The protests that greeted President Joe Biden on his visit to Howell on Tuesday — and the media attention they received — apparently drove an even-larger cudgel into the naturally adversarial relationship of the chairs of Livingston County’s two political parties; judging from a release from the county Democrats’ executive committee, the frustration over the protests spilled over into the Reapportionment Commission meeting on Wednesday, when it met to re-draw district boundaries.
“It was all I could do to sit in the same room with (Meghan) Reckling (chair of the Livingston County Republicans),” said Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democrats, in the release. “I half expected to have her yell ‘F–k Joe Biden’ at me during the meeting because those seem to be the only words in Republicans’ vocabulary these days.”
The release from the Livingston County Democratic Party Executive Committee on the final redistricting meeting said Reckling “appeared to be caught off guard” about choosing a map.
Last week, the commission had asked the Michigan Court of Appeals for an extension of the 60-day window to complete its work, but the extension had not been granted by Wednesday’s meeting so the commission went ahead with the vote.
According to the release: “(Reckling) said she was not yet prepared to vote on maps, asked to delay the process, and stumbled to come up with a map to put forward before finally saying she liked her own — which would have pitted Commissioner Wes Nakagiri against Commissioner Martin Smith, in addition to the other two pairings.”
The other two potential primary pairings in the newly drawn map — which will be in effect for the next decade — are Commissioner Jay Drick versus Commissioner Mitchell Zajac, and Commissioner Jay Gross versus Commissioner Brenda Plank.
“I was shocked that Meghan was not ready to do the job on Wednesday and ended up just voting for the map drawn by her mother (Livingston County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley),” Daubenmier said. “Could it be she was rattled by the negative national press she created for Livingston County on Tuesday by summoning a mob of cursing, aggressive, Trump supporters to come out for Livingston County’s first-ever visit by a sitting president?”
“Frankly, I did not even want to be there Wednesday,” Daubenmier said. “But I came prepared, gritted my teeth, and went through it knowing that Republicans were going to out-vote me 4-1.”
The Livingston County Reapportionment Commission consists of the Livingston County clerk, treasurer and prosecuting attorney, as well as the chairs of the county’s Republican and Democratic parties.
The new map was adopted 4-1 along party lines.
You can read about the new districts by clicking here.