GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Redistricting plans finalized last week will bring big changes to the way State House and Senate districts look as well as congressional districts.
In West Michigan, two veteran lawmakers are poised for a primary in the new 4th Congressional District.
U.S. Reps. Fred Upton of St. Joseph and Bill Huizenga of Zeeland, both Republicans, have represented adjoining districts, 6 and 2 respectively, for years.
The new district lines now have both men living in the same district, the new 4th District. That means that the two will have to run against each other if they intend to stay in office.
As of now that looks like exactly what will happen.
Just last week Huizenga signaled his intention to run in the 4th District, and on Wednesday, he talked with News 8 about that decision he made with his family considering whether to run, not run or move to a different district. Ultimately they came to a decision.
“But we decided we’re going to stay where we’re at and sort of let those chips fall where they may. But I am in. I’m full bore running,” Huizenga said.
He had previously represented about two thirds of Allegan County and says he is very familiar with the issues there. He had also worked for former U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra whose district also included Allegan County.
“And obviously, quite frankly what was helpful was my time in Lansing, getting to know some of the issues around the state,” he said.
Upton’s camp referred News 8 to an earlier statement that said in part,
“Michigan’s newly drawn 4th Congressional District includes a vast majority of area that I’ve proudly represented all my days, including my hometown. I know the people and the issues they care about and I’ve always felt prepared to deliver results for them back in Washington. The redistricting process is never pleasant particularly when colleagues are pitted against each other. I’ve been encouraged to seek another term in what will be considered yet again a swing district in a national polarized political climate.”Statement from the Office of Rep. Fred Upton
For now it would appear that this could be shaping up to be one of the most watched primaries in the state. Of course it’s always possible, if not likely, that others may also appear on the ballot further complicating an unusual, though not unheard of, situation.