Ag lobbyists break down Michigan’s redistricting

An ag lobbyist says population losses in remote communities will reduce the rural flavor in Michigan’s legislature following this year’s redistricting.

Jeff McAlvey with McAlvey Merchant & Associates says the main goal of redistricting was to balance partisan divisions while honoring communities of interest.

“Many of the districts stretch out in what I would call funky ways,” he says.

He says rural voters will likely be overshadowed by the mix of urban areas shared in some districts.

Maureen Watson-Bolger says having more lawmakers with a portion of rural communities can create more conversations with those who might not have been exposed to ag issues in the past.

“While it might not dominate an economy in a district or the population base in a district, I think there can be a chance to talk about ag as part of a district for some members that we didn’t previously have,” she explains.

McAlvey says endorsements from ag groups continued to be valued by all parties and all regions and educating candidates ahead of elections will be critical this year.

Both spoke about Michigan’s redistricting process and its implications for agriculture in a webinar hosted by the Michigan Corn Growers Association Tuesday.

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