During the Tuesday, Aug. 2, Republican primary election, voters will choose between an incumbent and a military veteran hoping to land a 2-year U.S. House of Representatives seat representing a large chunk of the Lower Peninsula’s western region.Carlin Stiehl | MLive.com
By Justin Engel | [email protected]
MIDLAND, MI — During the Tuesday, Aug. 2, Republican primary election, voters will choose between an incumbent and a military veteran hoping to land a 2-year U.S. House of Representatives seat representing a large chunk of the Lower Peninsula’s western region.
U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar will attempt to keep his spot in Congress against challenger Thomas J. Norton, a former village president in Kent County and member of the Army National Guard.
They will pursue the 2nd District House seat, which includes at least portions of Barry, Claire, Eaton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa, and Wexford counties.
The winner will face Democrat Jerry Hilliard in November.
First elected to Congress in 2014, Moolenaar defeated Hilliard in both the 2018 and 2020 elections.
Norton also was a candidate for the U.S. House in 2020, albeit in a different district than Moolenaar. Norton lost in the Republican primary to the seat’s eventual winner, Peter Meijer, two years ago.
A statewide redistricting effort last year reset the election boundaries, providing both Moolenaar and Norton with new challengers than they previously faced. When the candidates elected in November take office, it will mark the end of the current district map.
Today, Moolenaar represents much of the area set to become the new District 2.
But the redistricting shifted one of Moolenaar’s core constituency hubs — Midland — to a newly-redrawn district today largely represented by U.S. House Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township.
Moolenaar’s pursuit of the new District 2 means the two incumbents will avoid a November showdown for the new District 8, which includes Democrat-leaning cities such as Flint and Saginaw.