Sen. Tonya Shuitmaker seeks reelection to the new 26th district


PAW PAW—State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker announced in September she will seek re-election to the Michigan State Senate.

After district borders changed following the 2010 Census, her residence in Lawton switched from the 20th District to the 26th District.

“I am a lifelong resident of Van Buren County, and I am not going to move for political purposes. It isn’t right for my family and it isn’t right for the citizens of Michigan,” Schuitmaker said in a press release. “The people of west Michigan have created a great place to live, work and vacation here along the beautiful lakeshore, and I look forward to representing such a wonderful community.”

The 26th District will include Van Buren County, Allegan County and Kentwood and Gaines Township in Kent County.

Schuitmaker said, “Michigan is on the road to recovery, but we’re not there yet. Lower taxes and less regulation have driven our recovery. We cannot go back to the failed tax-and-spend policies of the past. Hard work and innovation—not government—will continue to lead Michigan to renewed prosperity and a brighter future.”

Schuitmaker was first elected to the Michigan Senate in 2010. She is the current Senate president pro tempore and chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education.

The press release said that, during her first term, Schuitmaker sponsored legislation improving government transparency, increasing penalties for elder abuse, holding universities accountable for the tax dollars they receive and requiring prisoners to provide DNA samples, which led to numerous cold cases being solved.

Schuitmaker served six years as representative for the former District 80 in the state House, which then included Otsego and Watson townships.

She has worked as an attorney in her family’s practice in Paw Paw and lives in Lawton with her husband and two children.

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Allegan County’s current senator, Rick Jones, lives in Grand Ledge. His district, 24, was redrawn to include Clinton and Eaton counties and part of Ingham County.


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