Former Rep. Stupak endorses Lon Johnson for Congress

Melissa Nann Burke
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Former U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak this week endorsed Democrat Lon Johnson of Kalkaska in the House contest to replace retiring Republican Dan Benishek in the 1st Congressional District.

Stupak, D-Menominee, represented the northern Michigan district for 18 years, from 1993 through 2010, and now works as a lobbyist with the Washington firm of Venable LLP.

“I support Lon Johnson because he will work to create a U.P. and Northern Michigan where our families can stay and succeed,” Stupak said in a statement. “Lon is the best candidate to represent a district that I know well and hold close to my heart.”

Johnson’s campaign says that Stupak is the 1,000th public supporter of the campaign, joining sitting members of the congressional delegation including Reps. John Conyers, Sander Levin, Dan Kildee, Debbie Dingell, Brenda Lawrence and former Sen. Carl Levin.

Benishek, the Upper Peninsula surgeon who initially planned to seek a fourth term in Congress, decided in September not to run for re-election. The district leans Republican.

In the Democratic primary, Johnson is facing Jerry Cannon, the former Kalkaska County sheriff who was Benishek’s Democratic opponent in 2014.

State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, is the only Republican so far to declare candidacy for Benishek’s seat.

mburke@detroitnews.com

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