PONTIAC, Mich. – The filing deadline has now come and gone for political offices, and newly redrawn congressional maps in Michigan mean primary elections are going to be packed.
Now, two sitting Democratic members of congress in the 11th Congressional District are going head-to-head, thanks to the new political maps.
Democratic members Haley Stevens and Andy Levin debated each other at the Strand Theater Wednesday night. And while the similarities are many, Stevens asked the question a lot of Democrats have been wondering.
“With all due respect to my colleague here, I think our voters have a right to know why you wouldn’t run for Congress in an open seat that doesn’t have a democrat running for it that has a half a million of your constituents,” Stevens said, referencing the new 10th District that Levin opted not to run in.
The Levin-Stevens matchup is a hard one for Democrats.
Republicans view the seat in the 10th district as winnable for them, especially with a field of Democratic candidates without Levin’s name and ability to raise funds.
“It’s not up to politicians to choose their voters,” Levin said. “It’s up to the voters to choose their politicians. I’m running for re-election in Madison Heights, Hazel Park, Pleasant Ridge and Huntington Woods and Berkley and Royal Oak and over to Bloomfield Hills. I didn’t move to run in this race. My house is dead center of this new district.”
The midterm elections for these new seats will be fascinating and complex, especially for voters at the Levin-Stevens debate Wednesday.
“I am so disappointed, because we have two great competitors, and we need both of them in Congress,” Melanie Rutherford said.
“Haley has been around for years, and you know Carl Levin, and it’s sad because we need both of them,” Linda Crowder said.