2014 Michigan Congressional Races
Michigan will see several interesting congressional races in 2014, with four open seats and several competitive primary challenges. Michigan now has 14 congressional seats.
There are several articles that analyze the general political leanings of the districts.
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. He is being challenged by Tea Partyer Alan Arcand. Democrats are touting former general Jerry Cannon, who commanded Gitmo and was Kalakaska County Sheriff in the 1980’s. Being from the Lower Peninsula may hamper Cannon.
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. Democrat Dean VanderStelt is running.
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. Democrat Bob Goodrich is running.
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, a businessman from Roscommon who ran for Senate in 2012, had announced a primary challenge to Camp. State senator John Moolenaar of Midland and businessman Paul Mitchell are also running. Democrat Jeffrey Holmes is running.
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. Republicans Allen Hardwick and Tom Whitmire are running.
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 libertarian 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. Some dude Douglass Radcliffe North is also running in the Republican primary. Walberg 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) Lean 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. Tea Party favorite state rep. Tom McMillin announced that he will run for this seat rather than state senate. Both are from Rochester Hills. Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing is the preferred democrat candidate. State demographer Ken Darga, CMU Professor Susan Grettenberger, and Jeffrey Hank are also 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. Republican George Brikho is running.
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. Democrat Chuck Stadler is running.
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 mostly 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. Democrats Bobby McKenzie, Nancy Skinner, Anil Kumar, and LaRouchie Bill Roberts are 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 succeed him. Attorney Ray Mullins is also running. Republican Terry Bowman, a leader of the Michigan Right to Work movement, is running.
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, and 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. Republican Jeff Gorman is running.
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, Clarke, and Burgess Foster are running. Republican Christina Conyers is running.