Remembering Ex-Rep. Jack McDonald: One Sweet Guy Finished by Redistricting

When word came that former Rep. Jack McDonald, R.-Mich. died August 17, it took a while to find those who remembered the good-natured former politician. At 90 and retired to the Outer Bank of North Carolina, McDonald was one of only 5 living Members of the 59 Republicans in the celebrated House GOP “Class of 1966”—in the last 70 years, rivaled in terms of numbers only by the huge classes of 1994 and 2010 that gave Republicans control of the House.

“Sure, I remember Jack,” said Bill Ballenger, editor of the much-read, on-line Ballenger Report on Michigan politics, “He was an affable, low-key-guy whom everybody liked. He was a mainstream Republican of the time, and was never seriously challenged in his three terms in the House. But he was finally done in by the 1972 reapportionment plan.”

McDonald was indeed widely liked. McDonald’s fellow Oakland County resident and onetime Michigan Republican National Committeewoman recalled to Newsmax that the congressman “was greatly admired by [her onetime father-in-law and late Michigan Gov.] George Romney, even though they differed on some issues such as school busing.”

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