June 19, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Detroit Chamber backs Peters over Land, Wild over Ficano

Peters (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)

Lansing— The Detroit Regional Chamber’s political action committee is endorsing Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters in the U.S. Senate race after Republican rival Terri Lynn Land earlier got the nod of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

The Detroit chamber’s PAC announced its endorsements for the 2014 election on Thursday.

“Congressman Peters has a proven track record of bipartisan leadership that is focused on solutions instead of partisan bickering,” said Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The chamber cited Peters’ support for immigration reform, investing in transportation infrastructure and construction of a new Detroit River bridge to Canada as reasons why they favor Peters over Land.

“In all of these issues important for business, not only is Gary Peters on the right side, but he leads,” Williams told The News.

The chamber also endorsed a Democrat in the 2012 U.S. Senate race, Debbie Stabenow.

In the Wayne County executive’s race, the chamber is backing Westland Mayor William Wild over incumbent Robert Ficano in a hotly contested and crowded Democratic primary that includes former Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans, state Rep. Phil Cavanagh, of Redford Township, and county Commissioner Kevin McNamara, of Belleville.

“Mayor Wild has proven in his tenure at the helm of Wayne County’s third-largest city that he has the right experience to bring Wayne County’s finances back in order,” Detroit chamber PAC board Chairman Terence Thomas said in a statement. “We thank Bob Ficano for his many years of service to Wayne County and his efforts to attract international investment to the region.”

The Detroit chamber’s endorsement of Peters also noted the business group has previously supported Land, a former two-term secretary of state.

“She was an effective Secretary of State whom we often supported and we look forward to working with her again in the future,” Williams said.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Farm Bureau have endorsed Land in her bid to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin in the U.S. Senate.

On Thursday, Land spoke at the Small Business Association of Michigan’s annual meeting in Lansing.

The business owners applauded Land when she said would work to repeal President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act if elected to the Senate. Peters voted for the legislation but has voted to make changes in the law.

Land, R-Byron Center, said she would replace “Obamacare” with a system that makes insurance coverage portable and ensures people can keep their doctors. “We also need to make sure that taxes are lower, fairer and simpler,” Land said.

Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, addressed the group of business owners through a recorded video message. He was in Washington because the U.S. House was in session.

The Detroit Regional Chamber PAC also endorsed:

■ Former Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, of Rochester, over state Rep. Tom McMillin of Rochester Hills in the 8th Congressional District’s Republican primary.

■ Birmingham attorney David Trott over U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, of Milford, in the 11th Congressional District’s Republican primary.

■ State Rep. Rudy Hobbs of Lathrup Village over Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence and former U.S. Rep. Hansen Clark in the 14th Congressional District’s Democratic primary to replace Peters. Foster Burgess, of Detroit, also is on the ballot in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary.

■ Former Rep. Chuck Moss, of Birmingham, a former state House Appropriations chairman, in a five-man 13th District state Senate Republican primary that includes former Reps. Rocky Raczkowski and Marty Knollenberg, both of Troy.

In the state Senate’s 5th District Democratic primary, the chamber’s PAC endorsed two candidates for an open seat being vacated by Sen. Tupac Hunter, who is term-limited.

The Detroit chamber endorsed both Rep. Thomas Stallworth III, of Detroit, and Rep. David Knezek, of Dearborn Heights, in a field of six candidates, which include Rep. David Nathan and former Rep. Shanelle Jackson, both of Detroit.

“Both David and Tommy were worthy of the endorsement,” Williams said. “We thought they were both such qualified candidates that they both deserved our stamp of approval.”

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