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Who’s running against John Moolenaar in Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District?

Michigan's sprawling 2nd Congressional District
Michigan's sprawling 2nd Congressional District includes the cities of Alma, Big Rapids, Cadillac and Mt. Pleasant. (Google Maps)
  • U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar won’t face a primary challenger as he runs for re-election in Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District
  • Democratic Michael Lynch seeks to challenge Moolenaar in the general election
  • District includes all or part of 20 Michigan counties in central Michigan and along the Lake Michigan shoreline

Republican U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar is pursuing re-election this fall in a reliably conservative district but is poised to face a general election challenge from Democrat Michael Lynch.

Moolenaar, of Caledonia, is unopposed in the Aug. 6 primary for the sprawling 2nd Congressional District, which includes all or part of 20 counties in central Michigan and along the Lake Michigan shoreline.


Notable cities in the district include Alma, Big Rapids, Cadillac and Mt. Pleasant. 

Moolenaar has served in Congress since 2015 and handily won re-election in 2022, defeating Democratic challenger Jerry Hilliard with about 64% of the vote. 


Voters in the district have long trended reliably conservative. In 2016 and 2020, former President Donald Trump won the district with roughly 64% and 65% of the vote, respectively.

Moolenaar and Lynch are the only major-party candidates who filed required petition signatures by the April 23 deadline, so will square off in the Nov. 5 general election. Third parties can still nominate candidates at conventions later this year. 


Michael Lynch: An Alma resident, Lynch is a manager with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and has taught at DePaul, West Virginia University and Georgetown universities, according to his campaign. If elected, Lynch has said he’d focus on affordable health care, affordable housing, union issues, reproductive rights and “responsible” gun legislation. 



John Moolenaar: Before Congress, Moolenaar served in the state House and Senate and on the Midland City Council. He also worked as a chemist at Dow Chemical Company. Moolenaar has served in Congress since 2015 and serves on the House Appropriations Committee. While in office, Moolenaar has supported voter-identification requirements, lowering taxes, energy independence, funding for the Great Lakes and increasing access to broadband in rural areas. Moolenaar was one of four Michigan congressional Republicans who, in December 2020, signed onto an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election. In March, he was named chair of a House committee investigating possible economic and security threats posed by China.

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