Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Brenda Lawrence announces retirement from Congress and Rashida Tlaib announces run for her new district, the latest in Congressional musical chairs from Michigan

It's redistricting time again! While I was posting retrospectives of the year just ended, the Michigan redistricting commission adopted its final Congressional map. Since Michigan lost another seat in the House of Representatives, that's kicking off the decennial game of musical chairs as U.S. Representatives scramble for seats. The latest happened today, as WDIV 4/Click on Detroit reported Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence announces she won’t seek reelection to Congress.

Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence has formally announced that she will not seek reelection to Congress.
The Hill uploaded the entire announcement in 25th House Democrat Announces Plans To Retire From Congress along with a video description that puts it in a national political context.

Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D) on Tuesday said she would not seek another term after serving eight years in Congress, making her the 25th House Democrat this year to announce plans to retire.
On the one hand, I'm disappointed, as I live in the new 12th Congressional District and I was looking forward to her representing my wife and me in Washington, D.C. On the other, my wife passed along the following Detroit Free Press story: Rep. Rashida Tlaib to run for reelection in new Detroit-Dearborn-Southfield district.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, announced Wednesday that she will run for reelection to her third term in the newly created district merging west Detroit with Dearborn, western Wayne County and Southfield.

The announcement came about 12 hours after U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, said she would not run for re-election to a fifth term. Had Lawrence run for reelection, it likely would have been in the same district Tlaib will now run in.
The saying is that nature abhors a vacuum, which isn't strictly true because much of the universe is a near vacuum, but politics also abhors a vacuum and Tlaib quickly filled this one. The Detroit Free Press explained why she did so instead of remaining in the new district where she currently resides.
While Tlaib doesn't currently live in what will be known as the 12th Congressional District, she plans to move. From a political standpoint, the decision makes sense, given that Tlaib's base in what is currently the 13th Congressional District has been on the west side of Detroit and in western Wayne County.
Now I'm looking forward to voting for Tlaib so she can be my Representative in Congress. That ends my short-lived disappointment.

Lawrence and Tlaib weren't the first Representatives to announce their moves to run for a new seat. Debbie Dingell did so last week, which WDIV 4/Click on Detroit reported in What impact will redistricting have at the polls?

Dingell decided to move out of a district created because of the Voting Rights Act, a move that would have originally helped Lawrence but now helps Tlaib, to the new 6th district that is nominally open but Dingell represented and contains her most loyal voters. I think that was a smart move and I'm glad she took it. The same is true for Elissa Slotkin, who announced that she would be moving from her home in Holly, Michigan to run in the new 7th District, which contains most of her voters. I wish Haley Stevens would do the same for the open 10th instead of running against Andy Levin, my current Representative. I'd like to keep both of them in Congress, but that doesn't look like it will happen. Sigh.

Speaking of sighing at the outcome, the Detroit Free Press described one outcome of Tlaib moving.
Her decision, taken with Lawrence's, leaves a newly drawn 13th District that includes much of Detroit, the Grosse Pointes, Southfield and part of southeastern Oakland County without a sitting member of Congress looking to run there. That is expected to set off a scramble among Democrats to fill the open seat.
The leading candidate as I write this is Shri Thanedar, who represents part of Detroit in the Michigan House of Representatives. He's well-off and can self-fund. However, he's not alone in wanting that seat or challenging Tlaib, as the Detroit News reported.
[13th District Democratic Party Chair Jonathan] Kinloch has heard from a few potential candidates who are weighing a run in the new 13th District, including attorney Michael Griffie, state Sen. Marshall Bullock of Detroit and former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr., now chief of staff at Triumph Church.

Other possible contenders include former state Sen. Ian Conyers who ran against Tlaib and others in the crowded 13th District Democratic primary in 2018. Former state Rep. Sherry Gay Dagnogo, who sits on the Detroit school board, announced on Facebook late Tuesday she is running for Congress, though it was unclear for which district.
Once again, my readers and I should find this year's elections interesting and fun to watch, as much fun as this actual game of musical chairs except I don't expect it to be as cheerful.

Stay tuned for the anniversary of last year's attempted self-coup. That certainly won't be a cheerful occasion.

No comments:

Post a Comment