Current Rep – Tonya Schuitmaker or Open
This district was carved out from scratch. Population shift in Michigan took a seat out of East Michigan and put it in West Michigan. Most of the old 26th district is now the 14th. This new district consists of Van Buren County (From the 20th/21st District and John Proos/Schuitmaker), Allegan County (from the 24th District and Rick Jones), and Gaines Twp/Kentwood of Kent County from Dave Hildenbrand and Mark Jansen in the 28th/29th districts.
This district gives Tonya Schuitmaker an option for 2014. She's in Van Buren County, but most of her district is Kalamazoo County. The new 26th district has solidly republican Allegan County, but could have a geographic primary disadvantage as she has not represented northern Allegan County or the Kentwood area. The new Kalamazoo County district is a swing district down ticket which has voted for Republican State Senators, but leans democrat on paper.
Whatever Schuitmaker's decision is, this district is safe for the GOP, despite McCain cratering in West Michigan. Northern Allegan County (outside Saugatuck and Douglas) and Gaines Township make this safe unless there's a disaster. Southern Allegan County isn't solidly GOP, but leans slightly GOP outside of a few areas. Van Buren County is competitive, although leans GOP downticket outside of a couple of places like Covert. Schuitmaker only lost heavily minority Covert in her 2008 state rep race. Gaines Township in Kent County is a base area. Kentwood has gotten very competitive lately with the influx of Grand Rapids blacks to the area. It flipped to Obama in 08 and Kerry actually did better than Gore there. That's probably why Kentwood got put into a different state senate district than Grand Rapids itself.
Whatever Schuimaker does here, this district is probably one of the safer ones in the state for us.
|Van Buren County||15534||18588||34122||-3054||45.52%||54.48%||-8.95%|
|Van Buren County||17634||16151||33785||1483||52.19%||47.81%||4.39%|