DETROIT (AP) — John Conyers’ congressional seat will remain in a Democrat’s hands after Michigan’s primary on Tuesday. For the first time in more than five decades, though, it won’t be his.
Conyers’ 13th District seat, which represents much of Detroit and a few of its suburbs, is among three open House seats in Michigan heading into the primary, including another that the Democrats expect to keep and a Republican-held seat they hope to flip in their push to take control of the chamber.
The 13th District race includes a regular primary for a 2-year term that starts in January and a special primary to finish out the final two months of Conyers’ term. The 89-year-old Conyers, who was first elected in 1964, stepped down in December citing health reasons, though several former female staffers had accused him of sexual harassment.
No Republicans are running for the seat. The Democratic field features a range of politically experienced candidates. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, Westland Mayor Bill Wild, former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Conyers’ great-nephew, state Sen. Ian Conyers, are competing in the special election. Joining them in the race for a two-year term are former state Rep. Shanelle Jackson and current state Sen. Coleman Young.
Jones, 59, first was elected to the City Council in 2005. Tlaib, 42, was in Michigan’s House from 2009-2014. Wild, 50, is the only suburban candidate, having served as Westland’s mayor since 2007. Ian Conyers was elected to Michigan’s Senate in 2016 and Jackson has served three terms in the Michigan House.
Young’s political pedigree in Detroit runs deep: He was elected to the state Senate in 2010 and is the son of the late Coleman A. Young, who was elected mayor in 1973 and held the position for 20 years.
Three Democrats are seeking the 9th District seat following the retirement of longtime Rep. Sander Levin, a Democrat who served 18 House terms and is the brother of retired-Democratic Sen. Carl Levin. Among them is Sander Levin’s 58-year-old son, Andy Levin, who has never held elected office but who served as director of the state’s Energy, Labor and Economic Growth department from 2010-2011.
The other Democrats seeking the seat, which represents parts of Oakland and Macomb counties in southeastern Michigan, are Ellen Lipton and Martin Brook. Lipton is a patent attorney who served in the Michigan House from 2009-2014. Brook served on the Bloomfield Hills School Board from 2005-2010.
The winner will face Republican Candius Stearns and the Green Party’s John McDermott in November.
Democrats are hoping to flip the traditionally GOP-leaning 11th House District with the retirement of Republican Rep. David Trott. Five Democrats and five Republicans are vying for the seat, which represents Detroit’s affluent northwest suburbs. In 2016, Trump barely won the district, which has been getting more racially and ethnically diverse.
Democrats facing off in the primary include former U.S. Auto Task Force chief of staff Haley Stevens, former Department of Homeland Security official Fayrouz Saad, entrepreneur Suneel Gupta, state Rep. Tim Greimel and Nancy Skinner.
The GOP primary features businesswoman and 2016 Trump Michigan campaign co-chair Lena Epstein, former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski, former U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, Klint Kesto and Mike Kowall.
© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.