What to know about Michigan’s 13th District Primary
There’s a big race open for Michigan’s new 13th congressional district, which could be the only one to send a black Detroiter to Congress this year.
Why is this important: Black leaders are pushing to elect a Detroiter to the position without an incumbent after U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence retired.
- The winner of the Aug. 2 primary in this solidly Democratic district is expected to win the Nov. 8 election against Martell Bivings, the lone Republican in the race.
The context: Nine Democrats are on the ballot to represent the redrawn 13th – the only majority black congressional district under the state. new neighborhood plan. It makes up most of Detroit, part of western Wayne County, Grosse Pointe, and some downstream communities.
- Sluggish population growth from 2010 to 2020 caused Michigan to lose a congressional seat in the latest redistricting process.
What is happening: The race still lacks a favorite despite a big fundraising lead by Sen. Adam Hollier.
- The great money disparity has not diminished the confidence of Portia Roberson, CEO of Hope: Focus.
Roberson’s The campaign has notable endorsements from Lawrence, Wayne County District Attorney Kym Worthy and Emily’s List, a prominent DC-based fundraising group that supports progressive women candidates.
- The former employee of President Obama’s administration is the only candidate with experience bringing federal resources to Detroit.
Hollier, the race’s current main fundraiser, enjoys the support of the region’s Democratic establishment. He is backed by Mayor Mike Duggan and supported by the Washington-based Democratic Majority for Israel and the United Democracy Project.
- Hollier has been criticized by challengers for his non-local financial support as well as his support for Michigan’s controversial auto insurance reform.
💭 Sam’s thought bubble: Hollier and Roberson will likely receive the most votes, but with so many candidates, it’s hard to predict how far ahead of the pack they are.
- Name recognition could boost several candidates, including Sharon McPhail and John Conyers III – who appears on the ballot without his suffix. But that probably won’t be enough to outpace more organized campaigns.
And after: This is our first of several election guides ahead of the Aug. 2 primary.
👀 The complete list of Candidates from the 13th constituency:
State Senator Hollier, who declared nearly $413,000 in the last filing period, with more than $371,000 on hand, according to campaign finance records.
State Representative Shri Thanedar, a wealthy businessman who ran for governor in 2018.
- Campaign finance records show Thanedar has the most money of any candidate, bringing in $5 million at the end of March.
Portia Robson, the Michigan civil rights commissioner whose late candidacy was bolstered by endorsements from AFT-Michigan, which represents Detroit public school teachers.
Sharon McPhail, a former Detroit councilman who has been part of the city’s political scene for decades.
John Conyers III, the son of the oldest black congressman in United States history.
Former State Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogoeducation advocate and member of the Detroit Public School Board.
Michael Griffie, a civil rights attorney who currently directs external affairs for the Detroit chapter of Teach for America.
Sam Riddle, 910 AM Superstation radio host and political consultant.
Lorrie Rutledge, the owner of a hair products company.
bivouacs, the only Republican on the ballot, tells Axios he is a non-mainstream Republican who supports school choice and reparations for African Americans.