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Republicans Propose Redistricting, Democrats Cry Foul

Clawson would cease to be part of the 9th Congressional District and join the state's 11th District under a redistricting plan introduced by Republicans.

A house districting committee will meet this week to discuss a redistricting plan introduced by state Republicans late last week that could significantly alter candidate options for Clawson voters. The proposal is a result of population losses in Michigan.

Under the proposed plan, Clawson would fall into the state’s 11th Congressional district, currently held by Livonia Republican Thaddeus McCotter. Clawson is currently represented through the 9th district, which is led by Bloomfield Hills Democrat Gary Peters.

Clawson's current state House district would remain mostly unchanged, while the city's state Senate district would be redrawn to include Rochester and Rochester Hills. The 13th Senate district is led by Republican Senator John Papageorge.

Peters blasted the Republican plan Friday in a joint statement made with Royal Oak Democrat Sander Levin, whose district would also be affected. He characterized the plan as a blatant attempt at gerrymandering to a degree previously unseen in the state.

“Voters in Michigan have never before faced such a shamelessly partisan redrawing of congressional boundaries,” they said in the statement. “Instead of drawing fair lines that follow community and county borders in a logical way, the Republican legislature has drafted a map so skewed that it exploits every trick in the book to gerrymander districts in ways that benefit Republican incumbents."

If approved, the Republicans' plan would cause an overlap of Peters’ and Levin’s districts.

District boundaries for state and federal elected officials are redrawn every 10 years based on U.S. Census data. In Michigan, that responsibility falls predominately on the state’s Legislature. Because Republicans control the state Senate, House and Supreme Court, the party is able to retain control over most of the process.

Republicans have control of the House and Senate.

Quick hits

  • For more on the reapportionment proposals, see House Bill 4780, which involves the congressional redistricting, and House Bill 4779, which involves the state House and Senate redistricting.
  • The House Committee on Redistricting and Elections will take up the issue Tuesday.
  • The state has until Nov. 1 to finalize the district maps.

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