Several primary challengers are gearing up for rematches with Rep. Shri Thanedar.

Several primary challengers are gearing up for rematches with Rep. Shri Thanedar.

Who’s running: A contested primary set to divide Michigan Democrats is brewing in a Detroit-area congressional seat, with Rep. Shri Thanedar likely to face several primary challengers seeking rematches next year.

Among the candidates:

  • Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director Adam Hollier has been staffing up as he prepares for another run, according to four people familiar with the situation. Hollier finished in second place last year behind Thanedar. Hollier, in a statement, said he was “strongly considering” a bid for Congress, and he and his family would make a decision “in the coming weeks.”
  • John Conyers III, the son of the late longtime congressman, is also gearing up for a bid to be launched “soon,” he confirmed to POLITICO. “Congressman Thanedar doesn’t have much to show for his time in Congress,” Conyers said. 

Conyers came in fourth in the 2022 primary. He’s set to hold a fundraiser in Washington next week for his campaign-in-waiting, with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) listed as a guest, according to a copy of an invitation obtained by POLITICO.
Thanedar, in an interview, shrugged off the primary threat.

“I take my job seriously, and I’m working hard,” he said. “And when the time comes for the next election, I hope that the people of the 13th District will put their trust in me once more, because of what I have been able to do around here.”

The context: Some Black Michigan Democrats have expressed concern about a lack of representation at the federal level following the retirement of Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.). The deep-blue seat, which includes part of Detroit and some of its suburbs, is one of only two Black-majority congressional seats in the country represented by a non-Black lawmaker. Thanedar, who put millions of his own dollars into his 2022 bid, has raised some eyebrows in the House Democratic Caucus for his off-beat social media posts.

Not the only primary development: The DCCC met with former Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), about a potential bid against Rep. John James (R-Mich.), according to three people familiar with the situation.

Levin told POLITICO he had decided against running for anything in 2024, though he didn’t close the door to elected office in the future. For now, he was “having a great time working on various labor, climate and clean energy projects.”

He had represented part of the district in previous Congresses, but after redistricting, he opted to run unsuccessfully in a neighboring reconfigured district, resulting in a brutal member-on-member primary against Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.).

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