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Tuesday's primary will be first election since U.S. Congressional district changes

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MID-MICHIGAN, Mich. (WJRT) - Changes to Michigan's congressional map for U.S. House seats will get its first test in Tuesday's primary.

A political scientist says its especially important this year for voters to do their homework before they head to the polls.

One of the biggest changes will be in Midland County

"We have gone from 14 seats in Congress to 13 seats in Congress," says Kristin Stehouwer.

So Michigan's Congressional maps have changed, especially in mid-Michigan.

"What's particularly exciting, is this shakes things up and gives voters a fresh perspective on these races," says Stehouwer.

The Northwood University Academic Provost and Vice President is a political scientist and says one of the biggest changes is how the 8th District looks now, where Democrat Dan Kildee is running unopposed in Tuesday's primary.

"It's a Flint centric district that includes Bay, Saginaw and now part of Midland Counties," she says.

That includes the city of Midland.

"With the addition of Midland, which is historically Republican leaning, that could change the dynamic in the 8th district," Stehouwer says.

The splitting up of Midland County means John Moolenaar is now running for re-election in the 2nd District.

"That's a new district for him and that also represents parts of Midland County, but it goes to the west and that includes Ionia County, Ludington, Big Rapids and Mt. Pleasant so you can imagine that geography there," says Stehouwer.

Moolenaar has a primary opponent on Tuesday. Tom Norton is challenging him on the Republican ballot.

Stehouwer says we won't know the full impact of the district changes until the general election in November.

"What is important is that the voters will ultimately decide the effect of redistricting.   The most important thing is that they are informed, they do their homework before they go to the polls and cast their vote," says Stehouwer.


Terry Camp anchors ABC12 News First at Four and ABC12 News at 5:30. He also reports on issues in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

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