For the past 6 months, I’ve been predicting that the east side of Michigan’s 7th Congressional District, which includes Chelsea, Dexter, Scio Township and tiny bit of Ann Arbor, will get lumped in with Congressman John Dingell‘s 15th District during this year’s redistricting process. The Republicans in Michigan have the keys to pretty much every office involved in redistricting. With Michigan losing a Congressional district and this being a post-Census redistricting year, you can be sure they will work their fannies off to kneecap Democrats as much as possible and this is a pretty easy way of doing that.
In the past two elections, the voters in our part of the 7th District were very supportive of former Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer. If a Republican running in MI-07, for example incumbent Tim Walberg, didn’t have to contend with him, it would make it much, much easier to hold that seat far into the future. So, it just makes sense that for them to lop off the eastern half and put it in with the 15th District which is highly unlikely to ever vote Republican.
So, we’ll see if my prediction holds but I suspect you’ll see the 15th District taking on some new folks from western Washtenaw County. Most likely we’ll get a chance to vote for Debbie Dingell in 2012 if my second prediction, that she’ll run for House in the 15th District in 2012 to replace her husband, the Dean of the House John Dingell, comes true as well. Ms. Dingell is showing up everywhere these days and is a bright spot in the Michigan Democratic Party, in my opinion. Just in the past week I bumped into her at an Organizing for America get-together celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, at a fundraiser in Ann Arbor for the U of M College Dems and at the rally to support Planned Parenthood on the U of M campus on Saturday.
Another interesting thought about the 7th District comes from Chris Gautz of the Jackson Citizen Patriot. Gautz wonders in his column last week if Republicans will reshape the 7th District and remove Battle Creek, home of Mark Schauer. If that were to happen, Tim Walberg would not be running against Schauer again in 2012 because Schauer would no longer actually live in the District.
It is going to be an interesting year and, by November of 2011 when the Republicans get done with their redistricting project, Democrats are likely going to face an even steeper climb to regain any sort of political relevance in Michigan starting in 2012.
Perhaps if Schauer gets redistricted out of the 7th District, it will open up the possibility of another one of my predictions: that he’ll run for Governor some day. Maybe that will happen sooner than I thought it would.
I’m just sayin’…