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Mike Rogers Congressional Papers Collection

Michigan's 8th District


The 8th District is a Congressional district in mid to southeast Michigan. At the beginning of Rogers' tenure in 2001, the district consisted of Ingham County, Livingston County, and most of Washtenaw County. The district also included sections of Shiawassee and Genesee counties. Because Michigan lost population relative to the rest of the United States in the new millennium, the state correspondingly lost Congressional districts. This mandated a reshuffling of the contents of the remaining districts by redistricting committees. The 8th District was transformed by redistricting committees in both 2003 and 2013. In 2003, the redistricting committee removed the portions of Genesee and Washtenaw counties, while adding Clinton County and the northern third of Oakland County. In 2013, another committee subtracted Shiawassee County and Clinton County. To compensate, they added Rochester Hills in Oakland County to the 8th District.

As of 2014, there were over 705,000 residents in the 8th District of Michigan. 8th District voters divide between Republicans and Democrats in fairly equal numbers. More voters supported Barack Obama than John McCain in 2008. Yet, more residents supported Mitt Romney (a Michigan native) than President Obama in 2012. (Almanac of American Politics, 2014). The Cook Partisan Voting Index claims the 8th District has minor Republican leanings.

Rogers served as representative of the 8th District for fourteen years. This was a longer period than any representative for the 8th district since Democrat J. Bob Traxler, who represented the district between 1974 and 1993.

Counties of the 8th District in 2016

Livingston County: Livingston County remained a part of the 8th District despite two redistricting efforts. While historically agricultural, Livingston had become more of a “bedroom community” by the 1990s. Though it lacks a major city, Livingston County has a fairly large population (180,000 in 2010). This is because many Livingston residents are commuters to Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint. The two population centers of Livingston County are the cities of Brighton and Howell: the latter of which was the birthplace of Mike Rogers.*

Ingham County: Ingham is the other core county of the 8th District. Ingham contains much of the Lansing Metropolitan Area, the population and manufacturing hub of mid-Michigan. Lansing, the state capital of Michigan, grew in tandem with the automobile industry in the early 20th century. Several automotive companies were based in Ingham. These included the Olds Motor Vehicle Company (later REO Motor Car Company) and Clarkmobile. Though these companies are now gone, General Motors and other manufacturers have moved into Lansing since. The state government is another large employer in Lansing. The state Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Library of Michigan are located there. Nationally, Ingham County is most associated with Michigan State University. MSU is in the city of East Lansing, and is the seventh largest educational institute in the United States. East Lansing is college-oriented, featuring many student neighborhoods and businesses aimed at students.

Oakland County: The northern third of Oakland County joined the 8th District in 2003. Oakland County has the second highest population of any county in Michigan. The portion appended to the 8th District, however, had perhaps more in common with Livingston County than the rest of Oakland. The northern third of Oakland is rural, with Holly – a village of just over 6,000 people in 2010 – being the largest population center. It is an area of significant tourism, as Mount Holly is the largest ski and snowboarding resort in all of southeast Michigan. In 2013, a redistricting committee added another part of Oakland County to the 8th District. This slice encroached into the heavily-populated suburban core of the county. The most notable addition was the city of Rochester Hills. With almost 71,000 residents, Rochester Hills is more populated than several Michigan counties.** 

8th District

Temporary additions to the district

Genesee County (2001-2003): Genesee County is the most populated county in mid-Michigan. It is known for the city of Flint, a former industrial powerhouse that was the second largest city in Michigan as recently as 1960. The 8th District never included Flint, however, as its jurisdiction stopped at Flint’s city limits. The small city of Fenton was the core of the 8th District’s administration in Genesee. In the 2003 redistricting, Genesee County and Flint were reunited within the 5th District. 

Washtenaw County (2001-2003): Rogers only represented the residents of Washtenaw County for two years. A redistricting committee reapportioned the county to the 7th and 15th districts in 2003. The portion administered within the 8th District was comprised of the County’s rural areas. The large cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti were never a part of the 8th District. The 8th District did, however, include the small cities of Saline, Dexter, and Chelsea. These historic villages were settled years before Michigan became a state. The Pinckney State Recreation Area, a popular hiking and camping destination, was also included.

Shiawassee County (2001-2011):  The southern half of Shiawassee County was an integral part of the 8th District through most of Rogers’ tenure as Congressman. Situated between the cities of Lansing and Flint, Shiawassee County has no large urban enclaves of its own. The county is part of the massive farming belt that encompasses most of mid-Michigan. Shiawassee also consists of some of the earliest settlements in the region. These include the venerable villages of Byron and Morrice, and the cities of Durand, Owosso, and Corunna.

Clinton County (2003-2011): Clinton County is a sparsely populated but growing area dependent upon agriculture. Much of southern Clinton County is an integral part of the Lansing Metropolitan Area, however. Dewitt Charter Township, for instance, includes Lansing Capital Region International Airport. It is the only airport of its size in mid-Michigan.



* All statistics for Livingston County are from the U.S. Census.

** All statistics for Oakland County are from the U.S. Census.

For more information on the 8th District of Michigan, see the Almanac of American Politics and CQ's Politics in America.