Jocelyn Benson (Detroit News file photo)
Interim Wayne State University law school dean Jocelyn Benson is considering a run for Congress in the 11th district, a person briefed on her plans said.
Benson, a former candidate for Michigan secretary of state, met with top House Democrats including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer, according to the source. She was in Washington last week for another meeting and has been talking to groups including Emily's List about taking on first-term Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Milford, who won the seat after Rep. Thaddeus McCotter resigned.
Benson didn't return a message left on her cell phone Wednesday and didn't immediately return a message Thursday left at her law school office.
Benson is founder and executive director of the nonpartisan Michigan Center for Election Law and was named to serve with retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the board of iCivics, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving civics education throughout the country.
Benson also is founder and president of Military Spouses of Michigan and she clerked for Judge Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also worked as a legal assistant to Nina Totenberg at National Public Radio. Benson has a bachelor of arts degree from Wellesley College, a master of philosophy degree as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Michigan Democrats have been working to recruit candidates to take on several U.S. House Republicans and have focused their efforts on Michigan's 1st, 7th and 11th Congressional Districts.
Retired Michigan Army National Guard general and former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon is challenging second-term Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, in northern Michigan. And former Michigan House Speaker Pro Tempore, Pam Byrnes, is running against Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, in the 7th District.