MICHIGAN - Each election cycle, every one of Washington's 435 seats in the House of Representatives opens up for election. That includes Michigan's 14 congressional seats.
Several races make up the southeast Michigan electorate. While many districts in Detroit lean heavily Democrat, races in outlier cities and metro districts offer up more competitive elections.
We're tracking the results of the races that are most important to Southeast Michigan:
Below is an outline of Metro Detroit's congressional districts.
8th District: Elissa Slotkin (Incumbent) vs. Paul Junge (R)
Expected to be among Metro Detroit’s most competitive Congressional races, first-term Rep. Elissa Slotkin will defend her seat in the 8th Congressional District against Paul Junge.
Slotkin is a former CIA analyst who served in the Middle East before returning stateside and working in Washington. She’s briefed past presidents before deciding to run for office in 2018. The Holly-native unseated Mike Bishop in a close race during the midterms, becoming one of Michigan’s two congressional seats to flip from red to blue.
Junge brings a breadth of experience from a variety of professions. He’s worked as a deputy district attorney and as a FOX47 TV anchor in Lansing. Some of his more recent experience is in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency. Junge beat out three other candidates when he won the Republican primary in August.
Among issues that the two have sparred over multiple times are health care, trade policy, and Slotkin’s support of impeaching the president earlier in 2020. During debates, both argued that public health and economic issues derived from the COVID-19 pandemic were among the most pressing issues for constituents.
Michigan’s 8th District includes sections of Ingham, Livingston, and Oakland County.
10th District: Lisa McClain (R) vs. Kimberly Bizon (D)
Encapsulating much of Michigan’s thumb, Michigan’s 10th district is the only Metro Detroit race to feature an open seat. With Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Dryden) stepping aside from politics after holding the 10th seat for two terms, Democrat Kimberly Bizon and Republican Lisa McClain will now compete for voters in some of Michigan’s most rural counties.
McClain is making her first run for political office after more than two decades in finance. She’s the president of the North End Support Team, which supports the drug court in Macomb County, Host of the Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team, and the senior vice president of the Hantz Group, which offers financial services for businesses in Michigan and Ohio, which she helped start 22 years ago.
Bizon is running her second campaign for the 10th Congressional seat. She served under Vice President Al Gore where she trained in environmental policies and was the chair of an association that worked to reduce toxins in Michigan water. She’s worked as a web developer and an online marketing agency.
McClain has positioned herself as a “conservative outsider” whose website says she advocates for stronger immigration with the construction of a wall and enhanced technology for border control workers. She opposes vaccine mandates, supports term limits, and wants to push for fairer trade for agricultural workers. Among Bizon’s biggest issues is climate change and she has advocated for mitigating environmental issues facing the Great Lakes. She’s also committed to reversing tax breaks that residents in higher incomes received in 2017 and wants a $15/wage.
Michigan’s 10th District includes Huron, Sanilac, Tuscola, Lapeer, St. Clair, and Macomb Counties.
11th District: Haley Stevens (Incumbent) vs. Eric Esshaki (R)
Another heavily suburbanized seat up for grabs is Michigan’s 11th District, held by first-time Congresswoman Haley Stevens. The Democrat won an open seat in 2018 after the incumbent Republican announced they wouldn’t seek reelection. Facing off against Stevens is Eric Esshaki, a Birmingham Republican who worked as a nurse for more than 10 years.
Stevens chairs the subcommittee on Research & Technology in the House of Representatives and co-chairs the Future of Work Task Force. Prior to entering politics, Stevens served as the chief of staff on the Auto Task Force inside the U.S. Treasury Department during the Great Recession. She has a master’s degree in social policy and philosophy.
In addition to working as a nurse, Esshaki has practiced as an attorney for the last four years, when he specialized in business law. On his website, he says a key moment in his career happened while he was working at a nursing home. While employed, he reported violations to the state community health department. He would eventually sue his former employer after being terminated.
In late August, the two debated the government’s COVID-19 response at both the federal and local levels, disagreeing about where the blame should be placed. The two also disagreed on Dr. Anthony Fauci’s performance in guiding the country through the pandemic. Both also found common ground on the Affordable Care Act, with Esshaki arguing keeping the policy in place is fine if no other insurance plan is available.
9th District: Andy Levin (Incumbent) vs. Charles Langworthy (R)
In his first reelection campaign as a congressman, Democrat Andy Levin is facing off against Charles Langworthy, a Roseville Republican.
12th District: Debbie Dingell (Incumbent) vs. Jeff Jones (R)
In a rehash of 2016 and 2018’s congressional race, Democrat Debbie Dingell will attempt to fend off another challenge from Republican Jeff Jones, a retired financial services industry worker, and pastor. Dingell won the previous two elections handily with more than a 2-1 margin in votes.
13th District: Rashida Tlaib (Incumbent) vs. David Dudenhoefer (R)
Rashida Tlaib will compete in her first reelection campaign after beating out Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones. Her opponent, David Dudenhoefer, served as the district chair for the 13th Congressional District Republican Committee.
14th District: Brenda Lawrence (Incumbent) vs. Robert Vance Patrick (R)
Third-term Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence sits on the House Appropriations Committee and is the second vice-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She faces Republican candidate Robert Vance Patrick, a self-employed contractor and volunteer on the Belle Isle Conservancy Board.