What to know about Michigan's 12th District race
Well-financed incumbent Rep. Rashida Tlaib is the favorite in the race for Michigan's new 12th Congressional District.
Why it matters: Money from pro-Israel interests headlines the discussion as outspoken "Squad" member Tlaib runs against Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey, considered her top competitor in the Aug. 2 primary.
- Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett and former state Rep. Shanelle Jackson are also running.
State of play: Winfrey is a well-known name in Detroit — but not the suburbs. She won a fifth term as clerk in November despite criticism over various election administration problems.
- Winfrey's well-publicized outside campaign interest includes a PAC of Black and Jewish business leaders that said it would spend up to $1 million on ads helping her unseat Tlaib, per Politico.
- Tlaib, the lone Palestinian American in Congress who is seeking a third term, actively condemns Israel for its conflict with Palestine.
By the numbers: Tlaib's $2.79 million raised since January 2021 gives her a drastic lead over Winfrey ($295,000) and Garrett ($266,00). Jackson's funding reports are not available.
The big picture: The 12th is one of just two redrawn districts that include Detroit. Considering Tlaib's popularity and Rep. Brenda Lawrence deciding not to seek re-election in the 13th race, it's possible the largest Black-majority city in the U.S. could come out of the 2022 elections without any Black representation in Congress.
What they're saying: The 12th exemplifies a "quandary" Black voters can face to "balance out need for Black representation with the desire to have effective representation, even if that person isn't Black," Greg Bowens, a local political consultant, tells Axios.
- The recent redistricting process shows "we need to have a more serious discussion about race in the Democratic party," he says.
The other side: A Republican is not expected to win, but three GOP candidates are running for the 12th:
- Steven Elliott, a veteran and business owner; James Hooper, a building tradesman; and Hassan Nehme, an entrepreneur, per MLive.
What's next: This is our second of several election guides ahead of the Aug. 2 primary.
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