Redistricting Brings New Boundaries to the State’s New 103rd House District

Re-drawn districts change State House lines for candidates and voters

Redistricting brings new boundary lines to the State’s new 103rd House District. Jack O’Malley, currently the State Rep in the 101st, wins his GOP primary and moves on to November. He’ll take on Democrat Betsy Coffia who also won her primary election. “I’m really honored, really excited. The community spoke last night,” she says.

Maybe all the yard signs paid off, the slate is set for the newly drawn boundaries in an all-new 103rd State House District. O’Malley says, “I could go on and on about how I think the redistricting committee made some bad choices, especially in northern Michigan with the way they split everything up. But it is what it is, so you deal with it.”

With some of the same territory in the newly re-drawn district, Jack O’Malley considers himself somewhat of an incumbent. “I’ve spent four years getting to know people in the 101st…. but now I’ve got to focus on a new area. And remind people I’ve lived in this area 38 years,” he says.

Coffia SignBut Coffia says it’s an all new district that’s up for grabs. “This is a new seat. Nobody’s the incumbent of this seat, it’s a brand new seat.  We’re both incumbents to our current positions. And we have to do the work,” she says. “I’ve served two terms on the county commission. I have experience in local government. I’m pragmatic, I’m practical. I stay focused on what are the things that are important to people in my community. And I do believe that’s what voters across the political spectrum are hungry for.”

The candidates agree: redistricting is changing the face of the 103rd. O’Malley says, “I see the 103 as a Democratic district. Slightly, but still a democratic district. So I’m really trying to tell people to vote for me. I need O’Malley democrats to say ‘he’s a common sense guy. He sees both sides of the aisle and we’ll work together.’” He adds, “I’ve got my work cut out for me and I know it. But I think I’m up to the task.”

Coffia says she’s “seeing really almost unprecedented levels of turnout in a mid-term primary for the democrats. There’s a lot of energy we intend to harness and work hard and earn people’s vote in November. But we plan to win.” She adds, “This is absolutely a winnable seat. We intend to win it in November.”

Jack Sign“I hope nobody takes this the wrong way but I don’t worry about my opponent. I want to get my message across. I want to tell people who I am. They can decide,” O’Malley says. “We always hear ‘well I vote for the person, not the R or the D.’ Then do that. Vote for the person. I think when you compare me and my opponent, you’re going to see that I’m the best choice.”

O’Malley won with 75% of the vote in his primary, and Coffia winning 85% of the vote in her primary. Now all eyes are on November. “There’s also some historic stuff happening right now that is energizing voters on some key issues. Reproductive freedom, privacy. Roe vs. Wade. A lot of people never thought would happen. It did happen. Now the battle comes to the states, the state legislatures,” Coffia says.

O’Malley is focused on local issues. “I think we’ve got child care issues that we’re still working on. Housing. Workforce housing. We’ve got mental health issues across the state, the country, but here in the north too.”

Categories: Election 2022