GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The new district lines for the U.S. House seats in Michigan, drawn up by the newly created citizens commission, have led to speculation of a major primary between two sitting congressmen.
Once neighboring districts for Congressmen Fred Upton and Bill Huizenga, the 2nd and the 6th districts were drawn together to form the new 4th District. That sets up a potential primary between two sitting members of the same party in August.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Huizenga, R-Zeeland., said that he is definitely running in the 4th District.
On Friday, U.S. Rep. Upton, R-St. Joseph, said he’s waiting to see if any court challenges to the redistricting arise in the next few days to decide how to make his next move.
“We’re going to be deciding in the next number of days in terms of what we’re going to do. But quite frankly, the maps didn’t do a lot of us any real favors,” he said.
Upton remembers how 10 years before, when Republican Gov. Rick Snyder was in office, the Democrats lost a congressional seat to redistricting, just like now.
“We did a map, we got it done, the Democrats never even challenged it in court. It met all the tests. Today, as I understand it, there are still likely to be some court challenges, literally within the next number of days,” Upton said.
Other states are in similar situations.
“I know earlier this week the Ohio Supreme Court, for similar reasons, threw out their maps. So that may happen in the next couple of days in Michigan. Who knows? I wouldn’t say it’s in cement yet in terms of what the maps are going to look like. We’ll see,” said Upton.
If the maps don’t change and Upton ends up running, it will be a closely watched and expensive primary. It likely will not be the only contest between sitting congressmen.
In Oakland County, Democratic members Andy Levin and Haley Stevens are now in the same district. That, along with the announcement by U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, that she won’t run, leaves the potential that three current members of the Michigan delegation will not return to Washington in January.
*Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified Upton’s party. We regret the error, which has been fixed.