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U.S. Rep. John Conyers to announce re-election campaign

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1964, plans to kick off his re-election campaign Monday for a 27th term in Congress.

The Detroit Democrat, who is the longest-serving current member of the U.S. House, plans to launch his re-election effort during an 11 a.m. rally with supporters at the Redford Jaycees Hall on Beech-Daly Road in Redford Township, according to a campaign advisory.

Conyers will hold a second rally at 2 p.m. at the Julian C. Madison Building in downtown Detroit, his campaign said.

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey has said she will challenge Conyers for his 13th Congressional District seat, which includes parts of Detroit and suburban Wayne County.

In 2014, Conyers, 86, cruised to a 26th consecutive term in the general election after fending off the Rev. Horace Sheffield in the Democratic primary.

Conyers’ re-election launch nearly nine months before the August primary appears more organized than last year’s campaign, which almost didn’t happen after Conyers failed to gather the required number of voter signatures to get on the ballot.

Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson ruled Conyers fell short of the 1,000 necessary petition signatures because several of his circulators were unregistered voters or had problems with the accuracy of their registration address, as required by law. Hundreds of voter signatures were disqualified.

A federal judge later ordered Conyers’ name be placed on the August 2014 primary ballot.

Conyers subsequently won 74 percent of the Democratic primary vote against Sheffield, who questioned Conyers’ mental and physical ability to represent the district.

First elected in 1964 and taking office in 1965, Conyers has routinely been returned to Washington in his heavily Democratic district, often with more than 80 percent of the vote.

Conyers is a former chair of the House Judiciary Committee and is a founding member and dean of the Congressional Black Caucus.

In September, Conyers and his wife, former Detroit City Council President Monica Conyers, filed for divorce. His attorney has since indicated the couple may reconcile.

A campaign aide said Conyers was unavailable for comment Sunday.

clivengood@detroitnews.com

The Associated Press contributed.