Saturday, August 03, 2013

2014 Michigan Congressional Races

Cross-posted at The Western Right, Right Michigan, and Red Racing Horses. This post was last updated on March 31, 2014.

Michigan seems unlikely to see many interesting congressional races in 2014.  Michigan now has 14 congressional seats.

There are several articles that analyze the general political leanings of the districts.
Michigan Redistricting: Congressional Map Passed
Republican Michigander Congressional District Profiles (Sidebar at right)

District 1 (Upper Peninsula, Northern Lower Peninsula) Likely Republican.
CD 2012: 48.1-47.6 Romney: 53.5 McCain: 48.5
In 2010, Dr. Dan Benishek won an open seat vacated by democrat Rep. Bart Stupak against democrat state Rep. Gary McDowell 52-41 and won the rematch 48.1-47.6 in 2012.  Benishek has generally voted with the leadership, displeasing some of his former Tea Party supporters.  Democrats are touting former general Jerry Cannon, who commanded Gitmo and was Kalakaska County Sheriff in the 1980's.

District 2 (Ottowa, Muskegon) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 61-34 Romney: 56 McCain: 50.4
Republican former state rep. Bill Huizinga won a close primary in 2010 to replace Pete Hoekstra, and was easily reelected in 2012. Since then he has generally voted a fairly conservative line. This remains the most Republican district in Michigan.  Huizinga is safe regardless who runs.

District 3 (Kent, Calhoun) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 52.6-44.1 Romney: 53.1 McCain: 48.6
Republican state rep. Justin Amash won the primary to replace moderate Republican Vern Ehlers, in 2010. He won 60-37 in 2010 and 53-44 in 2012 over former state rep Steve Pestka. Amash is a libertarian in the mold of Rep. Ron Paul. He has stepped on some toes in Washington, most notably getting into a spat with the NRA over procedural objections to a gun rights bill.  He is being challenged in the primary by moderate businessman Brian Ellis.  Leftist Trevor Thomas is a possible democrat candidate.

District 4 (central Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 63-34 Romney: 53.4 McCain: 48.6
Republican Dave Camp, who has been winning big margins in this district since 1990, is retiring.  He is termed out of the Ways and Means Committee chairmanship, and had briefly considered running for senate.  Tea Party candidate Peter Konetchy, who ran for Senate in 2012, announced a primary challenge to Camp.  Other Republicans will likely run.

District 5 (Genesee, Saginaw, Bay) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 31-65 Romney: 38.4 McCain: 35.4
Former Genesee Treasurer Dan Kildee succeeded his uncle Dale Kildee in 2012. This district is safe for democrats.

District 6 (SW Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 55-43 Romney: 50 McCain: 45
Moderate Republican Fred Upton has won by wide margins since defeating conservative Mark Siljander in 1986. Upton became Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2010.  He defeated primary challenges from former state rep. Jack Hoogendyk, who won 43% in 2010 and 33% in 2012. He is being challenged by Tea Party/Ron Paul candidate Jim Bussler in the primary in 2014.  Upton defeated democrat Mike O'Brien 55-43 in 2010, the closest margin of his career. This time, he is being challenged by Western Michigan University professor Paul Clements.

District 7 (south-central Michigan) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 53-43 Romney: 50.9 McCain: 47.4
Republican Tim Walberg defeated liberal democrat Mark Schauer in a hard-fought race in 2010. This followed Schauer's defeat of Walberg in 2008, Walberg's defeat of RINO Joe Schwarz in 2006, and Schwarz's winning a divided Republican primary to replace Nick Smith in 2004. Walberg defeated democrat attorney Kurt Haskell in 2012 53-43.  He is being challenged by former state rep. (2004-2010) Pam Byrnes of Washtenaw County. She represented about 68000 people in the 7th district (9% of the district), which portion voted 45% for McCain.  Walberg will likely settle in to win with 55% or so.

District 8 (Ingham, Livingston, N Oakland) Likely Republican.
CD 2012: 59-37 Romney: 51.1 McCain: 46.4
Republican Mike Rogers, who has won big margins since 2000, announced his retirement late in the cycle.  Former state senator Mike Bishop of NE Oakland is running, as is Farmington Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett. Several other Republicans are considering running.  Democrat state demographer Ken Darga is running.

District 9 (S Macomb, Royal Oak, Bloomfield) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 34-62 Romney: 41.8 McCain: 40.4
Democrat Sander Levin has represented this district since 1982.  His younger brother Carl is retiring from the Senate, but Sander hasn't shown any inclination to follow.  Levin is more liberal than the district, but he is popular enough to win here as long as he wants. He will likely be succeeded by a less liberal Macomb county democrat.

District 10 (N Macomb, the Thumb) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 69-30 Romney: 55.2 McCain: 50
Republican Candice Miller is highly popular in Macomb County and statewide, and that isn't going to change.

District 11 (NW Wayne, SW Oakland, Troy) Safe Republican.
CD 2012: 50.8-44.4 Romney: 52.2 McCain: 48.4
Tea Party Republican Kerry Bentivolio became an "accidental congressman" in 2012 after incumbent Thad McCotter was disqualified in a petition fraud scandal. A coalition of establishment Republicans endorsed a write-in campaign by former state senator Nancy Cassis, but Bentivolio won 65-35.  He defeated democrat Canton Township Trustee Taj Syed 50.8-44.4.  Since then, Bentivolio has kept his head down and voted a conservative line.  He is being challenged in the primary by foreclosure lawyer David Trott, who has the support of the Oakland County establishment. Democrat Bobby McKenzie is running.

District 12 (Downriver, Ann Arbor) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 29-68 Romney: 32.7 McCain: 31.2
Democrat John Dingell, in Congress for over 58 years since Eisenhower's first term, is finally retiring.  Dingell's wife Debbie Dingell is running to suceed him.  We could see an interesting Downriver versus Ann Arbor primary.  Republican Terry Bowman is expected to run.

District 13 (W Detroit, Westland) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 14-82 Romney: 14 McCain: 14
This district has been represented by democrat John Conyers since 1964. Conyers' image has been tarnished since his wife Monica, formerly Detroit city council president, pled guilty to bribery and served time in federal prison. He was challenged in the 2012 democrat primary by state senator Glenn Anderson, whose base in the mostly white suburbs of Westland and Redford was moved from the 11th district into the 13th; Senator Bert Johnson, who is a convicted felon since he robbed a country club at age 19; State Rep. Shanelle Jackson. Conyers won 49% to 16% for Anderson, 11% for Jackson, and 9% for Johnson.  He is being challenged this year by Pastor Horace Sheffield.

District 14 (E Detroit, Southfield, Farmington, Pontiac) Safe democrat.
CD 2012: 16-82 Romney: 18 McCain: 18
This district had an interesting primary in 2012.  Congressman Gary Peters, first elected in 2008, ran here after his old 9th district was split into four pieces.  He defeated fellow Congressman Hansen Clarke and several others.  Peters did very well in endorsements and fundraising, and he won this majority black district 47-35-13 over Clarke and Southfield mayor Brenda Lawrence.  Peters is now running for Senate, so the district is open.  Lawrence, state rep. Rudy Hobbs, and state senators Vincent Gregory and Bert Johnson are running.  Johnson, who is a convicted felon since he robbed a country club at age 19, ran in 2012 in the 13th district against John Conyers.  Several others including Clarke are considering the race.

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