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Four candidates thus far for redistricted House seats

Lindsay Kronemeyer
Rachelle Smit

The way things stand now, Wayland and Allegan County will share the same State Senate District with virtually all of Barry County while Hopkins and Dorr will go west to share with Allegan and Van Buren counties.

The State House Districts will be similar, in that the 43rd District will include Hopkins and Martin and the Gun Lake Casino area. The adjacent 79th District splits Wayland and Dorr in half with the 43rd and includes Leighton Township.

The 18th Senatorial District will include Wayland, Martin, Otsego and Plainwell in Allegan County and Hastings, Middleville, Delton, Cloverdale and Nashville in Barry County and Caledonia and Alto in Kent County, and Lake Odessa and Clarksville in Ionia County.

The 20th District will take in Dorr, Monterey and Hopkins in Allegan County, along with Hamilton, Fennville, Allegan, Douglas and Glenn, and then move south to cover South Haven, Bloomingdale, Covert, Paw Paw, Gobles, Hartford and Decatur in Van Buren County. Current State Senator Aric Nesbitt lives within the boundaries of this district.

The boundaries described above are not set in stone because there have been challenges presented to the Redistricting Commission’s recommended changes for the August primary election.

In years gone by, the political parties controlled the process of redistricting every 10 years according to population census changes. However, in 2018, voters overwhelmingly in a state-wide referendum (66.9 percent) to have district boundary lines drawn by an independent commission.

State Reps. Steve Johnson and Mary Whiteford now are term limited, with Johnson serving six years and Whiteford for more than seven. Two candidates have announced their intention to seek election. Rachelle Smith will run in the 43rd District and Lindsey Kronemeyer will run for either the 43rd or the 79th, depending on where the boundary line falls. Both are Republicans. Two other Republicans, Dean Brandt of Hamilton and Phillip Joseph of Orangeville, also have expressed interest in seeking the office.

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