House Races to Watch: Mich. Dems Swap Districts to Up Re-election Odds
Friday, September 02, 2011
In a move that may help them stay in office despite radical reformulations of their districts by the Republicans that control the state redistricting process, Detroit Democrats Hansen Clarke and John Conyers are expected to swap districts in the race for reelection in 2012.
Clarke, 54, the first member of Congress of Bangledeshi descent and a former chief of staff for Conyers, is serving his first term in the House.
In 2010 he defeated district 13‘s longtime Democratic representative, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick amid fallout from the corruption indictment of her husband and son, Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Detroit mayor.
Clarke’s district includes half of Detroit and the suburbs of Ecorse, River Rouge, Harper Woods, Wyandotte, Lincoln Park and Grosse Pointe.
Conyers, 82, is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and has represented the 14th district since 1965. This district encompasses Northwest Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck, Dearborn, Southgate and Trenton.
Michigan lost about 54,000 residents over the last decade according to the 2010 census, and will be losing one member of its Congressional delegation.
The new Republican-drawn district map seeks to ensure that it will be a Democrat that is eliminated.
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