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Dingell to Seek Reelection in New District After State Panel Unveils Map

December 29, 2021 by Dan McCue
Dingell to Seek Reelection in New District After State Panel Unveils Map
Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich.

LANSING, Mich. — Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., announced Tuesday that after seven years of representing Michigan’s 12th Congressional District, she will move to the state’s newly drawn 6th Congressional District to pursue a re-election bid in 2022.

Dingell, who has lived in the 12th Congressional District for decades, made her announcement shortly after the newly formed independent citizens redistricting commission approved a new map that makes significant changes to a number of House districts.

As they convened in Lansing, Michigan, to vote on a final map Tuesday morning, the 13 members of the panel had a colorfully-named assortment to choose from including “Birch,” “Apple” and “Chestnut.”

In the end, eight of the 13 members voted for the 13-district plan known as “Chestnut.”

Under the current congressional map, Republicans would win an extra 11.9% of seats in a hypothetical tied election. 

Their edge drops to 4.3% under the new plan based on an analysis of 2016, 2018 and 2020 election data, according to PlanScore, a project of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

The state is also losing a seat following the 2020 census.

In November 2018, Michigan voters approved Proposal 18-2 or the “Voters Not Politicians” ballot proposal, a constitutional amendment that established “a commission of citizens with exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress, every 10 years.”

The amendment establishes a commission of 13 registered voters randomly selected through an application process. Of the 13, four are Democrats, four Republicans, and five do not affiliate with either major political party.

On Tuesday they were expected to consider and ultimately vote for one of four congressional district maps, and one of three maps each for the state House and Senate.

A spokesperson for the panel said the commission first convened on Sept.17, 2020, and that it has continued meeting regularly since then.

But even as the committee made ready to vote on their selection, many, especially members of the African American community in metro Detroit, complained they’d been ignored by the process and believe the new map doesn’t represent them or the needs of their community.

After the vote, Dingell said she knew big changes were coming, including the removal of the city of Dearborn from her current district.

As a result, she said she will run for reelection in a new district – the 6th – that encompasses the 60% or so of her current constituents who don’t reside in the city.

“It has long been clear that Dearborn would be incorporated into a voting rights district with communities in Detroit, and I have always believed representation matters so I will not run in a VRA district,” Dingell said. “With very mixed and complicated emotions, I will be moving to continue serving the vast number of my current constituents, and I look forward to meeting new voters, making my case, and earning their vote.

“With communities throughout Downriver, Western Wayne,Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and beyond, I know this district and this district knows me,” she continued. “But there are many new voters in cities and towns across the new 6th District who I am excited to meet and get to know. 

“To all of those voters, I want to hear and learn directly from you because there’s no other way to do this job. You will find me at your farmers markets, labor halls, festivals, parades, and everywhere in between,” Dingell said. “Come up to me, introduce yourself, tell me about your family, and let me know what’s on your mind. We can only deliver for our workers and this country if we talk to each other and treat each other with civility and respect.

“To the neighbors who I will be losing under these new maps, I’m not going far and you’ll always know where to find me. You are my friends and family who have been with me in the good times and the difficult ones. That will never change. You know you’ll always get the same old Debbie! No one can take away years of friendship and community, and we will always be there for each other,” the representative said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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