Current Rep – Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge)
2010 Results - Old District (24th)
Rick Jones - 64,039
Michelle DiSano - 30,052
Rick Jones took one for the team here. He gave up an almost 60% district in a good year for a potentially very competitive district. He dropped GOP strongholds of Barry and Allegan Counties and picked up Clinton (from Cropsey/Emmons and the 33rd district), Shiawassee (from 22nd District and Joe Hune), and part of Ingham County (From 23rd and Whitmer) creating an "outer Capitol" district. I think most pundits are going to call this one safe. I can't do that. I'll call this lean R for now. It might be safe for Jones, who has won countywide in Eaton County for years back when he was the sheriff, but this seat can't be taken for granted. It would have been safe R 10 years ago, but it's treading blue enough now to be a swing seat in a bad year. There's a lot of government workers here.
Eaton County is erratic in its voting. It voted for Granholm twice, Bush twice, Clinton, Obama, Sue Tabor (possible most social conservative rep in the house), Rick Jones, Mark Schauer, and Joe Schwarz. If I had to classify it overall, it's somewhat social conservative, pro-gun, but pro-government. Delta Township is a swing area, which probably now leans blue. Charlotte, Eaton Rapids, and Grand Ledge are swing areas that are more GOP than dem but winnable for either side. The most democrat portion of the county is the portion of Lansing in the county. That's majority minority, and more democrat than the portion of Lansing in Ingham County by percentage.
Clinton County used to be a base GOP county. Now it's very competitive. Obama won it, so did Granholm, breaking a long streak of Republican wins. There's a sizable government worker population here too, but the big reason for the change is East Lansing moving north. Bath Township, and East Lansing annexing area. It's not the swing area of Bath Township of 20 years ago, or even back when I was a student at MSU. If you want to know what this county is competitive now, go to Abbot Road in East Lansing and drive north, past the County line where it turns into Chandler. You'll see a lot of new student apartments. It's like never leaving East Lansing. The rest of Clinton County is strong GOP as it was before. DeWitt and St Johns are competitive, the rest usually is not.
Shiawassee County has always been competitive but outside of 2008, has moved our way. It's a commuter county for Lansing and Flint, so there's a union presence. The democrats they support are more of the old style blue collar union types rather than the academia types. They voted for Bush twice, Posthumus, Granholm, and Obama. They voted for Joe Hune twice. Their state rep district has been republican since Larry Julian won in an upset in 98. I believe it's been dem for about 20 years before that.
The portion of Ingham County here is republican leaning, but competitive. Williamston and Webberville have a lot of Lansing commuters, but don't have the East Lansing influence to the extent of Bath Township. Like Shiawassee and outer Eaton/Clinton Counties, the people there want to be away from the city. Past Okemos.
Overall, keep an eye on this one. We can't take it for granted. Bush won it in 04 by 15000 votes, but Obama won it by over 8000.
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