Fourth Congressional District incumbent John Moolenaar, R-Midland, will face off against Democratic challenger Jerry Hilliard in November, with Hilliard having handily captured the Democratic nomination Tuesday.
Across the 4th District, Hilliard won 26,577 votes (54.1 percent), while his Democratic opponent, political newcomer Anthony Feig, earned 22,568 votes (45.9).
Moolenaar, who was uncontested in the primary, racked up 97,365 votes districtwide. The district encompasses much of central Michigan, from Big Rapids through Mount Pleasant and Midland and including Shiawassee County.
In Shiawassee County, Hilliard received 3,141 votes (54 percent) against Feig, who got 2,644 votes (46 percent). Moolenaar won 7,882 votes.
Hilliard thanked everyone who voted in the 4th District race, and commended Feig for “adding to the discussion.
“We both had our strengths,” Hilliard said this morning, referring to himself and Feig. “Unfortunately, with a contested primary, it can divide us. But now is the time to unite in this extremely important election in November.”
Hilliard’s main issues are rebuilding the middle class and providing health care for all Americans, while Feig’s focus was on environmental issues. Hilliard said if elected he will fight for the environment, working with experts in the field, as well as on other issues.
Two years ago, Hilliard went up against Moolenaar for the 4th District seat, and was defeated 62.6 percent to 37.4 percent. Hilliard said he is confident he can beat Moolenaar this time around.
“We’re still in a highly gerrymandered district, but when Democrats vote in high numbers, they tend to win,” Hilliard said. “There are motivating factors this time that were not present last time. The enthusiasm among Democrats is way up, and when that happens, we have a good chance to win.”
Hilliard, 70, born at Midland Hospital, grew up as the son of an oil driller.
He pursued a business career for Nabisco before teaching at public high schools in impoverished school districts in Flint and Virginia, and later at community colleges in Michigan.
Republican Moolenaar, 59, was born in Midland. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Hope College, and a master of public administration degree from Harvard University.
Moolenaar has served as the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 4th Congressional District since 2015.
He was previously elected to the Michigan House of Representatives (2003-08) and Senate (2011-14).
Feig, 51, moved to Mount Pleasant in 2008, where serves on the faculty at Central University Michigan.