Vice President Biden headlines major Democratic fundraiser at Detroit's Cobo Center

Biden gives keynote speech at Democratic party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner

Published On: Apr 20 2013 06:00:13 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 21 2013 12:05:05 AM EDT
DETROIT -

Vice President Joe Biden headlined a fundraiser Saturday evening for Michigan Democrats, but long-time party member Debbie Dingell also made big news.

Before the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner at Detroit's Cobo Center, Dingell said she would not run for U.S. Senator Carl Levin's seat. "I'm not saying that I'm ruling out elective office in the future. The polls showed I had a good chance of winning, but it (running) would tear the party apart. I want to help pull us together."

Biden spoke on several different topics, from the terror attack in Boston to the importance of the auto industry. Biden called Detroit the "engine of the middle class in America."

He also addressed concerns about everyone having the ability to vote. "We will fight tooth and nail the continued attempts to surpress the minority vote in this country."

 Michigan could play a big role in the 2016 presidential election, and Biden has not ruled out a run.

He is traveling to South Carolina in May for another Jefferson-Jackson dinner. The galas are frequent stops for candidates.

Others who addressed the crowd was U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, along with state lawmakers.

--Debbie Stabenow

Past speakers at the Michigan dinner include former presidential contenders John Edwards and John Kerry.