The election landscape in Macomb County appears to be changing following redistricting. While the county still leans conservative, redistricting has increased diversity — creating new dimensions in its upcoming races.
For instance, in the newly drawn 10th Congressional District polling indicates candidate Carl Marlinga, who holds a large lead in the Democratic primary, also has a narrow lead against John James, the favorite to win the Republican primary. With redistricting causing districts to share territory with more communities, including Detroit, Macomb may serve as a glimpse into how the country may be moving politically as a whole.
“You’re going to have Detroiters representing Macomb County residents. I can’t tell you the last time many of these legislative districts have crossed Eight Mile.” — Jeff Payne, The Macomb Daily
Listen: Why the new districts in Macomb represent a historic shift in the county’s politics on both sides of the aisle.
Jeff Payne is the managing editor for the Macomb Daily. He says that having new districts that reached into Detroit was one of the biggest changes for the county.
“I think first and foremost, when you talk about what’s different — you’re going to have Detroiters representing Macomb County residents,” says Payne.
“I can’t tell you the last time many of these legislative districts have crossed Eight Mile,” he continues. “Certainly not in my professional lifetime. From our perspective, it was a big deal because it’s never happened before.”
Anthony Forlini is the clerk for Macomb County. He says the new districts could cause lawmakers to have more empathy with a broader range of residents due to the more diverse voter base in the state legislature.
“I think it gives us a little bit more empathy both ways,” Forlini says of the new boundaries. “What the suburbs might feel and what the city might feel — from the perspective of Lansing and policy — I think it’ll make the reps a little more empathetic for each side.”