From the Detroit News
Detroit— The races for Congress became clearer Thursday as U.S. Rep. Gary Peters announced he'll challenge for the Democratic nomination in the 14th District and longtime U.S. Rep. John Conyers decided he will run in the new 13th District.
With the state losing a seat in Congress due to population loss, Peters was the odd-man-out as his old 9th District was carved up, leaving him without a seat. Under the same boundaries, Conyers' 14th District was redrawn to include portions of Wayne and Oakland counties, but not much of his traditional base.
Part of the logjam was resolved when U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit, announced he'd run in the new 14th District, which includes areas he now represents. That opened the door for speculation about whether Conyers would then run in the 13th, a move that a source close to Conyers confirmed to The News on Thursday.
Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, on Thursday told supporters he'll run for office in the new 14th District.
"… Congressional districts are just lines on a map," Peters, serving his second term in Congress, said in an email to supporters. "I believe that regardless of where we call home, we all want the same things: economic security, fairness from government, and an honest chance to find success and happiness."
"I've spent my life fighting for these values."
Also eying the seat are Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence and Southfield Treasurer Irv Lowenberg.
Lines on a map, Peters? Bad choice of words when describing people's homes. I don't think people would buy that line if I ran for office in the nearby 7th or 11th districts which border Green Oak. The area Peters represents now in this district is Pontiac, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, and West Bloomfield. He's currently in the 9th along with Sander Levin in a district that's really mostly the old 12th. If I was Peters, I'd have instead mentioned that I represented the people in Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield, and Pontiac in Congress, and am running to represent those as well as the new areas of this district.
John Conyers is running in the 13th instead, while Hansen Clarke is running in the 14th. I don't find that controversial as they are in the same city. Detroiters representing Detroit.
However, neither Conyers or Clarke is going to get a free pass. Conyers will be facing State Senator Bert Johnson (Highland Park) and also State Rep Shanelle Jackson (Detroit). There may be others, but those are in so far. I think Conyers is favored, but if someone goes after the Redford/Westland/Garden City/Dearborn Heights votes, this could get interesting. I don't think most of them care for Mr Monica Conyers. I think they would gladly consider a strong alternative candidate.
Clarke I think has a easier battle with Peters who became infamous with his Obamacare vote. If Brenda Lawrence jumps in, I think she'll have a very good chance to win (more as pro-Lawrence rather than anti-Clarke). Peters was able to win last time largely because of Pontiac, Farmington Hills, and West Bloomfield. Those areas all tilt democrat, but will they vote for Peters over the well known and not very controversial Lawrence? Outside of Bloomfield, I doubt it, and that includes the white folks. Over Clarke? I don't know. Clarke isn't Conyers and doesn't have as much of controversial demeanor to suburbanites. A lot of people don't know who he is, outside of a recent state legislature and the guy who beat Carolyn Kilpatrick. The fact that he beat Kwame's mom gets him some credit in his favor right off the bat.
As a Republican, I don't see a lot of difference between any of them from a voting record standpoint, only in style differences and committee differences. Conyers is on judiciary. Clarke is on science and homeland security. I wouldn't mind seeing a gun grabber off of judiciary. I'd rather see Clarke win than Peters, since Peters doesn't need statewide traction with his ambitions and Oakland County base.