With the passage of Michigan’s Republican-crafted redistricting law, recently signed off on by Gov. Rick Snyder, Rep. John Conyers's seat is officially up for grabs after nearly 50 years - and local Democratic district officials are not pleased.
A legal challenge against the new redistrict law from Michigan Democrats is likely, and the 14th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization has issued a statement opposing the law.
“Under the new redistricting law, the vast majority of current 14th District members will no longer be apart of the new 14th Congressional District. The 14th District contends that all alternative maps were disregarded in the State legislative process and this new flawed redistricting plan should be subject to judicial review,” the statement read.
Rick Blocker, 14th District Chairman, said, “We stand with the people in opposing the map signed into law by Governor Snyder. Instead of bringing voters together, this map divides up longstanding districts, communities and groups. It is an obvious gerrymander and may be unlawful. We will continue to work and organize to protect the rights and interests of the voters of the 14th District.”
Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has represented the 14th Congressional District since 1964, the second-longest House tenure behind Rep. John Dingell, who plans to run for a 25th term.
The 14th District currently includes the west side of Detroit, Dearborn, and several smaller communities southwest of Detroit.
Politico reported last month that the new redistricting map leaves Conyers with 20 percent of his current constituents in a district that falls in parts of Oakland County and the Republican-leaning Grosse Pointe communities.
Potential challengers for the seat include a host of fellow Democrats: Rep. Gary Peters, whose district was redrawn in to Rep. Sander Levin’s district; state Sen. Bert Johnson; Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence and colorful lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, known for representing Jack Kevorkian and running for Michigan governor in 1998.
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