Sunday, May 22, 2005

Ionia County

Ionia County:
Location – West Michigan
Population – 61,518 (2000 Census)
Demographics – 91.96% White, 4.56% Black, .56% American Indian, .32% Asian, 1.04% Some other Race, 1.55% Two or more races, 2.78% Hispanic or Latino(of any race)
County Seat – Ionia (pop 10,569)

Ionia County is between Grand Rapids and Lansing on I-96. It is most known for a prison near Ionia. Many in Portland commute to Lansing. Lake Odessa and Clarksville are closer to Grand Rapids. The county has a strong republican lean.

Government Officials Representing area:
Congressman – Vern Ehlers (R) – 3rd District
State Senator – Alan Cropsey (R) – 33rd District
State Representatives
70th District – Judy Emmons (R) – Belding, Easton Township, Ionia (part), Ionia Township, Keene Township, Orelans Township, Ortisco Township
87th District – Gary Newell (R) – Rest of County

1998 Results Countywide:(Winners overall in bold)
Governor - John Engler (R) – 71.15%, Geoffrey Fieger (D) – 28.85%
Secretary of State - Candice Miller (R) – 74.99%, Mary Lou Parks (D) – 24.00%
Attorney General - John Smietanka (R) – 57.24%, Jennifer Granholm (D) – 42.76%
Congress:
3rd District – Vern Ehlers (R) – 69.65%, John Ferguson (D) – 28.96%

State Senator:
23rd District – Joanne Emmons (R) – 71.49%, Louis Gula (D) – 25.98%

State Representative:
86th District – Valde Garcia (R) – 64.39%, Jack Brown (D) – 33.98%
87th District – Terry Geiger (R) – 75.71%, Henry Sanchez (D) - 24.29%

2000 Results Countywide
US Senate - Spence Abraham (R)– 60.08%, Debbie Stabenow (D) – 37.72%
Congress:
3rd District – Vern Ehlers (R) – 64.12%, Ronald Actis (D) – 33.71%

State Representative:
86th District – Valde Garcia (R) – 61.30%, Teresa Patterson (D) – 35.33%
87th District – Gary Newell (R) – 69.59%, Henry Sanchez (D) – 30.41%

2002 Results Countywide
Governor – Dick Posthumus (R) – 55.88%, Jennifer Granholm (D) – 43.25%
Secretary of State - Terri Lynn Land (R) – 65.36%, Butch Hollowell (D) – 33.38%
Attorney General – Mike Cox (R) – 57.95%, Gary Peters (D) – 40.70%
US Senate - Carl Levin (D) – 51.47%, Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski (R) – 47.45%
Congress:
3rd District – Vern Ehlers (R) – 66.13%, Carl Marlinga (D) – 32.43%
State Senate:
33rd District – Alan Cropsey (R) – 65.25%, Mark Munsell (D) – 34.75%

State Representative:
70th District – Judy Emmons (R) – 60.84%, Henry Sanchez (D) – 39.16%
87th District – Gary Newell (R) – 65.72%, Rebecca Lukasiewicz (D) – 34.28%

2004 Results Countywide
Congress:
3rd District – Vern Ehlers (R) – 67.29%, Peter Hickey (D) – 30.91%

State Representative
70th District – Judy Emmons (R) – 60.86%, Henry Sanchez (D) – 39.14%
87th District – Gary Newell (R) – 66.10%, David Brinkert (D) – 32.60%

2000, 2004 Presidential Results
First number Bush, Second number Democrat
Areas that flipped are in Bold.

IONIA COUNTY
2000 – Bush – 13915 (58.05%), Gore – 9481 (39.55%)
2004 – Bush – 16621 (60.12%), Kerry – 10674 (38.61%)

Belding City
2000 - 1067 (52.50%), 909 (44.80%)
2004 – 1206 (53.77%), 1010 (45.03%)

Berlin Township
2000 - 674 (65.88%), 329 (32.16%)
2004 – 781 (67.56%), 360 (31.14%)

Boston Township
2000 - 1438 (63.29%), 778 (34.24%)
2004 – 1782 (65.56%), 912 (33.55%)

Campbell Township
2000 - 766 (73.09%), 252 (24.05%)
2004 – 931 (74.66%), 304 (24.38%)

Danby Township
2000 - 732 (57.23%), 524 (40.97%)
2004 – 965 (61.35%), 590 (37.51%)

Easton Township
2000 - 691 (53.11%), 583 (44.81%)
2004 – 817 (55.84%), 631 (43.13%)

Ionia City
2000 - 1082 (48.43%), 1092 (48.88%)
2004 – 1308 (51.58%), 1208 (47.63%)

Ionia Township
2000 - 755 (51.43%), 676 (46.05%)
2004 – 901 (55.86%), 687 (42.59%)

Keene Township
2000 - 502 (69.15%), 203 (27.96%)
2004 – 616 (70.00%), 254 (28.86%)

Lyons Township
2000 - 848 (57.49%), 600 (40.68%)
2004 – 846 (55.33%), 656 (42.90%)

North Plains Township
2000 - 246 (48.62%), 245 (48.42%)
2004 – 283 (46.93%), 308 (51.08%)

Odessa Township
2000 - 1049 (61.35%), 617 (36.08%)
2004 – 1269 (64.48%), 608 (34.45%)

Orange Township
2000 - 356 (63.01%), 194 (34.34%)
2004 – 413 (65.45%), 210 (33.28%)

Oreleans Township
2000 - 612 (59.30%), 394 (38.13%)
2004 – 693 (57.94%), 475 (39.72%)

Otisco Township
2000 - 570 (61.22%), 344 (36.95%)
2004 – 713 (62.05%), 414 (36.03%)

Portland City
2000 - 955 (53.06%), 804 (44.67%)
2004 – 1116 (57.32%), 812 (41.71%)

Portland Township
2000 - 813 (63.32%), 441 (34.35%)
2004 – 998 (62.30%), 580 (36.20%)

Ronald Township
2000 - 404 (53.37%), 334 (44.12%)
2004 – 475 (54.85%), 377 (43.53%)

Sebewa Township
2000 - 355 (66.98%), 162 (30.57%)
2004 – 408 (68.23%), 181 (30.27%)

Ionia County is a base county in West Michigan between Lansing and Grand Rapids. The rural areas are all republican (outside North plains), and the city of Ionia is competitive, flipping from Gore to Bush in 2004. It does have a large number of state workers (Prison in Ionia, commuters in Portland) so it is more democrat in gubenatorial years.

Redistricting did not change the congressional seat, and changed the state senate and state representative districts. The state senate seat changed from a Big Rapids based district to a Clinton County based district. Ionia shared a state representative districts with Barry and Clinton county before redistricting. It still shares one with Barry County, but the other district is shared with Montcalm County.

I expect a large population increase here in the future due to its location between Lansing and Grand Rapids. It may become another Livingston county if it goes exurban.

2 comments:

V the K said...

A couple of other things you might mention. There are five state prisons in Ionia. Families of prisoners have been known to relocate to Ionia ro be near their felonious beloved ones. Also, even though the big factories in Ionia and Muir closed in the 1980s, there is a strong residual union influence there. My otherwise rational brother will go into full-on rants about how the Bush Administration is the "most anti-worker administration in history," because of the union propaganda he is fed. The people who work at the prisons and public employees (my sister is a teacher there) get the same propaganda from their unions.

Also, Ionia is one of only two counties in Michigan with no zoning, and a referendum to put zoning laws in Ionia failed decisively in 2004. Also, the town-rural political split is quite pronounced.

Republican Michigander said...

VK

Thanks for the extra insight to the county. I didn't know about the factories there. I figured there was union presence from the corrections facilities there.

I spent some time there for a campaign a few years back (we lost), but don't have the same insight as a local.