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Tlaib announces run in new Detroit district with Lawrence retiring

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is seen during a press conference on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 to call out Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) anti-Islamic remarks against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)
Greg Nash

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) announced on Wednesday that she will run for reelection in a newly drawn district in Detroit, one day after Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) announced that she will not seek another term.

Tlaib, who currently represents Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, said she will now be running in what will be the Wolverine State’s 12th District, which includes parts of Detroit.

The two-term congresswoman did not specify why she made the switch but said her new district includes almost two-thirds of her current constituents.

“I’m excited to continue to fight for our residents and engage with new neighbors in Wayne and Oakland Counties,” Tlaib wrote in a statement.

“I am excited about the opportunity to expand our work to include more communities that want the same access to a better quality of life, including clean air and water, affordable housing, economic justice, and more,” she added.

Lawrence announced on Tuesday that she would not seek a fifth term in the House after 30 years in elected public service. She is the 25th House Democrat this year to announce plans to retire.

The congresswoman, who is the only Black lawmaker representing Michigan on Capitol Hill, said redistricting did not play a role in her decision to leave Congress, according to The Associated Press.

Michigan lost one congressional seat after the 2020 census, bringing its total representation in the House to 13.

Michigan’s new 12th District, where Tlaib said she is now running, includes the suburbs of Dearborn and Southfield in addition to Detroit, according to the AP.

Tlaib’s announcement comes days after a number of Black state lawmakers said they filed a lawsuit objecting to Michigan’s redistricting, arguing the new congressional lines decrease the chances of African Americans voting in Black lawmakers.

The new lines reportedly decreased the number of seats where African Americans make up the majority of eligible voters. Commissioners, however, are defending the maps, arguing that they abide by the Voting Rights Act because it is possible for African American voters to elect minority candidates even if they do not make up the majority of the voting population, according to the AP.

Tlaib’s decision now leaves open what will be Michigan’s 13th District. State Rep. Shri Thanedar (D) and former state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D), who is currently serving on the Detroit school board, have already jumped into the race, according to the AP.

A competitive primary is also brewing in Michigan’s new 11th District, where incumbent Reps. Andy Levine (D) and Haley Stevens (D) will face off against one another. Redistricting pit the two Democratic lawmakers against each other.

Tags 2022 Michigan House race Brenda Lawrence Haley Stevens Rashida Tlaib Rashida Tlaib

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