flint) is licking his chops at the opportunity to run in this open Flint/Genesee County district that’s similar to the one his father represented.

District 28 – Former House Minority Leader Sam Singh won’t need to run against Anthony in a Democratic primary, but he is going to have a competitive general election. Will it be against Rep. Graham Filler (R-DeWitt) or Rep. Ben Frederick (R-Owosso)? We’re not sure at this read. We do expect the election to be competitive. Either Filler or Frederick could appeal to an independent-minded Republican.

District 29 – Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) is the incumbent, but how would Rep. Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming) do in a general election against her in a Wyoming/East Grand Rapids/southern Grand Rapids district?

District 30 – Northern Grand Rapids/Walker/Forest Hills would seem to be a fairly safe district for Sen. Mark Huizenga(R-Walker) although Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids) or Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) could still make it interesting.

District 31 – With Grand Haven, Holland, Zeeland and Hudsonville brought back together, Sen. Roger Victory (R-Hudsonville) should be OK.

District 32 – Muskegon, Ludington and Frankfort are all drawn into one Lake Michigan district, much of which Sen. John Bumstead (R-Newaygo) represents, but doesn’t live in at the moment. Sen. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington) lives in the district, but most of what he represents currently is in what is now the 36th. Do a couple members make a move or not?

District 33 – Montcalm County is drawn in with Newaygo County, northern Kent, Ionia County and parts of Lake. Sen. Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes) will likely run here. The question is whether Bumstead runs against him, VanderWall or none of the above.

District 34 – A brand new district has Clare, Big Rapids, Mt. Pleasant and Reed City all together. So far, only Rep. Roger Hauck (R-Union Twp.) has announced for this seat and he could very well walk into it.

District 35 – The last competitive seat on the map had Midland, Saginaw and Bay City all put in together, much to the chagrin of the Midland folks. Rep. Annette Glenn (R-Midland) is in. We’ll see about former Rep. Tim Kelly or Rep. Timothy Beson (R-Kawkawlin). The Democrats need to find a pro-life moderate here to be successful.

District 36 – The sprawling northern Michigan district has Rep. Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton) running in it. Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) could run in it, too. The question will be if VanderWall moves in here. He represents Cadillac, Missaukee, Kalkaska and several other counties here. It would mean he’d have to move out of Ludington, which would be a bummer for him.

District 37 – Sen. Wayne A. Schmidt (R-Traverse City) is term-limited and all signs point to former Rep. Triston Cole walking into that Traverse City/Antrim County/Mackinac Straits district. We’ll see how that turns out. Whoever wins, it’s safe to say it won’t be a Democrat. District 38 – The only question here is if Trump finds someone to run against Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) for his election report that found no evidence of widespread systematic fraud in the 2020 election. Could Scott Dianda do it again? Maybe as a Republican? It is curious nobody has stepped forward, yet.

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