Current Rep - Ben Glardon (R-Owosso)
GOP - Ben Glardon (R-Owosso)
Dem - Paul Ray (D-Owosso)
Old District (85th)
Ben Glardon - 17,970
Pamela Drake - 11,059
This district has some changes to it. The old one was treading blue due to the Clinton County portion of the district. Bath Township, which borders East Lansing to the north, is in the process of going from a swing area 12 years ago, to solidly democrat due to the new MSU Student apartment complexes that are on Chandler Road. East Lansing itself is also annexing some property in Bath Township (and DeWitt Township which was in another district). Surprising to me, Glardon won Bath Twp, something that his predecessor did not do the last two elections. It made this an easy win for an open seat.
Shiawassee County is still a swing county, although more friendly to republicans than it used to be. The dems had this district a long time until Larry Julian took it narrowly in 1998. The west side of the county has more of a Lansing influence and the east side more of a Flint/Saginaw influence. There's still a large farming influence here which moderates the county influences. The county borders Livingston to the South, but the rural areas more reflect Livingston County in the 80's when it wasn't as republican, especially downticket (Farm influence). In short, it takes a lot of hard work by either side to win here.
The new district drops all of the Clinton County portion and instead adds rural areas in Saginaw County. Rural Saginaw County is quite interesting in its voting patterns. Some of those areas are strongly democrat. Others aren't and are quite republican such as Richland Twp (probably commuters to Saginaw or Midland who despise the city). The further northwest you go, generally the more GOP friendly the area is. The further south, the more democrat, especially Chesening.
I think the new district is more friendly in avoiding straight tickets, but could set up a problem if a social conservative populist democrat makes a run. They do well in Shiawassee County to begin with, and historically do very well in Southern Saginaw County. Rural Saginaw County districts have largely followed similar patterns as Shiawassee County. Dems have done well there downticket until recently. Mike Goschka and Jim Howell helped break through over there.
We may have had this district in one form or another since 1998, but it's not always been easy. Glardon's open seat win was the exception, not the rule. Richard Ball never won by over 4000 votes. Larry Julian had two easy wins, but his first election win was by 356 votes (in a district without Bath Twp).
Keep an eye on this one. I don't think it's competitive days are done yet. Slightly leaning R at best.
|Maple Grove Twp||588||906||1494||-318||39.36%||60.64%||-21.29%|
|Maple Grove Twp||731||798||1529||-67||47.81%||52.19%||-4.38%|
|Last St House||GOP||DEM||Total||Diff||GOP||DEM||Diff|
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