Republican House Seats Face Real Competition in Mid-Michigan
Republicans will not be able to take for granted in 2008 that they will continue to control three Mid-Michigan House seats they have dominated for decades. The Democratic House majority is likely to increase because three strong Democratic candidates have already surfaced and stand ready to take on Republicans for the 70th, 98th and 99th legislative districts. Two of them got press over the weekend from the Midland newspaper's coverage at the Midland Dems annual fund raising picnic.
Mike Huckleberry who carried the Democratic Party banner in 2004 and 2006 against Congressman Dave Camp for the 14-county Fourth Congressional District will now be focusing his attention on just two counties, Montcalm County and part of Ionia County in Michigan House District 70 currently held by Judy Emmons.
Midland County Democrats this weekend were introduced to both of the Democratic House Candidates who will vie for the two House districts that represent parts of their county. Nancy White of Isabella County will seek the 99th seat that includes all of Isabella and the western and northern parts of Midland County.
Garnet Lewis of Saginaw County will be seeking to represent the southeast quadrant of Midland County as well as the western and northern parts of Saginaw County in the 98th Legislative District. Lewis, perhaps, faces the easier challenge because Rep. John Moolenar will be term limited and she will be facing a new Republican, yet unannounced.
White will be challenging the Caul Family political career that has held the seat past its term limits. Bill Caul inherited the seat from his wife, Sandy. While Sandy was a vigorous and active legislator, Bill, by all accounts, has been only a mediocre Republican rubber stamp for a reactionary agenda. Bill Caul also recently underwent prostate surgery and although every indication is that he will run in 2008, that is not at all certain.
All 3 seats were gerrymandered in 2000 to make them secure seats for Republicans, but much has changed since then and, if nothing else, Republicans will not be able in 2008 to get an easy ride in Mid-Michigan. The local Democratic Parties in Isabella , Midland, Saginaw and Montcalm have also recently undergone a rejuvenation of party activity that hasn't been seen in Mid-Michigan for quite a while.
Election Year 2008 in Mid-Michigan will be about a lot more than just electing a Democratic President and helping to send Sen. Levin back to Washington for another term.