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.

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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.

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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.

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It would appear that the president is helping an old friend when the old friend needs it most.