July 10, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Michigan Democrats Weary Over Redistricting

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“My focus right now is on the job at hand — spurring the economy and helping my constituents recover from the deep recession,” he said in a statement. “Over the years, I have enjoyed representing residents in Wayne, Oakland and now a full two-thirds of Macomb County, and while Republicans fully control the process in Lansing I intend to seek reelection and I challenge them to reapportion communities in a balanced way so that the voice of Michigan residents can be fairly heard.”

Likewise, Conyers serves as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. Dingell, unseated as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee in 2008, is still a senior Democrat on that committee. Kildee, a former teacher, is the second-most-senior Democrat on the Education and Workforce Committee.

Kildee said he and his peers can offer valuable insight to newer members of the delegation. He referred to a Monday evening meeting the delegation had with new Gov. Rick Snyder (R).

“What was interesting last night is that John [Dingell] and I were able to add one dimension as having had some longevity here, but there were three freshman Members there, and they in turn were able to bring a very good perspective to the discussion,” he said.

Kildee said the four can talk with experience about how the government shutdown in 1995 affected their constituents, for example. And they can give advice.

“Do your homework, and follow your conscience,” Kildee, first elected in 1976, said he tells new Members. “If you follow your conscience, you don’t have to remember how you voted.”

Whether state legislators will choose to keep around a few aging Democrats or give preference to new blood is anybody’s guess, but on Tuesday, Dingell didn’t seem optimistic.

“I can only remember one good redistricting,” he said.

Asked whether he thought this would be another, he answered, “We’ll find out.”

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