Dragged down by her son's public failings, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) on Tuesday lost her party's nomination to seek an eighth term.
Kilpatrick, who has served in the House for 14 years, become the fourth House incumbent to lose in their primary this cycle.
The congresswoman had fought hard to save her job, bringing in senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to Detroit to help her keep her seat.
In the final 72 hours before the vote, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) campaigned for Kilpatrick. She was also joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.).
Clarke made curbing foreclosures the center of his campaign, while Kilpatrick has sought to avoid the taint of her son’s jailing by positioning herself as an ally of President Obama and touting the millions in federal dollars she’s steered to her district.
"It's not at all about the Kilpatrick family. It's a vote on the taxpayers wanting to take control of how their money is spent," Clarke said hours before the vote. "That's what this is a referendum on. We're in a depression."
Kilpatrick’s son, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, left office in 2008 amid a ballooning corruption scandal and has since served time in prison.
For the past six weeks, Rep. Kilpatrick was on cable television with a TV ad that notes she serves on the "powerful" Appropriations Committee. "And she's brought in over $1 billion in federal funds to our state," a female announcer says in the ad. The ad has also aired on broadcast TV for the final week of the campaign, according to a Kilpatrick spokesman.
Clarke did not run any TV ads.
In the money race, Kilpatrick raised more than $1 million this cycle, and had $280,000 left in her campaign coffers on July 14, according to her Federal Election Commission report. Clarke has raised more than $130,000 and had $71,000 banked for the final stretch of the campaign.
Kilpatrick was able to associate herself closely with the Obama administration, even though she never got his formal endorsement. She greeted the president when he stepped off Air Force One last Friday at the Detroit Metro Airport.
Later, during an event at a General Motors plant, Obama called her a "wonderful congresswoman." Kilpatrick also made a show of attending a press conference Monday morning with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to announce the steps needed to move toward developing a light-rail system in the city.
Clarke faces businessman John Hauler in November. He's expected to hold the seat for the Democrats.
This cycle, Reps. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), and Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) lost the primaries for their seats. Reps. Artur Davis (D-Ala.), Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.), and Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) lost in gubernatorial primaries.
On the Senate side, Sens. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah) lost in their primaries.
—This post was updated at 12:53 a.m.