Current Rep – Darwin Booher (R-Evart)
2010 Results - Old District (35th)
Darwin Booher - 56,318
Roger Dunigan - 30,819
This is by area one of the largest districts in the state. The old district covered 11 counties, and the new one has twelve.
The old district has Benzie, Clare, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mecosta, Missaukee, Osceola, Roscommon, and Wexford Counties. The new district drops Clare and Mecosta Counties to the 33rd. It picks up Ogemaw and Crawford Counties from the 35th, and Mason County from the 34th. Partisanship remains close. This is a slightly republican leaning district at the top of the ticket, more so downticket. It's still one I wouldn't take for granted. Up North is extremely independent.
Benzie, Manistee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, and sometime Mason Counties are all very competitive. Lake County leans democrat. Missaukee, Wexford, and Osceola counties are solidly republican. Crawford, and Kalkaska lean republican but are occasionally competitive when a Stupak type runs. Missaukee County is the 2nd most Republican area in the state behind Ottawa County. Like Ottawa and Northern Allegan County, it's a Dutch area.
Overall, I'd usually consider Obama numbers a worst case scenario. That is not true in North Michigan. Stupak numbers are the worst case scenario. Inland areas and sunrise coast areas Up North are very open to voting for perceived social conservative democrats. Joel Sheltrown won Missaukee County. On paper, that's less likely than a democrat winning in Livingston County (hasn't been done since 1986 or 1990). Certain candidates can make this competitive. That's why I only slightly rate this republican leaning. The question is whether the Chicago retirees and independents out west who voted for a "Dan Scripps" would be acceptable with a Joel Sheltrown. Dan Scripps was defeated in a close re-election, but won big in 08. He sold well on the Lake Michigan Coast, but labor friendly Roscommon and Ogemaw Counties are different. Those five competitive counties I mentioned are different. If the dems find the right medium, I'd keep an eye on this as a darkhorse district.
Overall, redistricting I think made this district more difficult, not by partisan numbers, but by putting Joel Sheltrown in this district. That's better than keeping his district in the Alpena district, but he's a strong candidate if he runs.
I'd call this slightly GOP leaning overall if open. Booher makes it a strong lean. Sheltrown makes this a darkhorse.
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