Tim Walberg, a staunch conservative Republican, is seeking reelection in 2008. Walberg was first elected to Congress last year after defeating one-term liberal Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz in a bitter primary election. He defeated democrat Sharon Renier, a weak candidate, in the general election.
But in a bad year for Republicans, his margin of victory was underwhelming. Democrats have promised to target the seventh district in 2008. Why they didn't in 2006 remains a mystery.
Democrats want to nominate a strong candidate this time around. But their eventual nominee will have to survive a tough primary before making it to the general election.
State Senate minority leader Mark Schauer has just announced his candidacy. Schauer represents Calhoun and most of Jackson county. When seeking the position of senate democratic leader, he promised to serve his entire term. Now it appears that he intends to break that promise.
There are several other democrat candidates for the seat. Jim Berryman is a former state senator who represented Lenawee County. David Nacht is an attorney who has raised a significant amount of money. Sharon Renier is also running.
Schauer would appear to be a narrow favorite for the nomination at this point. Berryman and Nacht are also contenders. Renier has some name recognition from being the nominee before, but she is a weak candidate unlikely to be nominated again.
There is another potential candidate would could affect the race: Joe Schwarz. The Detroit News reports:
Schwarz said Thursday he had not made a decision on whether he would re-seek his old congressional seat. If he does run, it would likely be as an independent or Democrat, he said.The general election campaign will be tough. Still, Tim Walberg is in good shape to win reelection. This time, he is an incumbent, with two years serving the district and getting media coverage. Last time, he was a former state representative who had represented one seventh of the district eight years previous and who had just survived a bitter primary. Walberg held a swing district in the State House for many years. In 2006, he won an open seat in a terrible year for Republicans.
Republicans should work to make sure that Tim Walberg is returned to Congress.