By Tim Kiska
Congressman John Conyers is receiving some help from up top: President Barack Obama is endorsing the 24-term lawmaker for re-election.
It could be a big break for Conyers, who won his first congressional election in 1964. He’s running in the newly-redrawn 13th Congressional District, an oddly-constructed (in the opinion of some) district that runs from Detroit east side, across town, and into the Wayne/Westland area.
And he’s running against serious competition, including State Senators Glenn Anderson, Bert Johnson, State Rep. Shanelle Jackson and Detroit attorney Godfrey Dillard.
In terms of fundraising, Conyers is still proving to be formidable. The Federal Election Commission says he raised almost $455,000 last year, and has a little more than $151,000 in the bank. Anderson pulled in $64,413, and has $56,473 in campaign checking account. (Bert Johnson has less than $6,000 in the bank.)
He’s the second-longest serving member of Congress, behind John Dingell. Conyers also gets respect as a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. The age factor seems to be an elephant in the room, as Conyers will turn 83 in May.
A quick note: Conyers was among the first to back then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
It would appear that the president is helping an old friend when the old friend needs it most.